Tsmoki Minsk win first match of new season in VTB United League
7:33, — Sport
The basketball club Tsmoki Minsk have celebrated a victory in the first match of the new season of the VTB United League.
In the Group B match of the VTB United League regular season Tsmoki Minsk overpowered VEF Riga away 89:83 (26:24, 13:26, 27:13, 23:20). Tsmoki Minsk’s Belarusian Alexei Trostinetsky and American Vincent Hunter were top-scorers of the match and earned 17 points each. In the first quarter the Minsk club were in control of the game but appeared to be 13 points down after the end of the second quarter. However, the Belarusian club managed to mount an impressive turnaround and led 66:63 ten minutes before the break. In the end of the match VEF Riga attempted to reduce the deficit but Tsmoki Minsk did not let the opponents level the score.
Tsmoki Minsk, coached by Lithuanian Donaldas Kairys, will host Krasny Oktyabr from Russia’s Volgograd in the next tour. The Volgograd club substituted Lithuania’s Zalgiris from Kaunas which declined to take part in the VTB United League. Other teams playing in Group B are Russia’s Khimki, Krasnye Krylia (Samara), CSKA (Moscow), Triumph (Lyubertsy), Kazakhstan’s Astana, Lithuania’s Neptunas (Klaipeda) and Ukraine’s Azovmash (Maruipol).
Group A features Russia’s clubs Lokomotiv-Kuban, Spartak, Enisey, UNICS (Kazan) and Nizhny Novgorod along with Estonia’s Kalev, Lithuania’s Lietuvos Rytas, Poland’s PGE Turow, Ukraine’s Donetsk and Czechia’s Nymburk.
After the two-round regular season 12 clubs will enter the playoff. Top teams in the two groups will enter the quarterfinal while the teams in the 3rd-6th places will play in the last 16 round. The regular season will finish in March 2014 while the playoff will be held in May and June.
Tsmoki Minsk have never entered the playoff of the VTB United League. Apart from taking part in the national basketball championship and the Belarusian Cup in the new season, the Minsk club will compete in the 2013 EuroChallenge. In Group H they will play against Hungary’s Szolnoki Olaj KK, Romania’s BC Mures and Bulgaria’s Rilski Sportist Samokov. The tournament begins on 5 November and concludes on 17 December.