Loko lost in the first match of the season in VTB League

In the 1st round of the VTB United League, Lokomotiv-Kuban sensationally lost to the newcomer of the MBA tournament - 73:86 on its site.

An hour and a half before the start of the controversial one, it collided with the MBA CEO Igor Kocharyan under the stands. They remembered their youth, smiled, complained synchronously that the button on the jacket is fastened every year with more and more resistance…

Was it difficult to decide to show up in the VTB United League? After all, is the level of rivalry and expenses fundamentally different compared to the Super League?
Of course, we are very glad that the leadership of the United League has included us among the participants. We consistently went to this. Last season, the squad was seriously rejuvenated – with an eye on the main tournament. And now we have seven of those guys in our team at once. Let's see how they use their chances.
And the idea to invite Vasily Karasev to the post of head coach – how did the negotiations arise and was it difficult?
There were no difficulties in negotiations with Vasily Nikolaevich. "Connect" happened from the first day. He believed in our idea. We quickly realized that we were ready to move in the same direction together.
Krasnodar fans were waiting for the debut of the former railroad worker, Honored Master of Sports Evgeny Voronov in the IBA. Why didn't he come to the match?
He has a minor injury, and the coaching staff decided to take care of the captain. But by the 2nd round, Voronov will be ready.

.. The “Basket Hall” was lavished with lights and ribbons, like a Christmas tree in an expensive supermarket. The fan sector welcomed defenders Vladislav Yemchenko and Alexander Shcherbenev, who celebrated their birthdays synchronously on the day of the match, not only with personal toasts, but also with a cheerful congratulatory banner. The support group, which had updated the wardrobe, burned expensive parquet in timeouts with purely feminine joy.

Club marketing in the offseason from the heart got confused with seasonal branding – and now the latter includes elements of the identity of the Krasnodar Territory.

But – aside all the decoration, let’s watch basketball! Moreover, there was something to look at and to whom. There were a lot of spectators in the “Basket Hall” for Monday, and soon after the controversial start, they welcomed the first official hit of Loko in the 2022/23 season – Dmitry Uzinsky scored from behind the three-point arc. If we had a heading “entertaining facts”, I would definitely tell you that Krasnodar scored their first points both at the training camp in Turkey and at the Super Cup in exactly the same way – with a three–point Uzinsky. But I will tell you this way, without any heading.

… If someone expected an easy country walk from the match with yesterday’s “superlighters” from Moscow, then the guests from the first minutes began to explain to this virtual skeptic that he was wrong. Sometimes the capital’s team collected 3-4 rebounds in a row on offense, and at the beginning of the second quarter led thoroughly and alarmingly – 38:24. The hosts periodically sparked – like the “parachute” performed by Jaylen Barford and Andrey Martyuk that crowned a quick breakaway – but the picture of their game did not make a solid impression. A kind of Jackson Pollock, not a clear and understandable Shishkin realism.

By the big break, the gap had narrowed to 9 points. It could – and should have been – even less, but 0.2 seconds before the end of the second quarter, Uzinsky smeared both penalties. In general, with throws of any dignity, the wards of Alexander Sekulich in the first half did not add up from the word “at all”: penalties – 10 out of 17, three–pointers – 4 out of 16, two-pointers – 5 out of 18.

After its resumption, the game for the hosts continued to roll downhill somewhere. A series of losses, new misses – and the IBA’s advantage quickly grew to a damn dozen points. The guests didn’t stop there – 12:0 at the start of the third quarter and a discouraging 53:32.

Yemchenko tried to act as a fireman for Loko, who scored with a foul, and then with his nails snatched the ball from Alexander Khomenko and began collecting fouls on himself with the obstinacy of an avid collector. They started scoring Barford and Kvitkovskys, Kirill Yelatontsev fought well a couple of times on someone else’s shield. But the owners still did not have a folding mosaic of all this. The guests clearly used their three-point chances and did not disdain penalties for a penny a piece. However, simultaneously with the siren about the end of the third quarter, Kvitkovsky splashed kerosene into the furnace of hope for the home fans: an interception and a hit from his half of the court!

Krasnodar fans were filled with optimism for a couple of minutes of the break, but the final quarter began with two consecutive effective attacks by the IBA – 69:51 in favor of the guests. Sekulich’s wards failed to organize a chase.

Following the sensation in the very first match of the tournament, in which the reigning champion Zenit lost to UNICS on its site, the United League of the new season was promptly replenished with another unpredictable outcome.

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