«Khimki» – is the Champion of VTB United League!


The second season of VTB United League ended today in Kazan with the victory of the Russian club «Khimki».
Although UNICS didn’t get to the final the atmosphere in the «Basket-hall» in the decisive match was as festive as the day before. Especially as the Kazan club won the third place in the battle against «Azovmash» and also recently the wards of Eugene Pashutin won the European Cup in Treviso and the right to play in the Euroleague, therefore two handmade banners were hung by Kazan fans on the most prominent places in the «Basket-hall».
In the starting five of «Khimki» came three ex-Army club players - Planinic, Monya and Savrasenko. The Last one, as you might guess, came to play with Kaun, who caused a lot of problems for «Azovmash» defense in yesterday's semi-finals (especially in the beginning, when he scored 10 points). Rimas Kurtinaitis’s idea worked for one hundred percent: it was Savrasenko who started to score (although only at the 3rd minute), but in total these players scored 9 points in the first quarter. However, in «Khimki» not only former players of CSKA were great. For example, Fridzon (27 points in the semifinals) looked as if he didn’t leave the parquet after the game with UNICS, and all the previous day continued to train his sniper skills. Defenders of Russia, as well as Kelatis and Lopez played effectively (one more score by Fridzon the referees considered as a foul), and when Becirovic lost the ball, Fridzon shot two of three free throws led his team ahead - 17:6.

At the beginning of the second 10-minute Loncar led «Khimki» ahead- 25:11. Head coach of CSKA Jonas Kazlauskas let Smodis and Shved, then Vorontsevich to play- and the result of these actions, perhaps, surpassed the expectations of the Army coach. Now red-blue began to demonstrate the power of their long-range artillery. Siskauskas started and continued Smodis, Vorontsevich and Holden. And 2.10 minutes before the break CSKA was ahead - 27:25!
After that, Alex Swede led CSKA ahead - 38:37.

Four minutes before the end of the match CSKA Moscow began to accelerate: the score was equal - 52:52, but «Khimki» made four team fouls. It seemed that CSKA centers will play effective in a three-second zone but «Khimki» team has Kreshemir Loncar, who scored 6 points in a row - 56:53

The same difference in the score was until the last minute but Loncar again led «Khimki» ahead. 24 seconds before the end of the match the scoreboard showed 60:57!
During these seconds the teams have been playing in NBA style prolonging time by using tactical fouls and timeouts. Another important rebound in the offense won Monya. The army club did not have enough alternatives. They could only count on «Khimki» – if they failed free-throws. But that was too much.
Was it all over? Nothing of the kind! Just one second before the end Gordon made a three-point shot. 65:64 in favor of «Khimki» and CSKA made a tactical foul. However Hansen failed to score the second free throw and there wasn’t enough time to attack more. «Khimki» became a new Champion of VTB United League!

The holiday of big basketball ended in Kazan with the great awarding ceremony, with the announcement of best players of «Final Four». Journalists defined symbolic top 5 players of the tournament: the guard Jon Robert Holden (CSKA), shooting guard Alexey Shved (CSKA), forwards Kelly MacCarty (UNICS), Kresimir Loncar («Khimki») and center Demetrius Alexander («Azovmash»).
MVP (Most Valuable Player) of «Final Four» became the guard of «Khimki» Vitaliy Fridzon. He got the korean SsangYong Rexton off-road car, granted by the official sponsor of the League –the «SOLLERS» company.