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VTB Arena Open students basketball festival on the Red Square

VTB Arena Open students basketball festival on the Red Square turned out to be hours-long spectacular performance where “His Majesty – basketball - runs the show”. First game which opened the festival was to determine winners among age mates born in 2000. Moscow “Gloria” team passed with flying colors and its team leaders – Grigory Peregoudov and Yury Kachkov – got the prizes from “Asteros” – technologic partner of the International Students Basketball League (ISBL). 

 Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) - ISBL first season champion and FSEI HPE MSAPE team from Malakhovka – the winner of the International Students Association (ISA) championship came onto the field right after. They contended for the title of ISBL Super Cup champion.

Additional intrigue was added to the game because of the fact that these two teams already played for the League competition with each other in Tallinn at the end of April. It was MSAPE players who gained revenge for previous defeat in the Estonian capital and celebrated victory this time. The MSAPE team played in the absence of their leader Stanislav Kraynov who got slightly ill and therefore initially fell 10 points behind their rivals, however later they reversed the trend. Fortunately, Nikita Balashov, MSAPE frontman, got into his stride and as a result scored 16 points for the team. Kiur Akenparg – leader of TUT team (having 15 points) – as usual exerted himself to achieve best results but this time his efforts were not enough to win.  The game ended with total score of 67:60 in favour of Anatoly Laptev’s trainees. Kaya Mooses (TUT) and Alexander Erovichenkov (MSAPE) were acknowledged to be the best players of the Super Cup.

Thereupon the official opening ceremony came about where Mr. Sergei Ivanov, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office and VTB United League President  and Mr. Andrei Peregoudov, Senior Vice-President of JSC VTB Bank, ISBL President delivered their addresses. Mr. Ivanov highlighted an importance of the events of this kind for sports development in Russia and also emphasized that this was the first basketball championship held on the Red Square in a full-scale format. “I’ve been fond of basketball since I was 10 and now when I’m already 60 I can say with certainty that for the past 50 years I haven’t witnessed any basketball tournament on the Red Square. I will note that now we have established a basketball training system for children, teenagers and students… We are certain that a real person ought to be developed both physically and intellectually” – marked Sergei Ivanov.

“VTB Bank is ready to support basketball and invest money in its development as we have shared values: health, sports, family and children. We arrange such a tournament for the second time and hope to carry on this tradition” – said Andrei Peregoudov.

And finally it was time for the “Match of generations”. The best basketball players from children and students teams participated in this game along with famous politicians and athletes: Arkady Dvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, Andrei Peregoudov, ISBL President, Viktor Kravchenko, ISBL executive director, Olympic champions – Valery Tikhonenko and Irina Sumnikova, Sergey Panov, Kheyno Enden, Sergey Bazarevich, Svetlana Abrosimova, Andrey Spiridonov. Sergey Tarakanov and Vasily Karasev acted as coaches for this match. The thrilling battle replete with fascinating and amusing moments (Sergey Panov traditionally played “first fiddle”) was over in victory of the team under Karasev’s guidance with score 79:64. 

During match breaks incredible Slamdunk contest show was awaiting the guests together with contest of three-pointers and street-basket championship.

According to Mr. Peregoudov, ISBL President, this was a first-rate feast, a decent finale of ISBL debut season. “We are pleased with the first season; it turned out to be very worthwhile. We realized which way to go – to the creation of students Euroleague. This niche already exists and many student teams dream to hold the cup but unfortunately they don’t have any venue available for this purpose. So we hope to make the dream of these teams come true”- said Mr. Peregoudov.

Victor Kravchenko, ISBL executive director, stated that next season will see new teams joining ISBL. “Representatives of all teams expressed in favour of tournament extension and expansion. Latvian and Finnish teams have already confirmed their participation next year. We’re in the negotiation process with Spain and Italy”.

Stanislav Kraynov, ISBL top scorer, mentioned that “this is the league where one can succeed and the league itself is prestigious for each university”.

For the moment students teams have a summer rest and in autumn a new ISBL season will be started. 

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