Season #10 is underway!
Zielona Gora opens with a win
Zielona Gora became the first team since the 2014-15 season to win its debut game in the League. Zenit was the last to do it.
The Polish club defeated Tsmoki-Minsk on the road.
Coincidentally, the lone victories for Vita and PARMA in their debut seasons both came against Tsmoki.
— Stelmet Enea BC Zielona Góra🇵🇱 (@basket_zg) October 7, 2018
Shved on fire
Khimki leader Alexey Shved recorded the first double-double of the season: 20 points and 11 assists in a win in Krasnoyarsk.
The season has only started, but Shved has already started his MVP chase, averaging 21.5 points, 9.5 assists and two steals in two games.
Shot of the Week
Othello Hunter led CSKA in scoring this week, combining to shoot 13-16 from the field for an average of 16.5 points in wins over Enisey and Astana.
The forward also broke through with his first 3-pointer in the League, knocking down a triple vs. Astana.
For the second straight year, Zenit opens the season with a big loss. Last October, St. Petersburg lost by 34 in Kazan. This time around, Lokomotiv dealt Zenit a 32-point setback in Krasnodar.
These are the two worst defeats recorded in a VTB League season opener.
Head coach Vasily Karasev took the loss with a grain of salt: “We began the season our way. Last year we lost like this to UNICS, which means we’ll finish 3rd or better.”
Ivan Almeida: Breakout perfomance
The Kalev rookie put on his best James Harden impression in a win over Nizhny Novgorod, minus the beard: 6-9 on two-pointers, 4-7 on three-pointers and 10-16 from the line. Almeida finished with 36 points, a new club record in VTB League competition.
Kalev has only won its season opener three times in 10 tries. Nizhny Novgorod was the victim on Sunday.
Tallinn last defeated Nizhny in February 2015, while this was the first time Kalev has beat the Russians on the road.
Khimki’s record accuracy
Khimki matched a club record for 3-pointers in a season-opening win in Riga, knocking down 19 from beyond the arc.
Khimki’s record accuracy 2.0
Moscow Region went on to set a club record in the win over Enisey three days later, shooting 88% from inside the arc.
Fiasco for Jennings
Brandon Jennings’ decision to sign with Zenit has been called the biggest transfer in Russian basketball. But the NBA veteran struggled in his League debut. Jennings finished the game with a -20 efficiency rating, while shooting 6-19 from the field.
Брэндон Дженнингс сыграл в Лиге всего 4 минуты, а уже успел забить лэй-ап в отрыве и вступить в конфликт с игроком @lokobasket 😯
4 minutes of @brandonjennings‘ play in the League: easy lay up and a clash with @lokobasket‘s player 😯 pic.twitter.com/MjTrqnrz9d
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) October 5, 2018
This is Jennings’ biggest highlight so far: Nearly, but not quite, provoking a fight with Dmitry Khvostov.
UNICS big men Maxim Sheleketo and Artem Klimenko played with extra motivation against former club Avtodor. The Russian frontcourt duo helped deliver a win, combining for 19 points and 11 rebounds.
97.5 – Khimki’s average points scored in wins over VEF and Enisey helped remind fans the NBA season is right around the corner.
+50 – CSKA combined to defeat Astana and Enisey by 50 points.