Week Eighteen Recap

Nizhny's comeback win at home, Enisey's 40-point quarter and much more in our Week Eighteen recap.

Nizhny Novgorod and Avtodor met in the Volga derby. Both teams needed a win. Nizhny was in danger of falling two games below .500, while Saratov looked to snap a three-game losing streak across all competitions and put some pressure on 4th-place Zenit.

Led by ex-San Antonio Spur Reggie Williams, who was making his VTB United League debut, Avtodor played well on the road, leading by as much as eight in the 4th quarter. Nizhny got big production from Rasid Mahalbasic and managed to stay within striking distance. An 8-0 run early in the 4th quarter knotted the score at 59-59, setting up a dramatic finish.

Nizhny captain Semyon Antonov swung the momentum down the stretch. The Russian big man scored nine straight points to go with a big block, giving his team a 75-70 win. With the victory, Nizhny improves to 8-8 and remains 8th in the standings.

UNICS and Lokomotiv-Kuban both got off to sluggish starts in the VTB United League. Kazan lost at home to Tsmoki-Minsk, while Georgios Bartzokas's debut ended in defeat in Nymburk. But that was almost four months ago. UNICS has only lost once since and entered the rematch with Minsk on an eight-game winning streak. Not surprisingly, Evgeny Pashutin's men took care of business in the Belarusian capital, winning 102-77.

Loko has not been as dominant in the league, but is gradually picking up momentum. On Sunday, the Railwaymen enjoyed revenge vs. Nymburk at home, 75-58, to win their 5th straight and move all alone into 5th place.

Fan of the Week

Both Krasny Oktyabr and Zenit were coming off wins and wanted to extend their momentum. As expected, Sunday's game was competitive. The 1st quarter ended in an 18-18 tie and neither team managed to build a big lead ove the course of the contest.

But Zenit would not be denied. Janis Timma had a great game on the road (15 points, 13 rebounds) and the visitors pulled out an important 74-67 victory. Zenit is now 10-3, a game up on 5th-place Lokomotiv-Kuban.

Reigning champs and 1st-place CSKA hosted winless Vita on Sunday. The Army Men were heavily favored and had no trouble cruising to a 98-62 victory. The home team also set a new league record for blocks (16), crushing Zalgiris's old record of 12. Ivan Lazarev led the way for the Army Men, swatting down five Vita shot attempts.

Kalev and Astana met in Tallinn. The Estonians had a chance to catch Astana in the standings with a win. Trailing by nine at halftime, 47-38, Kalev mounted a comeback to make it a two-point game (65-63) entering the 4th quarter.

But Astana held strong, limiting Kalev to three points in the first six minutes of the quarter. Leading by 12 with four minutes to play, the visitors went on to win (86-80), improving to 6-10 in the league.

Stat of the Week
11 - number of consecutive 3-pointers made by Enisey vs. VEF.

Krasnoyarsk couldn't miss to the start the game, scoring 69 points in the first half, including 40 in the 2nd quarter. The Russian club also held VEF to nine points in the quarter, outscoring their opponent by 31.

Leading by 37 at halftime, Enisey cruised to a 110-65 win.

MVP of the Week
Semyon Antonov (Nizhny Novgorod). The White-Black captain dominated the final quarter vs. Avtodor, scoring nine straight points for a huge comeback win. He finished the game with 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a 25 efficiency rating. 

Bisons head coach Greg Gibson:
- After the 1st quarter, we did some things well, but I have to admit that Khimki has an incredible team. I think they are the best team we've played this season. Today, our rotation let us down. Aubrey Coleman and Mikko Koivisto couldn't play. Nonetheless, I'm satisfied that after trailing by 25 points in the 1st quarter, we managed to stay focused and compete with Khimki. When your opponent shoots that kind of percentage, it's hard to win. Today was that kind of day.

...Khimki completely overwhelmed Bisons in the 1st quarter. Zoran Dragic knocked down six of seven attempts and Tyrese Rice dished out five assists as the Yellow-Blues raced to a 28-4 lead in the opening six minutes. The visitors never got closer than 12 the rest of the way, dropping a 113-83 decision in Moscow Region.

Play of the Week

Photo of the Week