Zenit-2 and Loko-2 entertain in a high-scoring affair
The first game of the second day of the Final eight featured the home team taking on Loko-2, which finished second in the regular season. The two teams lived up to the high expectations.
The two teams combined for no fewer than 47 points in every quarter and finished with a total of 198.
There were also plenty of highlights. Take this dunk from Yakov Yakovlev!
Мощный слэм Якова Яковлева 🔥 pic.twitter.com/jDj9zDMjpB
— VTB Youth League (@vtbyouth) April 5, 2019
The game featured an entertaining duel between big men Kirill Popov and Vladislav Sharapov. The Loko-2 forward ultimately finished with a career-high 35 points and eight rebounds, while the Zenit-2 center recorded a double-double of 28 points, 10 rebounds.
The game was close until the final minutes. Krasnodar led by three with two minutes to go, before a three-point play from Alexander Shcherbenev and Zakhar Vedishchev’s clutch scoring sealed the victory.
Lokomotiv-Kuban-2 wins 103-95 and will play for 5th place tomorrow.
Nizhny Novgorod-2 defeated UNICS-2 in a 5th-8th-place match-up for the second time in a row!
Like last season, UNICS-2 and Nizhny Novgorod-2 met in the Final Eight in the loser’s bracket. UNICS-2 was once again the favorite and dominated in the paint, scoring 34 points, but that wasn’t enough to win.
Last year, Nizhny Novgorod had to overcome a double digit deficit. This time, Roman Gorelovsky’s men seized control early. Thanks to excellent defense and strong performances from Nikita Sokolov and Alexander Chadov, Eighth-seeded Nizhny Novgorod-2 pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, taking down the four-seed.
Nizhny Novgorod will try to surprise once more in the 5th-place game vs. Loko-2 tomorrow.
Khimki-2 contains Avtodor-2’s star trio
Khimki-2 played a tough game vs. Zenit-2 yesterday, winning in overtime, but quickly recovered unlike Saratov’s stars. Nikita Mikhailovsky was not very active in the first half and teammates Egor Bestuzhev, Anton Kvitkovskikh and Alexander Petenev could not get 3-pointers to drop.
It didn’t get much better in the second half as Avtodor-2 finished 6-26 from beyond the arc, compared to 9-24 the day before.
Avtodor-2’s comeback attempts came up short. Khimki-2’s lead reached 21 points in the 3rd quarter and there was little intrigue down the stretch.
Maxim Barashkov was the best player for Moscow Region for the second game in a row with 19 points. After the game, the forward admitted that the main factor in Khimki-2’s win was defense. Alexander Gerasimov’s men gave up only 34% shooting from the field and 23% from beyond the arc.
CSKA-Junior continues to dominate
Samara-2 was expected to give CSKA-Junior trouble. Last season, the Volga club put up a fight in the championship game and brought another talented roster to St. Petersburg, crushing UNICS-2 in the quarterfinals, 80-43.
The reigning champions started slow in the 1st quarter. Maxim Sharafan’s men scored 23 points, but struggled on defense. Semen Shevkoplyas and Dmitry Khaldeev led the way as Samara-2 answered the Army Men with 21 points.
The 2nd quarter proved decisive. CSKA-Junior caught fire, scoring 38 points to take a 61-40 lead into halftime. Samara-2 improved on defense in the 2nd quarter, but failed to make dent in the deficit, shooting only four 3-pointers in the first three quarters.
The Army Men have scored 211 points in the first two games of the tournament and will play in the Final Eight championship game for the 5th-straight year!