CSKA Began Euroleague With The Win Again

Victory!!! (photo G.Philippov)
Full stands in USH CSKA Euroleague came to Moscow. CSKA fans had to choose where to go: CSKA - Montepaschi game or the game of the 1/16 of the final of Russian football cup. 5000 fans prefer basketball game. Thank it the atmosphere in the hall was very good.

CSKA vs Montepaschi: 84-71

CSKA won its Euroleague opening game in powerful Group B by beating Montepaschi Siena, 84-71, to the delight of a soldout crowd in Moscow. With a 64-64 tie on the board early in the final quarter, first Marcus Brown and then Victor Khryapa pushed CSKA to victory with 8 points each over the final 5 furious minutes. Brown topped the winners with 19 points. Sergei Monia played a decisive role for CSKA with 17 points in just 17 minutes coming off the bench. Khryapa had 14 on 4-for-5 three-pointers while J.R. Holden hit 12. CSKAs Mirsad Turkcan also grabbed 13 rebounds against his former team. David Andersen had a solid game for Montepaschi, scoring 17 points on 6-for-7 field goals and 5-for-6 free throws. Vrbica Stefanov had 11 while Giacomo Galanda chipped in 10 points.

In a back-and-forth first quarter, Montepaschi recovered from a 12-0 CSKA run and stayed in the game. A three-pointer by Galanda gave the guests their first lead, 2-5, but a put-back by Tarlac and five consecutive points by Brown put CSKA ahead, 9-5. Montepaschi took the lead again after another triple by Galanda, 9-10, but CSKA responded with a 12-0 run, in which Holden scored 5 points and had three steals, to surge ahead by 11 points, 21-10. Montepaschi halted CSKA with a three-pointer by Dusan Vukcevic followed by back-to-back baskets from Roberto Chiacig and Galanda, cutting their deficit at the end of the first quarter to 21-17.

CSKA changed its lineup in the second quarter, as Alexey Savrasenko and Sergey Panov took places of Turkcan and Dragan Tarlac, and a bit later Brown was replaced by Anton Yudin. Montepaschi took advantage of CSKAs vulnerability without its stars on the floor. Dave Vanterpool forced Holden into 3 consecutive misses and with a reverse layup by Vukcevic, Montepaschi grabbed the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter, 26-27. Several lead changed followed, with Savrasenko powering CSKA on the boards. Monya entered the game and gave CSKA a big boost, scoring 8 points in the final 4 minutes of the quarter. Monia won a shootout with Vanterpool, helping CSKA go on a 6-0 run in the final minute. The second quarter ended in CSKAs favor as Savrasenko drilled a jump shot from two meters, giving the hosts a six-point lead at halftime, 41-35.

Montepaschis Bootsy Thornton opened the third quarter with a jumper, which Brown answered to make it 43-37. But Montepaschi started running the break then and Andersen started dominating the boards. The Australian center scored 7 points in 12-2 run that put Montepaschi ahead 45-51. CSKA coach Dusan Ivkovic called a timeout, and since then CSKA focused on Andersen, double-teaming him in the low post. Meanwhile Monya put on a show, following an alley-oop dunk with yet another slam to power a 6-0 CSKA run and tie the game at 51-all. Two layups by Stefanov and a three-point play by Andersen took Montepaschi ahead again 54-57. Holden scored a three-pointer, his first field goal since the opening quarter, and then Monya followed him with another shot from downtown for a 60-60 tie at the end of the third period.

Nervousness was apparent as both teams went scoreless in the first 3 minutes of the final period. Alexander Bashminov hit a free throw, answered with a put-back by Stefanov to make it 61-62 Montepaschi. Then Khryapa took over, showing why he is one of the best young forwards in Europe. He hit a three-pointer to give CSKA a 64-62 lead. Brown then scored 5 consecutive points, but Michalis Kakiouzis made a three-pointer to bring Montepaschi within two, 69-67. Brown answered with another bomb from downtown, but then Khryapa stole the show with back-to-back triples to give CSKA a nine-point lead, 78-69. Montepaschi never recoverd as Holden sealed the win with a six-meter jumper. CSKA had overcome all the expectation and pressure to win at home with a blast to finish the game.

Rocky (photo G.Philippov)
photo G.Philippov
Khrypa vs Andersen (photo G.Philippov)
Dusan Ivkovic & Victor Alexander (photo G.Philippov)
Monya vs Ciachig (photo G.Philippov)
Marcus Brown (photo G.Philippov)
Naggets mascot Rocky (photo G.Philippov)
J.R.Holden (photo G.Philippov)
Sergey Panov (photo G.Philippov)
Rocky (photo G.Philippov)
Alexey Savrasenko (photo G.Philippov)
Theodoros Papaloukas (photo G.Philippov)
Marcus Brown (photo G.Philippov)
Victor Khryapa (photo G.Philippov)
photo G.Philippov