Week Nineteen Recap

Delaney's buzzer-beater, Kazan's narrow escape in Nymburk, a milestone victory for Rimas Kurtinaitis and more in VTB-League.com's Week Nineteen recap.

Amazingly, road teams went 6-0 in Week Nineteen.

Game of the Week
In eight games this season against top-8 opponents, Nymburk has only won twice and suffered several blowout defeats. Against UNICS, however, Ronen Ginzburg's men proved that they could compete with an upper-tier team. Kazan ultimately extended its winning streak to 10, but not before surviving a scare from Nymburk. The outcome was decided in the final seconds. Vojtech Hruban had a chance to win it for the home team, but his shot was off the mark, giving UNICS the 75-74 win.

Astana - Lokomotiv-Kuban also went down to the wire. Despite its underdog status, Astana overcame an early deficit and forced a dramatic finish on Monday night. With the game tied at 89-89, Lokomotiv's Malcolm Delaney drove the lane on the final possession and sank a stepback jumper to give the visitors a hard-fought win (91-89).

Monday's game in Tbilisi held extra significance for Khimki coach Rimas Kurtinaitis. The Lithuanian coach entered the contest with 99 VTB United League wins and emerged with win #100 as his club easily handled Vita on the road, 108-52. Kurtinaitis is the first coach to 100 victories in the VTB United League.

Janis Timma and Kaspars Berzins previously starred for VEF before signing with Zenit St. Petersburg. On Sunday, the Russian club visited Riga and both Timma and Berzins played a role in the victory. Berzins hit several 3-pointers early to put the visitors on top, while Pavel Antipov's 14-point 3rd quarter helped St. Petersburg stave off a VEF comeback. Berzins and Timma ultimately combined for 27 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, leading Zenit to a 95-76 victory. VEF remains with only one win at home, while Zenit keeps the pressure on the top-3.

Needing a win to stay in the playoff race, Bisons got off to a great start vs. Nizhny Novgorod. The Finns even led by 12 at halftime. But a disastrous 3rd quarter allowed Nizhny to take a four-point advantage and close out a 79-73 victory. Bisons drop to 6-13 with the defeat, while Nizhny moves back above .500, 9-8.

Stat of the Week
73 - CSKA's two-point field-goal percentage vs. Krasny Oktyabr.

Jerry Jefferson has been an excellent addition for Krasny Oktyabr, earning a nomination for the January MVP award. Unfortunately, he was not available for the game vs. CSKA. The Army Men took advantage, exploiting Volgograd's lack of depth in the frontcout and quickly getting Oktyabr big man Ekene Ibekwe in foul trouble.

CSKA finished the game 32-44 from inside the arc, forcing Oktyabr coach Kirill Bolshakov to admit: "CSKA completely dominated under the basket." The Army Men have now won 15 straight (108-74).

MVP of the Week
Quino Colom (UNICS). Playing without Keith Langford, UNICS needed someone to step up vs. Nymburk. Colom answered the call, turning in a terrific all-around performance: 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a 20 efficiency rating. 

Nymburk head coach Ronen Ginzburg:
- We had a chance to win. We battled for three quarters. During the 3rd quarter, we lost our concentration a little, but then we started fighting with redoubled energy. We executed okay on our final possession. Yes, Vojtech Hruban had a tough shot, but if we'd gotten a little lucky, he could have hit the target. It's basketball.

Play of the Week

Photo of the Week