Tribute to the Champs: Nikita Kurbanov

Jun 01, 2016 by Euroleague.net Print
Tribute to the Champs: Nikita Kurbanov
The versatile Nikita Kurbanov had won the Euroleague with CSKA as a teenager in 2006 and had to wait an entire decade to lift the trophy again, this time as a very important player in the team's rotation. Kurbanov gave CSKA a boost early in the Final Four, pulling down 4 rebounds, drawing 3 fouls and getting 4 points in the first quarter of his team's semifinal against Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar as it soared to a 23-12 lead. Kurbanov did not score again, but ended the game with 7 rebounds and 4 fouls drawn in 20 minutes. Against Fenerbahce Istanbul in the championship game, Kurbanov stepped up for CSKA in the second quarter, scoring 4 points to keep his team ahead right before the Russian powerhouse went on a wild 1-18 run to finish the first half. Coach Dimitris Itoudis used Kurbanov as a defensive ace in the decisive minutes, and he was on the floor to play CSKA's last defense in regulation. When the dust settled, Kurbanov had lifted the Euroleague trophy - 10 years later!