Week Twenty Recap

CSKA's win in Khimki, double OT in Krasnoyarsk, Oktyabr's huge comeback and much more as we recap Week Twenty.

Khimki and CSKA put on another show on Monday night. The league's top rivalry got off to a thrilling start, with the two teams combining for 58 points in a run-and-gun 1st quarter. Khimki led at the end of 10 minutes, but as the tempo slowed, the Army Men began to assert control. Moscow Region was also affected by a poor shooting night from the perimeter. Despite trailing by as much as 17, Khimki cut the deficit to eight late, but couldn't knock down a '3' to bring the game within reach. CSKA ultimately came out on top, 96-85, the club's 16th consecutive victory! Khimki, of course, holds the all-time record with 18 consecutive wins, set during the 2013-14 season.

Enisey and Nymburk met in Krasnoyarsk: the league's easternmost and westernmost clubs, respectively. After making the long journey to Siberia, Nymburk needed two extra periods to extract a win, only the league's sixth double-overtime game. After putting together a late comeback in regulation, the Czechs were able to close out a victory, boosted by a big '3' from Jiri Welsch (92-88).

Lokomotiv-Kuban dropped to 7th place in December thanks to a 5-5 record and the club promised to reverse its poor performances in the league. On Sunday night, Lokomotiv picked up a 7th consecutive win, moving within half a game of Zenit for 4th place. The Railwaymen's victory came at Avtodor's expense...

Unlike Krasnodar, Saratov was in a slump entering the game. Several consecutive losses in the league and Eurocup led to Vladimir Antsiferov taking over for Alexey Vasilyev, the second change this season at head coach.

Avtodor played well in Krasnodar, but the Railwaymen eventually pulled away in the 4th quarter to secure a 91-77 victory. With the win, Lokomotiv opens up a one-and-a-half game lead on its opponent and continues the chase for the top-4.

Fan of the Week



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Promo of the Week
Prior to the game vs. Vita, Nizhny Novgorod announced a Root for 100! promotion, guaranteeing a gift for every fan in attendance if the team scored more than 100 points.

Vita battled in the first half, trailing by only eight points at halftime. But Nizhny wore the visitors down after the break, cruising to a 32-point win. Unfortunately for the fans, Nizhny failed to score more than 100, finishing three points shy with 97 (97-65).

Ainars Bagatskis's club improves to 10-8, three games up on 9th-place Krasny Oktyabr. Vita drops to 0-19 with the defeat.

Bisons and Kalev are unlikely to make the postseason, but there was a lot of pride at stake in this northern derby. Kalev won the first meeting between the two clubs and Bisons took revenge at home.

It wasn't easy. The Finns watched a 12-point halftime lead evaporate in the 3rd quarter and trailed by four with 10 minutes to play before a strong 4th quarter gave Greg Gibson's men the win and helped the team improve to 7-13 (98-86).

Evgeny Pashutin noted after the game that his team took Astana very seriously. It was easy to see on the court. Despite missing Keith Langford, UNICS played quick, efficient basketball and stormed to a 31-15 lead in the opening period. The Kazakh champs never threatened the rest of the way, allowing Kazan to enjoy a 100-73 win, the club's 11th consecutive victory.

Big Shot
Krasny Oktyabr president Dmitry Gerasimenko appeared in his second game of the season in Riga. He finished with two points, scoring on a drive to the basket. But the biggest shot of the night belonged to Vasily Zavoruev, who knocked down a '3' with six seconds remaining to give Krasny Oktyabr the win!

Play of the Week

Stat of the Week
25 - Krasny Oktyabr's largest deficit in the road game vs. VEF.

You can't fault Volgograd for lacking resiliency or toughness. A month ago, the club overcame a 19-point deficit in Krasnoyarsk. On Sunday, Oktyabr trailed by 25 points in the 3rd quarter to VEF, but found a way back into the game and ultimately secured the victory. The visitors outscored Riga 32-14 in the final period, picking up a 94-92 win.

MVP of the Week
Viktor Khryapa has built a reputation for MVP awards over the course of his career. After returning recently from injury, the CSKA captain put on a terrific all-around performance vs. Khimki, finishing with nine points, six rebounds, five assists and a 21 efficiency rating. 

CSKA forward Nikita Kurbanov:
- Our coach told us we had to be extremely focused and aggressive, maybe even a little dirty. Our entire team needed to slow down Shved. He can get hot quick, so it's important to keep him from getting in a rhythm. In games like this, you can't single out any one player. The only reason we won was because we played as a team.

Photo of the Week