CSKA: Mike James (22), Darrun Hillard (17), Joel Bolomboy (16).
Tsmoki-Minsk: Dominez Burnett (18), Branko Mirkovic (16), Vladimir Veremeenko (9 + 7 rebounds).
This is the first season in history when CSKA starts with 1-2 in first three games. In their first match Tsmoki lost as well, so they were motivated today. Starting 5 minutes gave a nice shootout – 17:16 for Tsmoki – and set the rhythm for the first half. The red-blues allowed 30 points in the first quarter (26:30) and tightened the defense only in the second with strong performance of Daniel Hackett. The Italian forced Domiez Burnett to commit 8-second violation, then hit a three, rebound and two assists. But the dragons had their game and didn’t stop. Branko Mirkovic’s band got 8 of 11 three-pointers, the guests dominated the paint: 18-10 rebounds, and 14:2 second chance points. 2 minutes before the halftime break CSKA were trailing 48:50, but then Mike James appeared with 10 points securing CSKA lead at halftime 58:52.
CSKA started the third quarter like there was no break. 6 3-pointers in 5 minutes! James made two, but the hero was Darrun Hillard with three buckets. Moscow energized the offense, closed the perimeter and did not allow many points – 78:63. Having won the third quarter with double digit differential (32:16) CSKA secured +22 before the decisive quarter and won hitting the first 100 in season.
The most effective player of our team was Dominez Barnett – 18 points and 4 assists. Branco had 16 points. Vladimir Veremeenko made 7 rebounds.
Next Saturday Minsk will travel to Nizhniy Novgorod, where they will meet arch-rivals in the fight for the playoffs.
Tsmoki-Minsk - CSKA– 81:114 (30-26, 22-32, 16-32, 13-24)