Lokomotiv Kuban vs. Khimki. The VTB United League. Preview

On January 21st, Lokomotiv Kuban plays against Khimki Moscow Region at home within the Game of the Week of the VTB United League. Our team takes the first place in the standings and has a 22-game winning series in all tournaments. Khimki takes the fifth place and wants to come back to the top. The game takes place in Basket Hall at 6:00 p.m.

The Take

Loko is the leader of the standings at the moment. Moreover, our team is the best in defense in both EuroCup and the VTB United League. In the domestic championship, Loko allows less than 70 points per game (68.5). The Kalev game a bit worsened Loko’s stats in rebounds (36.1) and steals (8.3). Now the team takes the second place in both ratings. However, Loko won the game, hammering Kalev.

In a day after the game against the Estonians, Lokomotiv welcomed Cedevita in EuroCup. It was a tough challenge for our team but still we won 22nd game in a row. The longest winning series among all European teams at the moment.

For Khimki, all mentioned facts seem to be a red rag. The Moscow Region team takes only fifth place in the standings of the VTB League. After a difficult conversation with the top management, Khimki started to improve the situation and defeated Crvena Zvezda and Olympiacos in Euroleague in a row.

Khimki missed the previous round of the VTB League. Last time they played against Kalev on January 7th and were beaten. However, the team is still the top scorer on the road – 93.3 points per game.

The leader of Khimki is obviously the best sniper of Europe Alexey Shved (24.5 points). Malcolm Thomas averages 6.2 rebounds. Anthony Gill – 5.7 rebounds. Thomas Robinson – 1.3 steals. Stefan Markovic – 3.3 assists. After scoring 29 points in the Crvena Zvezda game, Shved became MVP of the round in Euroleague for the 3rd time in the season.

Lokomotiv has no such a marked leader. Probably, that’s why Krasnodar is such a stable team. Mardy Collins averages 13.4 points, Frank Elegar – 13.3, Joe Ragland – 12.9. Elegar averages 5.4 rebounds, Brian Qvale – 4.9, Mardy Collins – 4.3. Raglans has missed few games but he is still the top assister of Loko – 4.2. Lacey averages 3.5 assists, Dmitry Kulagin – 3.3, Mardy Collins – 3.2.


Sasa Obradovic, Head Coach of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban:

- We play against of the best teams in Europe. And they are in the best conditions now. They come to Krasnodar with confidence and want to stay in Top-4 of the League. We must respect the opponent but not overestimate them and show our best game. We have to be patient in the game.

Ryan Broekhoff, Forward of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban:

- We have been preparing for Khimki by watching their games and going through their set offences and players. They have a very deep roster filled with very talented players. It will be a difficult game but one we will be ready to fight for.

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