Bookmakers didn’t believe in Loko before the match. Those wishing to bet on Krasnodar residents could, in case of victory, receive an amount ten times higher than the bet. In principle, this is a kind of red-green record.
But if these same bookmakers had attended the morning training of Loko, it is quite possible that they would have estimated the chances of the guests even lower. Yes, the newcomers of the club, Joshi Gray and Chris Horton, trained with full gear – but the best player of the team of the first part of the season, Andrei Martyuk, was not on the court. Recall that the forward has already been in the symbolic national teams of the tours 6 (!) times, and right now he claims to be the best athlete of the Krasnodar Territory. By the way, you can and should vote for Martyuk HERE.
However, thanks to the super–efforts of the Loko medical team – Konstantin Shubin, Ivan Kaperzov and Alexey Turtygin – the player was able to quickly get back on his feet. However, the debut of the meeting did not work out for Martyuk – 2 fouls in 3 minutes.
CSKA leader Alexey Shved celebrated his 34th birthday in the first spectator row. The defender was not announced for the game due to a slight indisposition. There were medical questions about another leader of the Red and blue – center Nikola Milutinov. The latter took part in the warm-up, but in the end did not appear on the court in the match.
Despite this, the hosts quickly broke away to a comfortable distance – 15:6. Promptly thrown from an Israeli ship to the Moscow ball, Horton immediately proved that he was able to push both the opponent and the balls into the basket. Gray also entered the game well, immediately performing a couple of cool programs. Zakhar Vedishchev and Kirill Yelatontsev worked their segments well, scoring 4 points each.
But the main inspirers of the Loko chase, as in the last match against the IBA, were Ivan Paunich and Vladislav Yemchenko. After a quick breakaway organized by this couple, the backlog of guests was reduced to just “-2”. And when Paunich made the most difficult “super–average” throw at the beginning of the second quarter, the balance was restored – 27:27.
In a difficult moment for the army, Nikita Kurbanov, the record holder for the number of matches for CSKA, took the leadership reins into his captain’s hands. A great discount on the arc to Ivan Ukhov, a half–hook, an accurate penalty, an interception – and the hosts promptly broke away by 7 points, 38:31. Ruzhentsev and Ukhov also made three-pointers, and Jean–Charles made a couple of quick attacks. 48:33, “+13” for red-blue…
I remembered that before the match, the defenders of “Loko” Vedishchev and Shcherbenev talked about the inadmissibility of failed segments, when you can lose a meeting in a few minutes. However, this is exactly what happened on the parquet…
The guest sector periodically shouted over the entire army arena, inspiring the team to new achievements. Gray made the first three–pointer in Russia, his example was followed by Shcherbenev – “-9”, a little easier.
At the very beginning of the third period, Barford, in a quick breakaway, hung the ball to Horton – and the latter gladly plunged it into the ring. And right there – he made an interception, which a little later the same Barford converted into 2 points. The lag of the guests was reduced to only 7 points, 47:54.
Horton played great defense again, and Barford scored again in a quick breakaway, this time with a foul. And in the next attack – without a foul, only “-3” (54:57).
And … another acceleration of the hosts, and “-14”. It’s like groundhog day, honestly.
Vedishchev began to inspire the guests for the third chase of the match – an accurate three-point and effective pass. However, the army men came up with something effective in response every time – and before the final quarter their advantage was a damn dozen points.
Paunich came out to correct the situation, who played his 7 minutes in the first half with the highest efficiency: 3 hits from the game of 3, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, an interception and “+12” according to the indicator “+/-“. Vedishchev and Shcherbenev scored three-pointers again, and the cunning Paunich forced Jean-Charles to foul himself in the fight for selection. Oh, even if the ball did not treacherously slip out of the ring with a soap after Shcherbenev’s pass…
In the end, the guests could not drag the game into the ending. The next match – the final one in 2022 – will be held by Loko on December 22 at the Krasnodar Basket Hall. The opponent is PARMA–PARI, and this game is both fundamental and most important from the point of view of the distribution of places according to the results of the regular season. Tickets are at локо.рф.