On Sunday, 27th December, the decisive games of the Men’s Basketball Cup of the Republic of Belarus were held in Mogilev.

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Final: 45 minutes with a dramatic outcome

The final match of the Cup was between "Tsmoki" and "Borisfen". "Dragons" ("Tsmoki") were able to break the Knights’ resistance only in overtime and keep the trophy in the Belarusian capital!

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The course of the match

Unlikely anyone could have predicted such a start: after quite unproductive gameplay from both teams, "Borisfen" sharply rushed forward and by the middle of the quarter was already 12 points ahead – 14:2 and 16:4!

Having recovered from the shock, the guests from the capital began to catch up. By the end of the quarter, the "Dragons" almost evened the score, and right after the break easily seized the lead. As a result, the Minskers made a breakthrough 22:2, after which it seemed that the final would go according to the familiar scenario, when one team is ahead another one.

Nevertheless, the "Knights" were not going to give up. The team was at a disadvantage during the entire 3rd quarter, but continued to fight looking for weaknesses of the opposition. The turning point was the foul of Dupree McBrayer, an American from the Mogilev team, after which fans began to support the players of "Borisfen" twice as energetic.

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As a result, "Tsmoki" almost lost during the main time: "Borisfen" won +7 points in the 4th quarter and only thanks to the zeal of Robert Lowery mainly and a long-distance shot by Benjamin-Pavel Dodoo in the end, "Tsmoki" changed the situation on the court.

It really could not have reached overtime, but when "Borisfen" was at a disadvantage with 2 points, Uladzislau Mikulski evened the score – 70:70 after the last attack.

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The key moment

Overtime kept the gathered in sports complex "Olympian" audience in suspense until the very last moment. Yet it was "Tsmoki", who were slight ahead at the last minute. "Borisfen" failed to carry out a clear attack, and the "Dragons" in their turn were wisely burning the clock with "+1" in the their asset.

There is something symbolic in the fact that the one who capped the scoring was Benjamin-Pavel Dudu – a former player of "Borisfen", who has transferred to "Tsmoki" this summer. The forward made a shot 6 seconds before the buzzer, taking away the Knights' last hope for the first trophy in the club's history.


Though Dodoo’s shot in overtime was decisive, the most valuable player in the final is still worth calling Robert Lowery. The charismatic defender spent more than 40 minutes on court and was a real dynamo of the team in attack. 25 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, a steals and even a blocked shot – with such a great number of achievements, Lowery left the court with the winner status.


Andrei Krivonos, the head coach of "Borisfen":

- Today we played against the strongest team in Belarus, which has been participating in such prestigious championships as the VTB United League and the FIBA Champions League for many years. It's great that this time we managed to impose such a fight on the opponent. However, we simply did not have enough experience of playing at such a level in order to take the lead at the key moment of a tense game. And yet the most important thing is that the Cup final was spectacular and gave the fans a lot of emotions. We will continue to work and next time we will be even more eager to win.

Rostislav Vergun, the head coach of "Tsmoki-Minsk":

- Each Cup is precious in its own way. I am glad that the guys showed strong character and achieved the necessary result, no matter what. We will not look for excuses in the schedule, in the loss of Vova and the Max’s departure as well as in injuries of 2 foreign players. There is a task and real professionals must do their job and do it efficiently. Intensive game. Basketball in Belarus has gained new fans, as when you see such a game, you want to come again. Moreover, of course, I congratulate "Borisfen" on a good game and wish them good luck in the FIBA Europe Cup.

"Borisfen"– "Tsmoki-Minsk" 79: 83 (16-13, 9-21, 27-17, 18-19, 9-13)

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Third place: history repeats itself

A year ago, "Rubon" sensationally took the bronze medals, leaving "Grodno-93" without awards of the Men’s Basketball Cup-2019 held in Mogilev.

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The course of the game

Presently, Vitebskers have repeated this trick, and even the match scenarios are similar. "Rubon" also started the game for bronze not too convincingly: 0-5 at the start and -10 points by the middle of the 1st quarter. Of course, the mentees of Ruslan Baidakov could not have сut the lead by the end of 10 minutes, besides, even at the start of the next game segment, the defense of "Rubon" was not too impressive.

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However, by the big break, "Grodno-93" got tired and had only one effective action in the last 4 minutes -Ivan Kaliaiev shot from a long distance.

The second half was almost completely dictated by the Vitebsk team. After the Daniil Shybaev’s, Aliaksei Kachan’s and Viktor Ausepian’s shots, "Rubon" took the lead, and when the difference reached 9 points, Dzmitry Kuzmin, the coach of Grodno team requested a time-out. A minute break was a good decision: by the end of the 3rd quarter, "Grodno-93" was only one shot behind.

The key moment

However, the last quarter was shocking for the "93's": the team could not restart its offense, but "Rubon", on the contrary, almost did not fumble. Kanstantsin Satsuk and Ilia Palanevich shoot from a distance, the Ausepian brothers competed in efficiency, and Ernesto Tkachuk led the attack of Vitebsk residents. The Ukrainian point guard spent almost half an hour on court and became one of the main figures of the victory – 94:75.


It is difficult to single out one hero here. Ernesto Tkachuk scored a double-double of 16 points and 10 assists, while for The Ausepians – Victor (20 + 6 rebounds) and Marcel (18 + 12 rebounds) turned out to be 38 points for both.


Ruslan Baidakov, the head coach of "Rubon":

- Today we managed to show a real team game, for which I am grateful to my team. Plus, we managed to set up the guys correctly, choosing the necessary words in the locker room. It is no secret that before the start of this match, "Grodno-93" was a clear favorite. Therefore, it was very important for each player of our team first to abstract from this thought and just do their job well, which they eventually managed to.

Dzmitry Kuzmin, the head coach of "Grodno-93":

- Unfortunately, today is not our day. For the second year in a row, we are losing in the fight for the bronze medal of the Cup to "Rubon", although we have no problems with this opponent in the matches of the National Championship. This time we had difficulties with rotation, because two basketball players played with injuries. In turn, the opponent managed to show high performance and work well in defense, which decided the outcome of the game.

"Rubon" – "Grodno-93" - 94:75 (14-19, 19-18, 28-19, 33-19)

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The best players at the end of the Men’s Basketball Cup of the Republic of Belarus 2020:

MVP - Robert Lowery (Tsmoki-Minsk),

Center - Brooks DeBisschop (Borisfen),

Forward -Viktor Ausepian (Rubon),

Guard - Robert Lowery (Tsmoki-Minsk),

The best young player - Uladzislau Mikulski (Borisfen),

Audience choice award - Ernesto Tkachuk (Rubon)

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SECTION Federation