Khimki vs. Lokomotiv Kuban. The VTB United League. Preview

On May 9th, Lokomotiv Kuban plays against Khimki on the road within the VTB United League championship. The best defense of the tournament meets the best shooter in Europe. The game becomes even more important at the end of the season.

The Take

The big win over Enisey (the huge win) let Loko stay on the third place in the VTB standings. Moreover, Zenit was defeated by CSKA. Now Krasnodar has some room for a mistake. But we hope Lokomotiv won’t need it.

The Enisey game has proved once again that Loko is able to beat an opponent due to its quality, using broad rotation, without a couple of leaders and with Sasa Obradovic sitting on the bench for a quarter.

High quality is not enough to defeat Khimki. The Moscow Region team is so mad about the setback in the Euroleague play-off series against CSKA. Now they are ready to hammer anyone to take the revenge. To do that, they need to advance to the VTB Final Four. They have to ways:

First. The fifth place in the standings, the series against Zenit, the semifinal against CSKA – the fastest way to revenge.

Second. The sixth place in the standings, the series against Loko, the semifinal against UNICS – no chances to play against CSKA earlier than the final. This is the longest way.

After a defeat from Avtodor, Bartzokas’ team chose the longest way. Khimki’s leaders didn’t play in the game. Lokomotiv won’t get such a present from the opponent. The game is crucial for Khimki’s head coach.


Shved. Shved. Shved. That’s all. However, the top scorer of Europe missed the Avtodor game. Jenkins and Thomas did their best to replace him and got 33 points together. The result is by 11 points more than Shved scores averagely.

Egor Vialtsev has added more efforts at the end of the season. He fantastically played in the Euroleague play-offs. Now he is trying to do the same in the domestic championship. In March, he scored 17 against Astana and 14 against UNICS. In May, he got 10 against Avtodor. Let’s see what’s going to happen in play-offs.


Loko suffers numerous injuries. On the one hand, leaders are sitting on the bench missing games. On the other hand, they save themselves from backsets ahead of play-offs. Moreover, other players began to spend more time on the court. And such a broad rotation can play a key role in the best-of-five series.

However, Sasa Obradovic is not happy with the situation. He believes it hits the team chemistry. At the same time, last week we had great news – Dmitry Kulagin stays in Loko for 4 years more!


Evgeny Baburin played for 21 minutes and made 4 steals against Enisey. Plus he got 5 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist.

We can’t stop praising Jonas Maciulis. The Lithuanian needed 5 games only to reach his best conditions – 11.6 points and 6.2 rebounds on average.


Sasa Obradovic, Head Coach of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban

— We came without any calculations. Maybe some people think about who they want to play, who is more favorable matchup for play-offs. We should think about us and our goals. We should think more about improving our form, about integration of the guys who are recovering from injuries and about being the best before play-offs.


Lokomotiv Kuban plays against Khimki on the road in the Game of the Week in the VTB United League championship on May 9th at 4:00 p.m. Moscow time.

Broadcasting by Match TV Channel and

Previous on the VTB League

In the first half of the season, Loko confidently defeated Khimki at home – 93:78. Mardy Collins got 22 points in the game.

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