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

On March 3rd, Loko plays against UNICS on the road. Kazan was the one and only team which beat Lokomotiv in the first half of the season. Krasnodar arrives in Kazan to take the revenge and continue fighting for the first place in the standings.

The Take

UNICS committed the first home defeat in Loko’s season. Since October 21st, Lokomotiv Kuban showed the longest winning run in Europe this season (26 games), won the Russian Cup, spent a few rounds on the top of the VTB standings, beat CSKA on the road, Khimki and Zenit at home. Moreover, Loko is the only undefeated team in EuroCup.

Krasnodar averages 70.1 allowed points in the VTB League, 65 allowed points on the road. Loko won all away games of the season (6-0).

Ahead of the February break, Loko won the Russian Cup.

However, the team lost two games in a row in the VTB League.

UNICS was doing good job ahead of the break. They qualified to EuroCup play-offs and took the lead in the VTB League standings.


After Khimki home game, Sasa Obradovic was asked about the difference between undefeated Loko and the one that was beaten by UNICS in the second round. The coach answered: “Dima Kulagin.” When the Russian playmaker came to the club, the team was empowered by the national team’s player who is able to convey coach’s plan on the court, and Dima got as much playing time as he needed to fulfill his potential.

Kulagin averages 9.9 points, 3.6 assists, and 1.4 steals in the VTB United League.

Mardy Collins averages 14.1 points, 3.6. assists, and 4.2 rebounds. He especially outstandingly performed in the important games against Zenit and CSKA.

Sasa Obradovic, head coach of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban

The team who beat us in first game and who is first in standing in this moment deserves all respect and attention. Everybody has problems with the style of basketball they play, with slow pace and good reading in offense and defense . Big game and full game focus to beat the big opponent.

Stanislav Ilnitsky, Forward of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban

Games after big breaks are always unpredictable. It’s hard to say who the break has influenced our team – we had separate practices for a while. We were fundamentally preparing for the upcoming game, scouting UNICS’ games. The Kazan team is doing well both in the VTB League and EuroCup. It’s a big opponent, the leader of the standings. But we come to Kazan for a win and will do our best on the court.

The game takes place on March 3rd at 5:00 p.m. Moscow time in Kazan. 



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