Main events of week 2 in United League.
Loko couldn’t handle CSKA defense
The Game of the week took place in Moscow – CSKA were hosting Krasnodar. At the beginning of the game Moscow were struggling offensively while Loko with the help of Alan Williams and Jordan Crawford made a 9-0 run and were 8 points ahead after the first quarter.
At that point CSKA slump was over. Dimitris Itoudis team scored 13 unanswered points and took the lead immediately, Nikita Kurbanov initiated that run:
In the second half CKSA completely stopped Kuban offense and took confident victory only 6 points behind their first hundred. Loko’s offense problems were admitted by head coach Evgeny Pashutin: “In the third the opponent made us play one-on-one without screens, we played spontaneously”.
The defense was the key to CSKA victory and Joel Bolomboy’s game proves it: the center made 6 blocks setting his personal record and United League team record.
But if Bolompboy became one of the defensive CSKA keys then Mike James and Will Clyburn were unstoppable on the other side of the court scoring 40 points and 8 assists combined:
🔥 Mike James and Will Clyburn combine for 40 PTS and lead CSKA to the victory over Loko!
— VTB League (@VTBUL) October 5, 2020
Zenit has the best start in last four seasons
Zenit got through injuries – only Dmitriy Khvostov is still injured and expected to recover any day now. But even without him Xavi Pascual team confidently overplayed Tsmoki at home setting season team scoring record – 104.
Zenit offense was ruled by Kevin Pangos: the Canadian point guard gave out 8 assists including spectacular alley-oop to Austin Hollins.
Zenit have taken 4 consecutive wins already showing the best start of the season in last four years. Throughout the history of United League the team started the season with 4 wins only twice in 2015 and 2016. Can Zenit set the new record that is 7 victories in a row?
Tsmoki won in Krasnoyarsk for the first time since 2015
Saint Petersburg game became the second for Minsk in the season, 3 days before Tsmoki beat Enisey on the road. Krasnoyarsk had big roster problems that night because of COVID-19 positive tests of Mikhail Kulagin, Timofey Yakushin and Aleksandr Gudumak, and Leyton Hammonds hasn’t yet recovered from injury.
However, even without 4 players Enisey took a stand and were step away from the first victory of the season. Krasnoyarsk came back from -14 twice and lost in the very ending. Tsmoki’s victory was brought by young leader Maksim Salash, he set his career-high with 26 points and 11 of 12 from the field.
Kris Clyburn debuted in the League, CKSA’s guard younger brother got through Enisey defense and made one of the brightest highlights of the week:
UNICS scores first hundred of the season
UNICS changed their roster significantly this summer, and it was interesting to see what they are capable of. Dimitrios Priftis team debuted well: UNICS managed to beat Astana and please their local fans.
UNICS are the first team of the season to reach 100 points in a game. The main heroes were Isaiah Canaan and John Holland. The first one scored 23 points and 3 assists, the second one – 19 points and 7 rebounds.
— VTB League (@VTBUL) October 4, 2020
Astana head coach Emil Rikovikj was satisfied with the result they lost though. On the post game press-conference the specialist explained that his team is suffering from roster problems and two internationals that were signed in September still can’t arrive to Nur-Sultan because of pandemic restricts.
Jerebko and Vialtsev get the second win for Khimki
Khimki’s roster situation had become a challenge before this game. The list of injured guards was widened by Jordan Mickey, Evgeny Voronov and Janis Timma who tested positive for COVID-19.
Fortunately for Khimki fans, Egor Vialtsev recovered just in time, and his duo with Jonas Jerebko helped Khimki outclass Kalev. Russian guard scored 21 points while the Swede hit double-double and a career high of 30 points and 10 rebounds!
— VTB League (@VTBUL) October 5, 2020
PARMA offense continues to surprise
Perm team holds second place after 2 weeks of the season, only Zenit is ahead. On Sunday PARMA spoiled Gordie Herbert debut as Avtodor head coach winning in Saratov. +23 is PARMA’s biggest win record repeat in the history of the United League.
Kazys Maksvytis crew managed to score 93 against Avtodor even without Maxim Grygoriev. Now PARMA has the best offense in the League among teams that played more than 1 game – 95 points on average.
Avtodor head coach Gordie Herbert wasn’t satisfied with his team’s game. The Canadian specialist emphasised that Saratov team have much work in defense to do.
“I am grateful to VTB United League for making my dream come true.”
On February 16 in Moscow VTB United League All-Star Game was held. During it the League and ANASTASIA foundation held a charity event together for the third time. They managed to collect almost a million of rubles – 983 thousand. These funds were spent on bionic prosthesis for 17 years old Natasha Timofeeva who was born without left wrist with aplasia diagnosis.
Recently, Natasha’s prosthesis was put in. With bionic prosthesis her life began changing for the better: she is now able to grab stuff in any position, show different gestures.
Natasha has recorded a video message where she thanks the League for helping in collecting funds:
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16 февраля на Матче Звезд в Москве Лига и Детский Фонд «АНАСТАСИЯ» провели совместную благотворительную акцию, по итогам которой удалось собрать почти миллион рублей — 983 тысячи. Эти средства пошли на покупку бионического протеза для 17-летней Наташи Тимофеевой, которая родилась без левой кисти с диагнозом «врожденная аплазия». Недавно Наташе установили протез. С установкой бионики жизнь девушки начала меняться в лучшую сторону: у нее появилась возможность брать предметы в руку в любом положении, воспроизводить различные жесты. Ее мама говорит, что Наташа планирует развивать карьеру в модельном мире, а сама девушка благодарна Лиге, @anastasiafond и всем участникам благотворительной акции 🙏
Team of the week
📊 Турнирная таблица по итогам 2-й недели сезона
📊 Standings after Week #2 pic.twitter.com/XTfyqWJAvN
— VTB League (@VTBUL) October 6, 2020