Mid-Week Preview

Four regular-season games will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, highlighted by a Zenit - Nymburk clash in St. Petersburg.

Wednesday, March 9

Krasny Oktyabr (Russia) - Nizhny Novgorod (Russia)
7:00 PM (7:00 PM MSK)
Place: Alianz-Basket, Volgograd, Russia
TV: United League TV
Stats: VTB-League.com preview

Krasny Oktyabr: The Steelmen are still in contention for a playoff berth, but Sunday's loss to Nymburk left the team with little to no margin for error. Krasny Oktybr has to win on Wednesday vs. Nizhny Novgorod, especially since Ainars Bagatskis's club is one of the teams Volgograd is chasing for a spot in the postseason.

Team captain Igor Zamansky will also be playing his final game in Volgograd after announcing his decision to retire.

Nizhny Novgorod: Ainars Bagatskis's men have won four of five, including a massive victory over Khimki. On Wednesday, Nizhny will look to take revenge for a heartbreaking loss at home to Oktyabr earlier in the season.

VEF (Latvia) - UNICS (Russia)
7:30 PM (8:30 PM MSK)
Place: Arena Riga, Latvia, Riga
TV: Riga TV (Latvia), Match! Nash sport (Russia), United League TV
Stats: VTB-League.com preview

VEF: Riga is showings signs of life, winning its last two games vs. Nymburk and Astana. VEF, however, continues to struggle at home, where the team is 2-8 in league competition this season. Riga has also never defeated UNICS, who visit on Wednesday night.

UNICS: After getting eliminated from the Eurocup by Zielona Gura, Kazan lost at home to CSKA, missing an opportunity to take over 1st place and allowing Lokomotiv-Kuban to move within striking distance of 2nd. Evgeny Pashutin's club cannot afford to slip up in Riga.

Thursday, March 10

Tsmoki-Minsk (Belarus) - Avtodor (Russia)
7:00 PM (7:00 PM MSK)
Place: Minsk Arena, Minsk, Belarus
TV: Belarus-5 (Belarus), Match! Nash sport (Russia), United League TV
Stats: VTB-League.com preview

Tsmoki-Minsk: Tsmoki snapped its losing streak last week, knocking off Astana in a hard-fought game. The Dragons face a more dangerous opponent on Thursday: Avtodor Saratov. After a sensational upset of UNICS in Week One, Tsmoki has failed to beat another team from the top-8.

Avtodor: Saratov is in a tight spot. With the playoffs fast approaching, the team has dropped to 8th in the standings, within striking distance for Krasny Oktyabr. The eight seed in the postseason will also have to play the team with the best overall record in the regular season, something Saratov would prefer to avoid. Knocking off Tsmoki would be a good start. Avtodor has experience, boasting a 3-0 record vs. Minsk since joining the league last season. Zack Wright, the former Spartak star, is also likely to make his Saratov debut against Tsmoki.

Zenit (Russia) - Nymburk (Czech Republic)
8:00 PM (8:00 PM MSK)
Place: SIBUR Arena, St. Petersburg, Russia
TV: TV Nova Sport (Czech Republic), Match! Nash sport (Russia), United League TV
Stats: VTB-League.com preview

Zenit: After a disappointing performance vs. Khimki, Vasily Karasev's men bounced back by blowing out Bisons. Next up is 6th-place Nymburk, which would love to inch a little closer to the top-5 with a win. These teams have yet to meet this season. A year ago, they played two very competitive games, with Zenit coming out on top twice by four points apiece, including a win in overtime, the team's first-ever victory in the VTB United League.

Nymburk: By taking care of business vs. Volgograd a week ago, Nymburk kept pace with Nizhny Novgorod in 6th place. But the Lions would love to keep moving up in the standings. The Czechs defeated Zenit in the Eurocup last season thanks to aggressive, up-tempo offense and pressure defense. Can they do the same on Thursday?