Zenit is the weirdest team of the second half of the VTB League season. St. Petersburg takes the fourth place in the standings and may take the third one but has already been beaten by Astana (-23), Khimki (-18), and Avtodor (-14).
However, Loko games are always special for Zenit. It’s not the first time Zenit and Lokomotiv fight for the third place in the end of the regular season. Two previous times were unsuccessful for Loko. But it’s a different team this season, which has already defeated St. Petersburg.
Lokomotiv Kuban is quite stable this year. The 26-game winning streak proves it. In EuroCup, the team advanced to the finals undefeated – 20:0.
Speaking about stability, we mean the result rather than the quality. Sasa Obradovic constantly mentions black holes in which his team falls during 40 minutes of a game. But the result is pretty always the same – ‘we showed a good character in a right moment.’ For example, it worked in the Astana game last round.
Not only recognized leaders of Zenit – Kuric, Gordon, Karasev – are dangerous. Evgeny Voronov improves his skills from game to game. The guard got three career highs this season. THREE! Two of them were made in EuroCup and one was made in the VTB United League. 31-year old Evgeny is playing one of his best seasons. Voronov averages 11 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.7 rebounds. He certainly dreams about winning the domestic championship but his team needs to improve its position in the standings to do that.
Last time Loko played against Zenit at home in December. Mardy Collins was the top scorer of Lokomotiv – 26 points. It was his best result in the VTB United League for two seasons. At the moment, Mardy averages 14.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists.
Joe Ragland can make a show as well. His 29 points helped Loko beat Astana last round. It was a big comeback for Joe. Right on time.
Zenit vs. Lokomotiv Kuban takes place in St. Petersburg on April 7th at 5:30 Moscow time.
In the first half of the season, Lokomotiv defeated Zenit at home – 87:84.