The biggest stories from the past seven days in the League.
Kuric and Karasev become first teammates to each score 30+ points in a game
Enisey is always dangerous at home, which Zenit learned the hard way over the first three quarters. But Kyle Kuric and Sergey Karasev ensured the visitors left with a win. If the VTB United League had an MVP of the Week award, these two snipers would have shared it. Kuric (34) and Karasev (32) made League history in Krasnoyarsk, becoming the first teammates to each score more than 30 points in a game.
Kuric and Karasev combined for 66 of Zenit’s 104 points, helping the visitors take care of business with a 20-point win.
Miller-McIntyre’s second triple-double and Clarke’s record game in Perm
PARMA and Avtodor played the most exciting game of the week, wowing a big crowd in Perm with outstanding individual performances and overtime drama.
Codi Miller-McIntyre became the first player in League history to record two triple-doubles, collecting 16 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists vs. Avtodor.
Unbelievably, Saratov’s Coty Clarke may have had an even more impressive performance, dropping career highs in points (36) and rebounds (17)!
Loko hangs on to 3rd place
Lokomotiv and Zenit are battling for 3rd place in hopes of avoiding a potential semifinal match-up with CSKA. On Thursday both teams played back-to-back. Zenit struck first, taking down Enisey in Krasnoyarsk. Thousands of miles away, Lokomotiv gave up 13 triples to VEF, and led by only two points on the final possession, but Alex Perez was unable to force overtime.
Когда ты отыграл 9 очков за минуту, но после тайм-аута не смог перевести матч в овертайм 😢 pic.twitter.com/G02bSa9m27
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) 26 апреля 2018 г.
Loko and Zenit have identical records (15-6), but Krasnodar enjoys the tiebreaker thanks to a superior head-to-head record. The Red-Greens play Enisey, Khimki and Nizhny Novgorod to close out the season, while Zenit has games remaining vs. CSKA, UNICS and Tsmoki-Minsk.
Enisey escapes last place
Enisey was one of the League’s biggest surprises last season, but 2017-18 has been a tougher road. There is still a glimmer of hope remaining, however… Thanks to a win over Astana, Krasnoyarsk (6-16) climbed out of last place at Kalev’s expense. Depending on how the next two weeks shake out, Enisey could qualify for the postseason or finish in last place. Krasnoyarsk closes out its campaign with two tough opponents, facing Lokomotiv-Kuban and Khimki.
Playoff battle continues to heat up: VEF bumps Astana from the Top-8
For months, the race for the final two playoff spots has been impossible to predict. Now with only two weeks remaining, teams are scrambling to make sure the season doesn’t end prematurely.
Nizhny Novgorod and PARMA gave UNICS and Avtodor everything they could handle. Both games went to overtime, but both times the underdogs came up empty. The showdown in Perm provided one of the best finishes of the season as Micah Downs won the game for Avtodor at the buzzer.
The week concluded with a match-up between two teams tied for 8th place. Riga played an excellent game and won handily, returning to 8th place courtesy of an 8-15 record. Astana falls to 11th place at 7-16. But VEF head coach Janis Gailitis was livid over the final possession of the game. With his team leading 89-75, Ken Brown turned the ball over on the perimeter, allowing Astana to cut the deficit to 12 at the buzzer. Thanks to an earlier 67-53 win in Kazakhstan, Astana now has the tiebreaker if these teams finish with identical records.
VEF takes on another playoff hopeful, Tsmoki-Minsk, in the season finale. Astana hosts Avtodor.
Таблица после 26-й игровой недели 🤔
Standings after Week 26 🤔 pic.twitter.com/Y2T13ZNAmd
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) 1 мая 2018 г.