Legends Game: Friendship wins in Moscow! 0

The showdown between former stars, which began in Kaunas, continued today in Moscow.

Prior the VTB United League regular-season game between Russian and Lithuanian powerhouses, Zalgiris and CSKA stars of years gone by took to the USH CSKA court to remind us of their tremendous rivalry. Arvydas Sabonis came to Moscow and rightfully stood out as one of the top performers in the game. He was joined on the court by Sergey Tarakanov, Valery Tikhonenko, Anatoly Myshkin, Vitoldas Masalskis, Heino Enden, Igors Miglinieks, Saulius Stombergas, Vasily Karasev, Igor Kudelin, Evgeny Kisurin, Tomas Masiulis and other legendary players. Vladimir Tkachenko, the famous Soviet center, was on the roster but did not participate in the game.

The teams put on a real show for the Moscow fans, ending unexpectedly in a tie, 28-28. With overtime not possible, friendship won out!

In 24 minutes of play, the respectable Sunday morning crowd enjoyed sneaky, hard-to-see passes from Arvydas Sabonis, accurate shooting from Stombergas, Kudelin and Karasev, and, of course, dunks by Sabonis and CSKA player Sergey Panov. Yuri Selikhov coached the Army team, just as he did in the legendary Soviet league finals. Zalgiris had Rimas Kurtinaitis, the team’s deadly shooter in the 1980s, on their bench, though he took in most of the game as a fan, trusting his players’ decisions.

Despite the final tie, the play on the court was serious: No one wanted to back down. At the end of the game, the CSKA veterans began full-court pressure and managed to even the score. On Zalgiris’s final possession, everyone’s attention was focused on the great Sabonis, but he unexpectedly passed to a wide-open teammate, who missed the shot.

Sabonis and teammate Saulius Stombergas scored a game-high nine points each. Sergey Panov and Valery Tikhonenko both collected five points for CSKA.

Apart from the basketball on the court today, old friends met up once again. Despite their heated rivalry, the game was friendly with the veterans joking around a lot and the fans cheering for their stars.

The game was a big success!