Lokomotiv Kuban loses Game 1 of EuroCup Finals against Darussafaka

On April 10th, Lokomotiv Kuban was beaten by Darussafaka at home - 78:79.

Okben Ulubay got Darussafaka going with a layup and free throws, as Lokomotiv was held scoreless in the first two minutes. Mardy Collins rescued the hosts with a three-pointer and Joe Ragland bettered Johnson’s layup with a triple to make it 6-7. Frank Elegar dunked, but Wilbekin hit free throws and fed Furkan Aldemir for a layup for an 8-11 edge. After Wilbekin and Trevor Lacey exchanged three-pointers, Aldemir split foul shots. Chris Babb beat the first-quarter buzzer with a bomb from downtown to bring Lokomotiv within 14-15 after 10 minutes. A driving layup by Joe Ragland gave Lokomotiv its first lead, 16-15, early in the second quarter. Elegar and Sant-Roos traded baskets and free throws and a dunk by Stanton Kidd restored a 19-20 Darussafaka lead. Elegar scored again, Brian Qvale added a tip-in and Dmitry Kulagin struck from downtown for a 26-21 Lokomotiv lead. Kidd hit back-to-back baseline jumpers, Wilbekin bettered Qvale’s layup with triple and Cummings also hit one from beyond the arc, which prompted the hosts to call timeout at 30-31. A jumper by Collins and free throws by Babb restored a 35-31 Lokomotiv lead at halftime.

Johnson hit a jumper immediately after the break, but free throws by Kulagin and a four-meter shot by Collins gave the hosts a 7-point lead. A close jumper by Cummings ignited a 0-9 run in which Wilbekin followed an acrobatic basket with a three-pointer. Free throws by Cummings capped the run, giving his team a 40-42 lead. Collins and Cummings exchanged layups and a three-pointer by Babb gave Lokomotiv a 45-44 edge. Wilbekin made free throws that Pavel Antipov bettered with a three-pointer. Aldemir split free throws and added a tip-in, but an outstanding Kulagin kept the hosts ahead, 52-49, after 30 minutes. Kulagin scored in penetration early in the fourth quarter, but Wilbekin swished a triple in transition to make it 54-52. Kidd split foul shots and a jumper by Cummings provided another lead change, 54-55. Collins answered from beyond the arc before a layup by Muhammed Baygul tied it at 57-57. Collins scored again and a triple by Ragland caused Darussafaka to stop the game at 62-57 with less than six minutes left. A basket-plus-foul by Johnson got the visitors within 3, but Kulagin responded with a jumper. A steal and layup by Trevor Lacey gave Lokomotiv a 70-63 lead with two minutes remaining. Cummings drove for a layup and set up Sant-Roos for a slam to make it a one-possession game with 45 seconds remaining. Kulagin all but sealed a Lokomotiv win with a put-back of a Collins miss with 22 seconds to go. However after a Sant-Roos layup, he came up with a steal and found Wilbekin for a top-of-the-key three that tied the game at 72-72. Collins missed a long shot and the game went to overtime.

Cummings missed a three to start the extra session, but then took a steal in for a layup and stole another ball that led to a layup for Kidd. Babb split free to get Lokomotiv’s first point of the overtime, but Cummings scored again for a 73-78 Darussafaka lead. Collins found Elegar for an alley-oop plus foul with a minute remaining. After Wilbekin split free throws and a soaring block by Johnson, Kidd turned the ball over and Babb nailed a triple to make it 78-79 with 8 seconds on the clock. Darussafaka called timeout and got the ball to Wilbekin, who netted the 2 free throws. Kulagin missed a long three at the buzzer and Darussafaka raced home with a Game 1 road win.

Sasa Obradovic, Head Coach of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban

— I’m still under shock like all of us after this lost. We were pretty sure at the end of the game that we can get this win. But somehow, with some decisions we gave them the win. I think with the game we play we deserved more. But this is not always like this. But no matter what, we should start thinking about the next game, even though it’s not easy, and show the character in the next game.

David Blatt, Head Coach of Darussafaka

— That was the kind of a game you expect in the finals series: very hard fight from the part of both teams, at times nervous, unexpected, at times some high quality play and certainly high quality players. I have nothing but the highest respect for Lokomotiv. Obviously their fantastic season up to this point speaks for itself. And we had to try to do almost everything that we could in order to keep ourselves in the game and give ourselves a chance to win. There were elements in that game that obviously we did not execute at the level we needed to, particularly if you look at the offensive rebounds that Lokomotiv was able to take in the game. We also didn’t shoot the ball very well from the free throw line which is so important in a game. And honestly we didn’t shoot three-point shots that well. But we still stayed in the game through our defense and find the way to win. And that’s a very positive thing.


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