The VTB League playoffs were officially decided on Saturday (27/04).
Zenit St Petersburg defeated Astana at home (103-95) and clinched the fifth spot in the standings. On the other hand, Astana dropped to sixth place.
As a result, CSKA Moscow and UNICS Kazan will face Nizhny Novgorod and Kalev, respectively. At the same time, Khimki will battle Astana and Lokomotiv Kuban will clash with Zenit St Petersburg.
That said, the four match-ups are as follows:
1. CSKA Moscow – 8. Nizhny Novgorod
2. UNICS Kazan – 7. Kalev
3. Khimki – 6. Astana
4. Lokomotiv Kuban – 5. Zenit St Petersburg
The series will be played in a best-of-five format (2-2-1). The four teams that will win their series will advance to the Final Four, where the champion will be decided.
Apart from CSKA Moscow, the other seven teams will fight for the ticket to the 2019/20 EuroLeague. The winner of the VTB League will automatically clinch a spot in the top-tier European competition.
CSKA Moscow has signed a 10-year contract with the EuroLeague and its participation is guaranteed.
In case the Muscovites win the title, then the other finalist will seal its place in the EuroLeague.
That said, UNICS, Lokomotiv and Khimki are the favourites to join CSKA in the Final Four.
Based on what we saw this season, the pair of the Finals will compete in the EuroLeague. At the same time, the two teams that will lose in the Final Four will compete in the EuroCup.
The official announcement by the VTB League regarding the start of the playoffs is expected soon.