Xavi Pascual was proclaimed champion of the VTB in Russia after Zenit Saint Petersburg came from behind in the final against CSKA Moscow after achieving three wins in a row with which the Spanish coach’s team went from 3-1 (the tie had started 2-0 in favor of the Red Army team) to 3-4. Zenit won in Moscow this Sunday, in the seventh and final match, by 75-81. It is the first League won by the Saint Petersburg team, who came to lead by 15 points before the break, although later CSKA came back (60-53). Xavi Pascual, by the way, ended up eliminated.
This Sunday’s CSKA-Zenit was Dimitris Itoudis’s last game with the Moscow team. The new Greek coach, who still had a year left on his contract, announced after the defeat of his team that he had decided together with the club “to take different paths”. “I’m not saying goodbye, I say ‘see you’, because CSKA is a great club, with a great tradition and also a great future”.
Itoudis arrived at CSKA in 2014 and in the eight years he has managed the Russian team he has won the Euroleague twice (2016 and 2019) and six times the VTB (it has lost this title this season and in 2020, the tournament was canceled due to the pandemic without a champion).
Although Itoudis says he is now focused on the Greek team, many are those who have placed him at Fenerbahçe as a substitute for Sasha Djordjevic. The one who surely will not continue in Russia either is Xavi Pascual, the favorite to occupy the Maccabi Tel Aviv bench.
Although there is still no official confirmation, everything seems to indicate that next year there will be no Russian clubs in European competitions. Unics Kazan and Zenit Saint Petersburg, who were playing in the Euroleague with an invitation (in the case of Unics, they received it as runner-up in the Eurocup), would be left without a place and it seems complicated that CSKAone of the Euroleague A-licensed teams, dispute this competition for the invasion of Ukraine.