Khryapa Shines In CSKA Return

CSKA defeated Nymburk in Game 2 of the playoff quarterfinals in Moscow, 79-72. In a repeat of Friday's contest, Nymbuk gave CSKA a scare, opening the game on a 14-4 run and leading by 10 after the 1st quarter. The Army Men got back into the game  thanks to defense and contributions on offense from Viktor Khryapa and Pavel Korobkov. Though the home team struggled to put away Nymburk in the second half, the defense was good enough to preserve a seven-point victory and stake CSKA to a 2-0 series lead.

Nymburk pushed CSKA to the limit on Friday and came out strong again on Sunday, opening up a 14-4 advantage midway through the 1st quarter.

The Muscovites played catch-up the rest of the first half. More aggressive as a team on defense, Kyle Hines, Nando De Colo and Miloso Teodosic sparked CSKA's offense. Nymburk's main threat came from the perimeter, but the visitors failed to protect the early lead. By halftime, the Army Men had picked up a one-point lead, 39-38.

Nymburk kept battling, staying within striking distance throughout the 3rd quarter. Cory Higgins did most of the damage for CSKA, giving the home team a seven-point advantage entering the final period.

During the 4th quarter, Nymburk coach Ronen Ginzburg took a calculated risk, inserting a big lineup with forward Howard Sant-Roos at point guard. The defense improved immediately, but it wasn't quite enough as CSKA held on for a hard-fought seven-point win.

CSKA forwards Viktor Khryapa and Pavel Korobkov returned from injury in Game 2. The CSKA captain played 11 minutes, recording two points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal, sparking the home team's comeback in the first half. Korobkov had two points, four rebounds, an assist and a block in eight minutes.

Star Player
Cory Higgins. The CSKA wingman finished with 16 points, helping his team to the decisive seven-point lead late in the 3rd quarter.

Stat of the Game
8 - CSKA's largest lead of the game. Nymburk proved a dangerous opponent in Moscow, never relenting on defense to limit the Army Men to 79 points.

CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis:
- First of all, I want to congratulate Orthodox believers on Easter. It's truly a holy holiday for all of us. Congratulations to my team on the win. We are up 2-0. It's obvious that the game differed significantly from the first meeting. We were much more focused on defense. On offense, we created opportunities to shoot and we'll make them in the future. Stars like Teodosic, Vorontsevich, Higgins, De Colo and others will absolutely make their shots. We started poorly again and we'll work on that in practice, but we won the 2nd and 3rd quarters by a 44-27 margin, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Nonetheless, Nymburk once again put up a great fight and I want to give our opponent credit. This type of battle in our series is good for the VTB League and basketball in general. Viktor and Pavel's return was a big plus for us. We aren't giving them much playing time yet, because it's a long process. The guys need to get back in shape and regain their confidence.

Nymburk head coach Ronen Ginzburg:
- I'm proud once again of my guys. We can compete with CSKA. We held on the entire game, but small mistakes at the end, which are a result of inexperience, decided the outcome. We'll try to play better at home.