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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chaos Over Venue Clouds CSKA's Semifinal Victory

Defending champion CSKA Moscow beat cross-town rival Dinamo 103-82 in the Russian league semifinal playoff, but the game was overshadowed by the battle off the court.


Both clubs blamed each other and the Russian basketball federation for the chaos before Wednesday's match surrounding the possible game site. Even hours before the 7 p.m. tipoff, it was not known where the game would be played.


"Only at 4 p.m. on Wednesday did we receive the federation's fax that mandated that we play at CSKA," said Dinamo coach Sergei Zozulin.


Still, uncertainty remains as to who was the home side.


"Although we play at CSKA, Dinamo is really the home team for this match," said CSKA's president Viktor Petrakov, while Dinamo officials pointed the finger at CSKA as the club responsible for the contest.


Not surprisingly, the game was played in almost total obscurity, with no television and with only a handful of fans watching.


"I think there were no winners in this contest," said angry Zozulin. Aside from confusion around the match, it was revealed that CSKA players, who haven't been paid for nearly six months, were preparing to go on strike.


"It was a possibility until we got a final word from CSKA's officials, who promised to pay us Friday," said CSKA's Sergei Bazarevich, who had similar financial problems last year with Dinamo.


The veteran point-guard, who also played with the NBA's Atlanta Hawks and spent two seasons in Turkey prior to returning to Moscow, said there was absolutely no chance that he would try his luck with yet another Russian club. "I wouldn't make the same mistake three years in a row," he said.


In the other semifinal, No. 1 seed Avtodor Saratov beat Samara 90-71.