CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg took the upper hand in their respective VTB League playoff series (1-0).
CSKA Moscow was unstoppable and decimated Nizhny Novgorod at home (87-50) on Saturday (04/05).
The Muscovites won Game 1 of the best-of-five quarterfinals series in the VTB League, making the first step to the Final Four.
The hosts went on a 17-2 run in the beginning of the game and never looked back. CSKA led from start to finish and cruised to an easy victory.
Will Clyburn led the winners with a game-high 15 points. CSKA played without Nando De Colo and Kyle Hines.
Game 2 will take place on Monday (06/05). Then, the VTB playoff series will move to the home court of Nizhny Novgorod for Game 3 (09/05).
Zenit St Petersburg stepped up in the fourth quarter and stunned Lokomotiv Kuban in Krasnodar (69-78). As a result, Zenit “stole” the home-court advantage in the VTB League playoffs (0-1).
It was a close game for three quarters, with the visitors having a three-point lead after 30 minutes in the game (55-58).
The hosts attempted to turn things around in the fourth quarter. Yet, Zenit stood tall and outscored Lokomotiv 14-20 to seal the deal.
Evgeny Voronov and Anton Pushkov led the winners with 12 and 11 points, respectively. On the other hand, Dmitry Kulagin posted 18 points and eight rebounds for the losing squad.
Game 2 will be played in Krasnodar on Monday (06/05).
In the other two VTB quarterfinals series. Khimki will host Astana in Game 1 on Sunday (05/05). Game 2 will take place at Khimki’s home court, two days later (07/05).
Concurrently, UNICS Kazan dominated Kaleb at home and took the lead in the series (1-0).
Game 2 of the VTB League playoffs will be played in Kazan on Sunday (05/05).
CSKA Moscow also qualified for the EuroLeague final four. But there, they already have a guaranteed place in the EuroLeague for next season, as they have signed a 10-year contract with the competition.
At the same time, the winner of the VTB League (or the finalist, if CSKA wins the title) will qualify for next season’s EuroLeague.