CSKA regains the VTB League title!

CSKA regains the VTB League title!

CSKA defeated UNICS in the Finals Game 5 on the road and won the VTB League 2023/24 season – 66:55 (16:19, 18:19, 20:8, 12:9).

Game progress
The game started without a clear advantage for either team. Dmitriy Kulagin 2 straight long-reange shots allowed the Kazan team to take the initiative, but Tonye Jekiri quickly helped to catch up. Anton Astapkovich put CSKA ahead early in the second quarter, after which the game had a lot lead changes. Still, the hosts had the lead by the halftime after Erick Green  3 free throws – 38:34.

The Moscow team coaching staff managed to change defense. The guests put turned on pressing, cutting off UNICS’ space and almost deprived Nenad Dimitrijevic of the opportunity to control the game. A 15:0 run led to a double-digit lead  before last quarter – 51:40.

Key moment
At the start of the fourth quarter, Louis Labeyrie and Dimitrijevic managed to cut the hosts deficit to 4 points. However, the Kazan team was running out of energy, as CSKA ultra-tight and contact defense had clearly get them down. The absence of UNICS’ best defensive bigman Ismael Bako also felt – Livio Jean-Charles and Tonye Jekiri dominated the paint and brought the guests lead back up to 10 points.

UNICS couldn’t get c;oser. CSKA is the 2023/24 season champion!

The Game 5 was a clear confirmation of “defense wins titles”. The third quarter became desicive, when UNICS couldn’t score for 6 minutes. CSKA allowed 55 points and this becomes the best defensive result in this Playoff Series.

The Msocow team regain the title for the first time since 2021 – Zenit (2022) and UNICS (2023) became United League champions during that time.

CSKA is the United League champion for the 11th time.

For the second season in a row, the last game of the final was in Kazan Basket Hall.

UNICS: Jalen Reynolds (18 + 8 rebounds), Marcos Knight (8 + 5 rebounds + 5 assists), Louis Labeyrie (4 + 5 rebounds), Andrey Vorontsevich (2 + 5 rebounds).
CSKA: Anton Astapkovich (12 + 5 rebounds), Tonye Jekiri (11 + 9 rebounds), Melo Trimble (10 + 5 rebounds), Livio Jean-Charles (9 + 5 rebounds), Casper Ware (6 + 7 assists).