Loko in Moscow: a fine of 100 thousand and two defeats. CSKA is one step away from the VTB League final

Marat Araslanov

Marat Araslanov

CSKA beat Lokomotiv-Kuban

The series is moving to Krasnodar, where it could end as early as May 10.

Only one day passed between the first and second matches of the semifinal playoff series between CSKA and Lokomotiv, and the emotions from the first game had not yet had time to settle down. In the opening game, the guests lost all the way, but managed to win back a 15-point deficit and eventually led 4 points less than a minute before the end of the match. The victory slipped away from the hands – Casper Ware and Alexey Shved tried hard, scoring 7 points in 53 seconds.



53 seconds were not enough for the Loko sensation.  CSKA was losing
53 seconds were not enough for the Loko sensation. CSKA was losing “-4”, but Shved’s magic decided everything

The only big news before match #2 was about the railroad. Their leader Eric McCollum was fined 100,000 rubles by the VTB United League for disputes with arbitrators. It was because of them that he received two “techies” at the beginning of the second half and went to the locker room. All the more surprising was the comeback of the red-greens.

The day off gathered more fans in the stands. Teammates came to support the army team: PFC CSKA defenders Nevena Damyanovich and Tiyana Jankovic, and CSKA hockey forward Matvey Guskov gathered a real full house at his autograph session, where there was also the newly won Gagarin Cup.

Serious support, however, did not help the hosts in the first minutes. The captain of the guests Stanislav Ilnitsky scored in two attacks in a row, and after his long-range hit, Dimitris Itoudis was forced to take a timeout.

Immediately after a minute break, Aleksey Shved scored. The tribunes exhaled approvingly – the attack worked. The army team continued to build an attack through Nikola Milutinov, but, unlike the first match, both teams began to act much more strictly in defense.

The rights to the video belong to the VTB United League.

Unexpected for many, CSKA received an increase in the person of Alleric Freeman. The defender did not play a minute in the first game, but came out in the first ten minutes of the second match and immediately began to attack. Yes, without fail! 12 American points in the first half allowed the defending champions to break away in the long run.

Alleric Freeman became the X-factor for the army team in the second match

Alleric Freeman became the X-factor for the army team in the second match

Photo: PBC CSKA

Loko didn’t let go of the opponent. McCollum was zealous, as if trying to prove to himself and everyone around him that he was ready not only to retire, but also to bring real benefits. By the big break, he scored 13 points, and if you add to this 9 points from Stanislav Ilnitsky and 8 from Jonathan Motley, you can understand who was on fire with the guests – 30 points of the “big trio” out of 36 team points in two quarters.

After the break, the army team did exactly what was in the first match. Only without the removal of McCollum. Itoudis’s team sharply increased in dynamics, began to attack from behind the arc with a much more serious percentage. 4 minutes before the end of the third ten-minute period, the guests forgot Semyon Antonov in the corner, and he punished them with a three-pointer. The difference has grown to 14 points.

But if in the opening game the team of Branko Maksimovic managed to return due to long-range attacks and fast breaks, then in the second game the army team kept this in mind and responded to every hit.

At the right time, Aleksey Shved turned on again, holding the playoffs in the MVP mode. But if the exploits of the Shved are hardly capable of surprising, then 20 points in the match for Alleric Freeman (a personal sniper record in CSKA) is quite a small sensation.

Alexey Shved again led CSKA

Alexey Shved again led CSKA

Photo: VTB United League

Head coach Dimitris Itoudis will speak about those very “small” details in the big puzzle called “CSKA victory” at a press conference after the match.

“In the playoffs, small details turn into big ones. Today, Al played an important role for us after he missed the previous two games, brought us extra points, helped us with a good defense,” said Itoudis.

VTB United League. 1/2 finals

May 07, 2022, Saturday. 14:00 Moscow time

CSKA

Moscow, Russia

Lokomotiv-Kuban

Krasnodar, Russia

CSKA: Antonov, Yerebko, Clyburn, Kolesnikov, Kurbanov, Lopatin, Milutinov, Ukhov, Weir, Freeman, Khomenko, Swede

Lokomotiv-Kuban: barford, Vedishchev, Dolinin, Yemchenko, Ilnitsky, Kalinov, McColum, Martyuk, Motley, Paunich, Sychkov, Shcherbenev

CSKA brought the matter to the final victory, without pulling the nerve strings of the souls of their fans. The score in the series becomes 2-0 in favor of the current champion, and the series moves to Krasnodar. Both teams will have to make a serious journey through Stavropol. The next match will take place on May 10 in Krasnodar Basket Hall.

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