Aleksandar Sekulic: «We had an almost perfect first quarter»

The head coach of Loko summarized the results of the victory over CSKA (85-68) in the fifth game of the semifinal series.

– We played very good game on defense and offense, – Sekulic started. – I’m especially happy in the first quarter, which was close to perfect. We didn’t give CSKA’s leading scorers an opportunity to make good shots, because we played as a team, as we planned. Despite our favorable result, now it’s important not to relax, because we’re not done yet. Ahead is a very important sixth game in the series.

What moment in the fifth game would you call decisive?
– The very beginning. That was the part where our well-coordinated actions helped us disrupt the opponent's play, force the Army team to make tough shots and lose confidence.
What helped you neutralize CSKA's comeback at the beginning of the third quarter?
– Team effort. Despite the fact that our game kind of fell apart, we continued to play as a unit and we even managed to hold off such a strong opponent, which CSKA undoubtedly is. I am very happy that we did it, and even so confidently.
After a loss CSKA always plays with more energy. How difficult would you say the sixth game of the series be?
– The next game is always the most difficult for us. And also the most important one.
You might get the impression that it doesn't matter where Lokomotiv-Kuban plays, home or away. What is the secret?
– There is no secret. We have an excellent squad of 14 players having a very good season. Everyone can play aggressive and if someone lacks experience, we managed to gain it during the tournament. Indeed, we manage to play well in away matches. Perhaps this is due to the fact that in front of other people's stands the guys do not feel as responsible as in front of their own. But I think we've shown in the playoffs that we've learned to play well even in our home games.
What's the main reason, in your opinion, for such a jump in the quality of the game in comparing the regular season and playoffs?
– There are several reasons. First of all, we added three new players during the season who integrated into the team perfectly. We also learned how to deal with the occasional letdowns in big games. And we are playing much better as a team: moving the ball, working on defense.
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