Lokomotiv Kuban beats VEF on the road

On April 26th, Loko broke down VEF’s resistance (71:69) and maintained the third place of the VTB United League standings. The most effective player of Krasnodar was Joe Ragland – 18 points and 4 assists. Jonas Maciulis got 13 points, Mardy Collins added 12 points.

Ahead of the game, Zenit defeated Enisey in Krasnoyarsk which meant that a possible failure in Riga would have turned into the fourth place of the standings for Lokomotiv.

Krasnodar carefully started the game, scoring from the paint and under the rim. Oppositely, VEF didn’t want to compete with Loko’s centers and attacked from downtown. 7/13 three-pointers let the Riga team make a burst. Loko failed to catch the hosts up in the first quarter – 22:19.

VEF’s advantage grew to 6 points at the beginning of the second period. Loko tried to play the gap back but reached only -2 which immediately turned into -8 for our team. Vova Ivlev improved the situation a bit, but the first half ended with 42:36 in favor of VEF.

In the mid of the third quarter, Loko finally started dominating. Krasnodar executed fast breaks, easy shots, and aggressively grabbed rebounds. VEF began to lose concentration, Gailitis started to get rattled, and Loko took the lead. Kulagin found Ragland of the three-point line from a difficult position and Joe netted the ball accurately – 43:42. In the end of the quarter, VEF pulled itself together and returned its leadership with a 1-point advantage – 57:56.

Lokomotiv started the last period aggressively and didn’t allow the hosts score even a point. By the mid of the quarter, Loko’s advantage grew to 9 points. Referees didn’t count Vova Ivlev’s dunk and VEF suddenly woke up. The gap reduced to 1 point by the last minute. Jonas Maciulis successfully attempted only one of two free throws 5 seconds till the end of the game. However, Loko’s defense was perfect and VEF failed to shoot the ball. Loko maintained the third place in the standings – 71:69.


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