5 reasons why this season of VTB United League was better than previous
The brightest moments of the championship that ended
On June 10, the ninth season of the VTB United League came to an end. than the championship which has come to the end has been remembered.
The best sniper of the season for the first time was a Russian basketball player
In the 21st century, not a single Russian basketball player dominated the expanses of the Old World in the same way as Alexei Shved did in the past season. The leader of “Khimki” became the best in points scored both in the Euroleague and in the VTB United League.
Limit regular season, Alex Shved did not. In a very important for Khimki semi-final against UNICS, the Russian defender shot 36 points in the opponent’s basket, setting a personal record and a record play-off.
Deny “Swede dependence”, which many people say, is now very difficult. Without his best player, Khimki could hardly count on silver medals at the VTB United League championship.
Unprecedented competition and the struggle for the playoffs
Yet never in the history of the championship, there was such a heat of passion in the second half of the table. Whether a joke, two weeks before the end of the regular season, none of the 13 teams lost the chances of reaching the playoffs!
“Nizhny Novgorod”, VEF, “Cmoki-Minsk”, “Astana”, “PARMA”, “Kalev” and “Yenisei” – those seven clubs that really decorated the ending of the championship.
As a result: the last team of the regular season from the voucher to the playoffs was separated by only two wins. And lucky became the Russian “Nizhny Novgorod” and the Latvian VEF. And the Volga team participated in the playoffs provided such an incredible hit Anton Komolov.
Outstanding “performances” and tremendous effectiveness
For the first time in the history of the League, four basketball players scored more than 20 points per game. In addition to Swede (23.6 points per match), this is Isaac Briscoe (22.0) from Kalev, Stevan Yelovats (20.5) from Nizhny Novgorod and Koti Clark of Avtodor (20.0).
The leader of the Nizhny Novgorod team Stevan Yelovats got to the list of the most productive players of the season after an incredible match in Tallinn against the local “Kalev”. The Serbian striker recorded 49 points and 15 rebounds on his account, setting a new League record on points.
One of the brightest players of the season was Cody Miller-McIntyre from the Perm “Parma”. The American defender, distinguished from the rest of the championship players by his unique versatility, was able to issue two triple-doubles for the season (double-digit figures in three statistical categories at once), which nobody had previously been able to do.
The new format is the “Final Four”
Last summer, at the Council of the League, championship clubs voted for the new format of the decisive stage – the “Final Four”. Thus, the team lost the right to make a mistake, and the fans got an interesting spectacle, which consisted of two game days and four matches.
The “Final Four”, which was held in Moscow on the arena “VTB Ice Palace”, can be rightly considered successful both in terms of the sports component and in terms of the atmosphere. With the previous format, it would be impossible to collect more than 10 thousand fans in the final game.
The decision to retain the format again remains for the participants of the championship. At the July Council of the League clubs will discuss all the pros and cons of the “Final Four”.
Live broadcasts of the championship became available in social networks
VTB United League made a big step to increase the number of spectators, launching the broadcast of the central fights in the largest social networks in Russia and the CIS – VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. The game viewing is free and convenient: now it is enough to press only two buttons to switch from correspondence with the interlocutor to the VTB United League match.
The social network VKontakte also became a partner of the League on the two biggest events of the season, “Match of All-Stars” and “Final Four”. The partnership agreement made it possible to get an additional audience: a match for the third place was watched by half a million people, the final between CSKA and Khimki was one million, and the “Star Weekend” in St. Petersburg collected a total of two million views.
The VTB United League was created by VTB Bank jointly with the Russian Basketball Federation in 2008. In the season 2017/2018, 13 clubs from 5 countries took part in the tournament – Russia, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, and Kazakhstan. The winner of the championship for the 7th time in a row was Moscow CSKA.