Ragland’s 29 points help Loko beat Astana

In the regular championship of the VTB United League, Lokomotiv Kuban defeated Astana at home – 79:78.

From the very beginning, Astana did its best and ran quickly. Loko tried as hard as they could to slow the game’s pace down. In the first quarter, Joe Ragland made 3 steals, got 10 points, and took Krasnodar to the lead – 19:12.

Astana didn’t fall out of the game and attempted more and more downtown shots. They got the first one only after the 6th attempt but the worst was ahead. They attempted 29 and shot 13 threes in the game. After the second quarter, Loko had a 8-point advantage. Ragland had already got 18 points.

The third quarter had to determine the game but a 14-point advantage of Loko ahead of the last period didn’t guarantee fans relax ending. In the final 10 minutes, Kazakhstan successfully attempted 7 of 10 threes -6 of them were in a row. Loko still controlled the game. Ragland was good at cuts and downtown shots. Mardy Collins tried to finish the game with a captain shot but missed. 79:78 and 9 seconds for Astana’s offense. However, Loko’s defense was fantastic. The opponent didn’t even shoot the ball. Lokomotiv Kuban gets out of the losing streak in the domestic championship.

Loko won 13 of 18 games of the regular championship. The team takes the fourth place in the standings.

Andrey Vedishchev, President of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban

— All is well that ends well. We were better than the opponent today in the most part of the game but we could lose in the last second. It’s not the first game with a similar scenario. We had ups and downs in the previous VTB League rounds. Ahead of Zenit game, we had to understand what our problem is. Anyway I congratulate the team with the win.

Joe Ragland, Guard of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban

— It was a tough game. They made a lot of shots so did we. It was an up-and-down game for the most of the game. I’m just happy that we won the game which is the most important to get out of the losing streak in the VTB.

Sasa Obradovic, Head Coach of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban

— As it was expected, we played the game with the thoughts in front of us, in even more important games, placing in our minds – this is more important, this is less important. It’s good that we won the game. The risk to lose the game is still big. On the other hand, I can understand that we were not completely mentally in there – we were in a game against Zenit and in finals of EuroCup. But this is not an excuse for me as a coach.


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