CSKA Russia defeated VEF Latvia at home in Game 3, 99-73 (25-17, 24-21, 29-16, 21-19).
CSKA: Vitaly Fridzon (12), Kyle Hines (12), Othello Hunter (10)
VEF: Alex Perez (13), Kaspars Vecvagars (10)
CSKA coasted in Game 3 behind a balanced attack to sweep its quarterfinal series vs. VEF and book a ticket in the Final Four vs. Zenit.
The Army Men had nine players score between eight and 12 points, led by Vitaly Fridzon and Kyle Hines, who each chipped in with a dozen.
VEF’s only hope of upsetting CSKA and forcing a Game 4 in Riga was catching fire from beyond the arc. Instead, the Latvians struggled to find any rhythm on offense, shooting 12-33 from beyond the arc and 23-62 overall in a losing effort.
CSKA won each quarter, building an 11-point lead at halftime before running away with the game in the second half. The turning point came late in the 2nd quarter.
VEF briefly got hot from downtown, pouring in four triples in the span of two minutes to cut a 13-point deficit to three, 41-38.
The Army Men responded with an 8-0 run, sparked by Nando De Colo, to end the half and crush Riga’s upset hopes. Moscow led by as much as 27 in the 3rd quarter and never looked back.
As the top seed in the Playoffs, CSKA will face Zenit in the 1-4 Final Four match-up. Six-seed Khimki awaits the winner of the UNICS – Nizhny Novgorod series.
Semyon Antonov. CSKA enjoyed a team win as every player on the roster scored. Antonov was the most productive, posting nine points, four rebounds, four assists and a 16 efficiency rating.
7 – Mikhail Kulagin started and dished out a career-high seven assists.
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CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis:
– Congratulations to the team on winning the game and the series. CSKA continues to prove it takes the playoffs seriously, like every other game during the season. I also want to congratulate VEF. Like I said, our opponent competes. They have a nice, athletic roster. We all hope that Meiers was not seriously injured. I hope he recovers quickly. I also want to thank our fans. Now we await the Final Four. We have nine days to prepare.
VEF head coach Janis Gailitis:
– Congratulations to CSKA on winning the game and the series. Our opponent completely deserved to reach the Final Four. We battled. Sometimes we ran into problems, but we played good, quality basketball and I’m proud of my team. Of course, we got unlucky at times, but I don’t want to go into too much detail. Right now I want to wish CSKA luck. They should prove in the Final Four that they are the strongest team in the League.
Images of the Game