Three regular season games are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday, November 24
Time: 4:00 PM (12:00 MSK)
Place: Arena.Sever, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Enisey: After back-to-back losses to title contenders, Enisey came out on top vs. Zielona Gora, and nearly broke the club record for points in a game, finishing two shy with 111. On Saturday, however, Krasnoyarsk faces one of the top defenses in the League. Despite a surprising 3-3 start, Kuban remains in the top four on defense, allowing 76.5 per outing.
Lokomotiv-Kuban: Including the EuroCup, the Railwaymen have already won three in a row under Vlade Jovanovic. The most recent victory came on Thursday in overtime vs. Tofas. The team’s improved offense must be very encouraging for Loko’s coaching staff. Against Tofas, four Kuban players scored 19 or more points. In terms of offense, Lokomotiv and Enisey rank 4th and 5th, respectively, in the League. The difference is defense with Enisey giving up 92.9 per game.
Time: 6:00 PM (6:00 MSK)
Place: SIBUR Arena, St. Petersburg, Russia
TV: Match! Nash Sport, VTB-League.com
Zenit: St. Petersburg will try to bounce back from a discouraging defeat in the EuroCup vs. Trento. Leading by 17 in the 4th quarter, Zenit ended up losing in overtime. Vasily Karasev’s squad continues to deal with instability. After not meeting expectations, Brandon Jennings has been released, meanwhile it’s unclear when Gal Mekel can return to the court. The club is searching for reinforcements, but Karasev will be limited in his options on Saturday vs. Zielona Gora.
Zielona Gora: After losing to Enisey, the Poles dropped out of the top eight. The schedule has not been kind to open the season. Saturday’s trip to St. Petersburg will be the club’s 5th road game in seven outings.
The Polish newcomers are underdogs, trailing Zenit in most statistical categories. Zielona Gora, for example, ranks last in rebounds (31.3 per game), whereas Zenit sits in 4th. With St. Petersburg forced to play big in recent weeks, their advantage on the glass will be even bigger.
Sunday, November 24
Time: 5:00 PM (4:00 MSK)
Place: Kristall Sports Palace, Saratov, Russia
Avtodor: Saratov came out on top in Dusan Alimpijevic’s first game as head coach, defeating Den Bos in the FIBA Europe Cup to advance to the Top 16. Now Avtodor will try to give him his first win in the United League. Saratov is a significant favorite vs. VEF. It’s been two years since Riga won this match-up (November 2016) and they are last in the standings without a single road win.
VEF: Offense has been the biggest issue for VEF this season. Riga trails the rest of the League by a wide margin, averaging only 70.1 points per game (six fewer than the next-closest team). Avtodor, on the other hand, ranks 3rd with 88.3 per game. VEF recently added Andrew Andrews to bolster its offense. The American guard scored nine in his debut vs. Astana.