CSKA Moscow wins third VTB League

CSKA MoscowCSKA Moscow swept the VTB United finals to win a third consecutive crown after an 82-66 victory over Nizhny Novgorod. While CSKA’s disappointing exit from the Euroleague has marred the end of the season for the club, asserting authority domestically has proved a remedy. The Moscow giant controlled the game as it has the series and will now look again to a push on the continent next season, although the club will be doing it with a new head coach.

As was widely expected, CSKA Moscow tactician Ettore Messina resigned his post at the end of the game and CSKA will now look for a new coach to helm the team next season. Nizhny’s problems in the series were not as prevalent in Game 3 despite the loss as the visitors finally found net from beyond the arc. It was not enough though and Novgorod paid for the first two games where they only held the lead once in two encounters.

CSKA Moscow vs. Nizhny Novgorod, 82-66
Andrey Vorontsevich opened for CSKA in fine fashion by dunking home for an early lead. It was an aggressive opening to the game as both sets of players hustled on court, but the hosts looked sharper in the first five minutes to lead 11-8. It was not going all CSKA’s way though as the team was sloppy handling the ball and give away five turnovers in the first frame. As for Nizhny, the team put its problems from the field through the series to bed early by connecting two from downtown courtesy of Dijon Thompson. Novgorod took the lead nearing the end of the quarter but CSKA responded to lead 23-22 after 10 minutes of play.

Nizhny showed more steel at the start of the second quarter as Pavel Korobkov brought some much needed aggression in the mix. Alongside Vladimir Ivlev, Korobkov helped the visitors into the game, trading the lead with Moscow multiple times during the start of the stanza. CSKA had their own go to guys in the forms of Milos Teodosic who was connecting from downtown and Sasha Kaun who was dominating at the post. A familiar story from the series played out as Nizhny run out of steam as Moscow hit a 10-2 run to secure a 44-37 lead at halftime.

The start of the third quarter saw the baskets dry up as both teams struggled to get points on the board. That suited the home team during the opening five minutes of the frame as they won the stretch 5-2 to open a 10 point lead. The scoring picked up as the fourth quarter approached, but CSKA extended through the minutes to hold a 59-48 advantage after 30 minutes.

CSKA seemed in total control in the early stages of Q4, even though the baskets were not flowing for either team. The defending champions picked up the pace and put together a streak with Viktor Khryapa nailing a triple, Kaun netting in the paint, and Teodosic slamming home. A 20 point lead had been open and CSKA Moscow eased to the victory at the end.

Teodosic was the star player for CSKA and rightfully collected the finals MVP. Once again the Serbian point guard looked imperious, damaging Nizhny with three point plays on his way to 16 points. To his points haul he also added 3 boards and 6 assists. Kaun was the top scorer for the winners with 20 points in a dominating game under the basket.

Dijon Thompson paced Nizhny in a good first half effort and scored 14 points during the game and also collected 9 rebounds.

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