After the victory over Zenit (92:90), the head coach of Loko answered journalists' questions for a long time.
- How would you comment on the game?
- – The match turned out to be great, there was a great atmosphere in the stands. We managed to start the match exactly the way we wanted, set the rhythm we needed. We were fully prepared for the fact that Zenit will oppose us, with team efforts we overcame all the problems that the opponent brought us. This was the key to victory.
- At the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth, Zenit seemed to turn the tide of the match. Due to what, in your opinion, did Lokomotiv-Kuban manage to tip the scales in its favor?
- – I think it's due to the fact that we caught the right rhythm from the very beginning. This allowed us not to lose momentum, focus and energy. After such a start, even when the course of the match began to turn out not in our favor, we continued to act as a team – we made the right decisions and returned to the game over and over again. Earlier this season, we lost our grip more than once in matches that seemed to be going well for us. It's great that in the match with Zenit we managed to reduce our unsuccessful segments to a minimum.
- Without exception, all the matches of Lokomotiv-Kuban with Zenit this season reach a valid ending. Do you have an explanation for why this is happening?
- – In my opinion, all four of our games with Zenit – including the September one for the Super Cup – developed in an absolutely different way. Compared to our last match three weeks ago, the squad has fundamentally changed both for them and for us. We could only guess whether Zenit would release both newcomers to the site, one or no one. Another thing is that these players also had to have time to integrate into the team. Let's assume that the effect of surprise turned out to be offset by the non-playing of our opponent's players. But in any case, it is more important for me that we started the match in a way that allowed us to enter the end with confidence in our abilities. I think that's what helped us win in the end. This victory is a great reward for our entire team. I hope that this result will give the guys the right motivation.
- Zenit scored from behind the arc over and over again in the final quarter today, but Loko still won…
- – We have enough players in the squad who know how to throw three-pointers. What they may have lacked in previous matches was confidence during the game. Today we had a very good selection of shots, and a lot of things flew. Of course, I am glad that today we scored with such a percentage, even though the opponent showed an even higher percentage.
- Six Loko players have been called up to the Russian national team at once. How important is it for the club and for the guys themselves?
- – This fact makes me happy. Throughout my coaching career, I regularly see how well a call-up to the national team motivates players. The call-up to the national team means that Loko has a bright future, that we, as a club, are doing a good job preparing these basketball players.
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