CSKA Moscow became the first team to win consecutive titles in the Kamkabel Junior Tournament by thrashing Zalgiris Kaunas 97-64 in the title game played in the Olympiysky Arena on Sunday.
CSKA juniors won second title in a row
CSKA Moscow became the first team to win consecutive titles in the Kamkabel Junior Tournament by thrashing Zalgiris Kaunas 97-64 in the title game played in the Olympiysky Arena on Sunday.

CSKA - Zalgiris: 97-64

CSKA confirmed it has the best junior team of its generation, way ahead everyone else, with players who may well become Euroleague stars in the near future. Vasily Zavourev, already a regular member of CSKA's first team, led the winners with 23 points and was considered the MVP of the final, while high-flying forward Yaroslav Korolev added 20 points while providing the highlights of the tournament. Igor Smyghin and Artur Urazmanov each had 12 points while Maxim Sheleketov had 10 for CSKA, which had already sealed the outcome in the opening half with a 54-36 lead.

Paulius Ivanauskas led Zalgiris with 18 points, Zydrunas Kelys added 12 and Aurimas Adomaitis 10. Zalgiris star Vilmantas Dilys was limited to just 4 points in this game, but he led his team in the rest of the tournament to reach the final. Several other than Korolev, Urazmanov, Zavourev and Dilys, several other players shined throughout the Junior Tournament, such as big man Yaroslav Korolev of CSKA, mobile power forward Povilas Butkevicius of Zalgiris, who posted a triple double against Prokom Trefl Sopot, Ioannis Athanasoulas of AEK, Kenneth Kadji and Alexander Kostoski of Pau-Orthez, electric playmaker Alessandro Piazza of Climamio Bologna, all-around forward Luigi Datome of Montepaschi Siena, versatile forward Omri Casspi and playmaker Gal Mekel of Maccabi, as well as big men Adam Lapeta and Pawel Podgolski of Prokom.

Urazmanov opened fire with a layup and Gubanov aded a close basket to get CSKA started. By the time Korolev took over with an alleyoop dunk, CSKA was up 8-2, forcing Zalgiris to call timeout. The guests switched to 2-3 defense to avoid close shots, while Dilys nailed a three which Butkevicius followed with a short jumper to bring Zalgiris within 12-7. Zavourev came to the rescue for CSKA with a triple and Korolev copied him for a 18-7 CSKA lead. Zalgiris didn't give up, however, as a three by Ivanauskas cut its deficit to 18-12. CSKA tried to break the game with a 7-0 run in which Korolev had another wild alleyoop dunk for a 25-12 margin after 8 minutes. A three-point play by Skurdauskas and 5 quick points by Kelys gave Zalgiris some hope, 28-20, after 10 minutes.

Kelys fired in another three early in the second and Saulys added another basket to get Zalgiris within striking distance, 28-25. Korolev got CSKA back in track with his second three, igniting a 7-0 run which Zavourev capped with a reverse layup for a 35-25 margin. Zalgiris carried on with this back and forth battle, as Maciulevicius solved a two-on-one fast break with a layup which brought his team within 35-30. Korolev slashed for a tough basket and Gubanov buried one from downtown to keep CSKA ahead. Butkevicius stepped up with a two-handed dunk, but a corner three by Smyghin and two more by Zavourev helped CSKA to get its biggest lead that far, 54-36, at halftime.

The game turned into a low-scoring battle early in the third, but CSKA managed to keep full control. Korolev grabbed an offensive rebound for a three-point play which made it a 20-point game, 62-42. A very active Ivanauskas tried to get Zalgiris back in track, but its shooters were off-target, especially from three-point range. Zavourev followed a power layup with an outstanding reverse layup for a 66-46 lead. Zalgiris tried to change things with a 0-6 run which Adomaitis capped with an acrobatic layup for a 66-52 deficit, but Korolev and Urazmanov stepped up late in the third to extend CSKA's margin to 73-56 after 30 minutes.

Zalgiris needed a quick comeback to keep its chances alive, but it just didn't happen. CSKA did not allow points in the opening 6 minutes. Meanwhile, Zavourev slashed for a big basket for a 75-56 margin with 7 minutes to go. The outcome was clear, while a good number of CSKA fans has already started to celebrate. Smyghin provided some showtime with a monster dunk, while Sheleketo added a floating layup for a 25-point CSKA lead, 81-56. He turned Urazmanov's no-look pass into a three-point play which capped a 16-0 run in this period. Maciulevicius scored Zalgiris' first basket in almost 7 minutes, but it was too late, as CSKA had already won the Kamkabel Junior Tournament!



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