Avtodor was the leader for a day, Shved responds to critics in Krasnodar, UNICS and Zenit win on outclass

Avtodor was the leader for a day, Shved responds to critics in Krasnodar, UNICS and Zenit win on outclass

The main events of the United League in the first week of winter.

CSKA wins for the first time since October, Alexey Shved holds the best game of the season

Winter in the United League began loudly: in Krasnodar, Loko hosted CSKA. The best offense of the season against the best defense, the battle of the 4th and 6th teams, two-time NBA champion Quinn Cook debut – there were enough subheadings in this game.

Quinn Cook really made his debut for Loko in this game. The guard came to the floor from the bench and already in the opening quarter scored 1st points in his European career:

But it turned out that the defense wins not only titles, but also games: CSKA confirmed the status of the best defending team of the season, allowed Loko to score only 69 points and interrupted an unsuccessful 2 losses streak  – before the game in Krasnodar, the Army Team’s last win in the League took place on October 18!

One of the creators of the win was Alexey Shved. The guard started the game with 3 three-pointers in a row:

And as a result, he played his best game in the League after returning to CSKA. Shved scored 17 points with 5 out of 8 were 3-pointers, gott 7 assists and along with Nikolay Milutinov, finished the game with 22 eff. points.

Despite the win in Krasnodar, the Army team could not improve their place in standings and remained in 4th place. Loko also retained the 6th place.


The game in Krasnodar was Nikita Kurbanov’s 295th in his career in the United League. CSKA captain came out on top in number of games in the United League, ahead of his ex-teammate Vitaly Fridzon.

Avtodor remains the hottest team in the League

Avtodor never ceases to amaze this season. Emil Rajkovicj’s team suffered only 1 loss in the League, and that was 2 months ago against Lokomotiv Kuban. And the win over Nizhny became the 5h in a row for Avtodor.

However, Nizhny Novgorod, which arrived in Saratov without Mikhail Kulagin, Nikola Jovanovic and Evgeny Baburin, did not give up immediately. Nizhny Novgorod won the opening quarter with Sergey Toropov’s buzzer:

And during the 2nd quarter Nizhny Novgorod led by 7 points. But it didn’t work out to make a run – instead, Avtodor made its run and finished the 1st half with a 6-point lead. After a halftime, the hosts came up at 12 points and seemed to have removed all questions. But Nizhny staged a crazy chase at the end of the game, at some point almost equalized the score and seriously intended to win.

Kenny Chery was against it. The Canadian guard worked in defense, made a steal in the last seconds and impressively finished the game: 

However, Chery was not only good at the end: throughout the game, the point guard pulled Avtodor forward and eventually scored 22 points with 3 assists and 3 steals.

Avtodor rose to first place in the standings with this win. However, only for a day.

UNICS returns leadership in Minsk

The Kazan team clearly did not want to give the top line to Avtodor, and from the first minutes of the game in Minsk they began to confirm the status of the favorite of the game. UNICS started the game with Tsmoki with a 17-0 run, and Mario Hezonja secured it with a dunk after his steal:

A few minutes after that, O.J. Mayo scored his first points in the League – an NBA veteran who moved to Kazan in the fall, made his debut in the United League in Minsk. In 18 minutes on the court, Mayo scored 9 points and 3 rebounds.

During the game, UNICS was up ahead by 34 points, but by the final buzzer brought the Minsk team to +20. The Kazan team again topped the standings with 6 wins in 7 games.

Zenit continues a win-win streak in the rivalry history with Enisey

A month ago, Zenit already played with Enisey – in Krasnoyarsk, the St. Petersburg team celebrated a 23-point win.

What has changed compared to the November game? Enisey signed a contract with Vladislav Trushkin, Zenit ex-forward. Trushkin’s debut for his new team came just this Monday – however, he failed to score points. But Trushkin and other Enisey players managed to speak with the former teammate:

Enisey looked quite cheerful in the 1st half: played a double-digit gap and could even get ahead by the halftime.

Zenit, having overslept the segment in the 2nd quarter, regained the lead largelywith the actions of the captain: Mateusz Ponitka, before the halftime, could get the triple-double schedule – 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists – and worked out in defense until the end.

In the second half, Zenit showed all its might and Enisey, as the head coach of the Siberians Drazen Anzulovic said, lacked character. Interestingly, the St. Petersburg team won with a 23-point advantage – just like in November in Krasnoyarsk.

This win over Enisey was the 16th for Zenit in the rivalry history of the teams in the United League. The St. Petersburg team has never lost to Krasnoyarsk in the history of the League.

PARMA wins for the first time at home in the season 

PARMA started the season with the win in Minsk, but then 3 losses in a row, 2 were at home. On Monday, the Perm Krai team finally pleased their fans with a successful game at home – they turned out to be stronger than Zielona Gora.

And already in the 1st half the difference in the score reached 20 points. Zielona Gora could not break the hosts’ defense in any way, and PARMA was running further and further ahead.

As a result, the duo Mejeris-Jushkevicius scored 36 points and Zielona Gora got the 7th loss of the season. PARMA reached a neutral balance of wins and losses (3-3) and strengthened in the playoff zone in 7th place.

Kalev pushes Astana from the 8th place

In Tallinn, Kalev and Astana argued over who would finish the first week of December on the 8th place. The game in the 1st half was really equal: only with the difficult 3-point shot by Kristjan Kitsing, the Estonian team managed to go to the halftime with a slight advantage.

But if Kalev improved its offense in the 2nd half, then Astana continued to play not too effectively and trailed by 10 points by the end of the 3rd quarter and by 18 by the end. The Kazakh team head coach Darko Russo, explained this by the loss of form due to the games of the national teams.

Interesting fact: Kalev has made all 3 wins this season, conceding 70 or fewer points. On Sunday, Tallinn allowed Astana to score 67.

The DreamTeam of the Autumn

During the week, the League, together with the Start TV channel, conducted voting on the best players and coach of the first part of the season.

As a result, the top five turned out to be the following: Lorenzo Brown (UNICS) – Ivan Strebkov (Nizhny Novgorod) – Anton Astapkovich (Nizhny Novgorod) – Tornike Shengelia –CSKA) – Joel Bolomboy (CSKA). The fans named Emil Rajkovicj from Avtodor as the best head coach.

Team of the Week

Alexey Shved demonstrated his best basketball of the season and became the key player in the Game of the Week in Krasnodar.
Kenny Chery led Avtodor to the 5th win in a row.
Mateusz Ponitka proved to be a leader in the game with Enisey.
Jarrell Brantley turned out to be the most effective UNICS player in the game in Minsk.
Mareks Mejeris was the most effective player of the whole week and helped PARMA beat Zielona Gora.

Top-10 Plays of the Week


UNICS and Avtodor are the leaders, PARMA strengthens on the 7th place, Kalev knocks Astana out of the playoff zone.