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Victories over the Russian national team and the Euroleague club, new coach. How did the VTB league spend the break?

Date: April 20, 2024 Time: 06:04:14

A break that lasted more than two weeks comes to an end in the VTB United League. It was associated with the All-Star Game, as well as with international matches of national teams, to which many players were called up. “Championship” prepared material about what happened in the league’s clubs during this period.

friendly matches

Nikita Zverev (left) and Ilya Popov (right)

Photo: russiabasket.ru

One of the main events of the break was the long-awaited meeting of the Russian national team. Zoran Lukic called up 20 basketball players to the expanded squad and the end of the work of the country’s main team was a friendly match against Samara. After three quarters, the Russian team led by 12 points, but in the last ten minutes the Samara team managed to tie the score and send the match to overtime. In the extra five minutes, Samara was able to maintain their momentum and lead the match to victory.

After the match, Zoran Lukic stated that the goal of the match was to give opportunities to all the players. According to him, the team continues to quietly prepare for the future, giving everyone the opportunity to prove themselves on the court. Samara coach Drazen Anzulovich, for his part, stated that the Russian team has great potential and needs more games like this. He expressed hope that the Russian team will show its strength and compete for medals at the European and world level.

VTB United League leader CSKA also played two friendly matches. In addition, the rivals were chosen to face themselves: the Turkish Besiktas and Efes, which plays in the Euroleague. First of all, the military team safely defeated Besiktas thanks to the efforts of Amat M’Bay and Livio Jean-Charles. A day later, the capital club left Ephesus no chance thanks to 15 points from Jean-Charles himself.

The vice president of the military club, Natalia Furaeva, stated that these matches show the progress of CSKA’s collective game.

“The main objective was to maintain the pace of the game. But since we already played a lot with Russian teams, it was interesting to understand our level on the international stage. The Turkish teams were not at full strength due to the absence of national team players, but we also played without our main playmaker Casper Ware, as well as another point guard we were targeting.

In the end, the trip was a success, with the players getting a change of scenery and some sun, and showing off their progress as a game team. There is a redistribution of roles based on current conditions. Nikita Kurbanov gets involved in the game, young people take on a more important role and leaders are identified. And victories are always pleasant and give optimism and motivation,” Furaeva told Match TV.

In addition, Zenit also played a friendly match. Javier Pascual’s team defeated Avtodor Saratov in Saint Petersburg. “Enisey” played two unofficial games. In the first he beat Khimki and in the second Jovica Arsic’s team lost to Runa.

Personal changes

Fotis Takianos

Photo: paokbc.gr

The hiatus was not without personnel changes, including some major ones. One of the main news events took place in Kazakhstan. On February 20, it became known that Oleg Kiselev unexpectedly left the position of head coach of Astana. With him, the team won more victories in the first part of the season than in the entire previous one, but this did not save the specialist. He was replaced by the Greek Fotis Takianos, whose last club was PAOK. Despite a 20-year coaching career, not much is known about him because he practically never worked with big clubs.

In 2004 he joined the Iraklis coaching staff as an assistant. He then held a similar position at AEK and PAOK. In 2007 he took over Panorama as principal. Later he worked in Qatar, Cyprus and Kosovo. In the 2021/22 season, he and Larisa reached the semifinals of the Greek Championship, in which their team achieved two victories against Euroleague participant Panathinaikos. As a result, Takianos was recognized as coach of the year in Greece.

Changes in Astana:

“Astana” is rushing to get to the playoffs. Who is Fotis Takianos, who managed the Kazakhstan Club?

There have also been changes at the Paris NN betting house. The Volga club added American defender Kendall Smith. He began his professional career in the Czech Republic, signing a contract with Nymburk. It is noteworthy that at that time the assistant coach was Alexander Sekulic, current coach of Lokomotiv-Kuban.

However, the American played only seven matches for the club, after which he moved to Belgian side Okapi, where he played 26 matches. Perhaps something confused Kendall in Europe, and he returned to his homeland, where he played in the NBA Development League from 2019 to 2022. He played for farm clubs in New York, Sacramento, Golden State and Boston. In 2023, he decided to try his luck in Europe again, signing a contract with the Greek giants. The American started the 2023/2024 season with Chairov of the Turkish second division, but then returned to Greece, to PAOK.

Currently reading:

New blood for Lukic. Who is Kendall Smith, newcomer to Nizhny Novgorod?

On February 26, Minsk announced the termination of the contract of Serbian center Aleksandar Zecevic. The legionnaire is definitely out of luck in the United League. In the off-season, Paris Nizhny Novgorod hired him, but soon decided to part with the basketball player. After this, the Serbian became a Minsk player. He played 17 games for the Belarusian national team. Zechevich’s place was taken by American Zach Smith, who already played for the Minsk team last season.

Even more opinions of the author can be found on his Telegram channel: “Black on Orange”.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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