VTB ended with a thriller and the 11th place24-04-2017


BC Kalev/Cramo finished their tough season in VTB with a great performance against Zenit but took another loss 95:98 despite being in control for most of the game. In the end, the result didn’t matter for neither team as Zenit had secured their second place and Kalev their 11th.
Branko Mirkovic led Kalev with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. Mark Tollefsen had 21, Cedric Simmons added 18 and Liutych 17 points. Kalev had a nice shooting day – making 54% of their shots against 42% for the visitors, making 6/18 from the deep (vs 10/29) and getting 23 points from the line (vs 16) but got destroyed in the offensive glass 6:23(!) Ryan Toolson was again unstoppable for Kalev, scoring 37 points and making 6 threes!
 Kalev started great and was leading at the end of the first quarter 25:16 but Toolsen sinked a long buzzer beating three to cut the lead down to six. The second quarter both teams tried to get it going but weren’t able to take a commanding step. After the break, Zenit managed to get a lead for the first time in a while but Kalev responded well and got back their eight point lead but finished the quarter 75:74.
Six minutes to go, Mirkovic scored and the lead was four points and then things started to happen, Toolson made a three, then Landry scored then Mirkovic crossed over Harper and Kalev regained the lead. After Toolson turned the ball over and Simmons made an easy basket Kalev led by three. The visitors gave it their all scoring three consecutive baskets to give them a 91:88 lead two minutes before the end. Liutych cut the deficit to one but Valijev had a great offensive rebound and managed to get to the line. Tollefsen scored on the other end and it was a tie game! Zenit missed, but got another offensive rebound and that ended…. very poorly, Toolson made a three and during the shot a rebounding player was fouled which ment a 3+2 chance for the opponents. Mirkovic cut down the lead to 1 with 13 seconds to go. Thee free-throw game was on, Landry made both 12 seconds to go and Kalev, down by 3 with 12 seconds to go could not inbound the ball in five seconds after a time-out and it was done.
Coach Alar Varrak sadly admitted that this season they haven’t been great at finishing games against strong teams despite controlling the game. He added: ” In the end, some small details decided the game – it perfectly describes our season.” The team is now going to concentrate on winning the Estonian championship.
VTB  United quarter leagues this season are: CSKA-Astana, Zenit-VEF, Himki-Jenissei ja Lokomotiv Kuban – UNIKS. Other teams finisheda:
9. Nižni Novgorod – 8 wins,
10. Saraatov – 8 wins,
11. Kalev/Cramo – 5 wins,
12. Tsmoki – 5 wins,
13. Perm – 1 win.

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