A week after a painful narrow loss to Greek Olympiacos in basketball's Euroleague final CSKA have bounced back to claim their tenth Russian crown in a row. The Army Men beat Khimki 90-75 to wrap up their best-of-five series 3-0.
As happened twice before in the series, CSKA were always in control of the game and were 14 points up in the first. That was cut by Khimki to five in the closing quarter, but CSKA put on another surge in the final minutes to run out winners.
With their iconic front-man Andrey Kirilenko sidelined with an injury, there was a whole bunch of other stars in the Army Men’s squad to make sure his absence would not cost dearly. The likes of Aleksey Shved, Viktor Khryapa, Nenad Krstic, Milos Teodosic and Jamon Gordon finished the game with double digits on their account.
The pains of Vitaly Fridzon (20 points) and Kresimir Loncar (17) were far not enough for the reigning Eurocup holders to bite into the series.
So CSKA claimed an incredible 19th title in 21 seasons and sugared the end of a season in which, Kirilenko believes, the team had its strongest squad in the recent years.
“This year the squad was exceptional. There were at least three players in each position who could become leaders in every Russian team,” he noted after the final game.
Asked about his future plans AK-47 said there are two options for him – staying in the Russian team or to moving back to the NBA, with each of the possibilities regarded as 50-50.
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