Loko defeated by Khimki in Play-Off Game 1

In Game 1 of the VTB United League Play-Off, Krasnodar was beaten at home by Khimki Moscow Region – 66:79.

Khimki came to Krasnodar without Thomas Robinson. So Loko had a chance for fighting in the paint. Honeycutt started the game from a downtown shot. Zaitcev added another three from the corner. Shved failed to cope with Lacey’s and Ilnitsky’s hands. In the first half, Alexey shot only one shot from the game.

Jonas Maciulis showed his best at the beginning of the game. The Lithuanian got five initial points for the team and got 1 rebound and 1 steal. However, Khimli won the first quarter – 10:18.

Krasnodar started the second period from 6:0 burst but couldn’t make a comeback. A series of referees’ whistles damaged the rhythm of the game. In the mid of the quarter, Trevor Lacey ran under the opponent’s rim but failed to shoot as clashed with Andrey Zubkov. After that, the American guard left the court with an injury and didn’t play in the game further. Khimki’s buzzer ended the first half – 27:33.

After the big break, the guests continued shooting threes. Loko responded with Ragland and Collins’ cuts. Elegar’s dunks made the game emotionally tense. However, Shved started to be himself and got 10 points in the quarter.

In the final period, Khimki quickly increased their advantage to 14 points and didn’t let Krasnodar reduce the double-digital gap. Loko was beaten by Khimki in the first game of the best-of-five play-off series.

The most valuable player of Loko was the captain of the team Mardy Collins. He got 14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists.

Next two games will take place on May 26th and 28th on the road.

Brian Qvale, Center of Lokomotiv Kuban

— They got after a good start. We need to fight more in the next game. We need to be together as a team the entire game. We need to fight. We fought in the second half and we got close, we tied the game, we took the lead. They are obviously a good team. We give them some shots and rebounds and they will take the advantage. And they did that tonight. And now we need to learn from our mistakes, fight harder and we have two games on the road.

Sasa Obradovic, Head Coach of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban

— Congrats to Khimki that deserved the win. For me as a coach it’s always important if you lose the game, the way how you lose the game. And I think we lost in a bad way. We have to learn from the game. It’s just the first game staring the series. We can play much different with much more energy, much more dignity, much more respect to everything that we have this season. There were 9 months of hard work and we cannot look bad. So it’s very important to forget it as soon as possible and start all over again.

— I’m happy to be here again and see lovely faces. The game was a typical play-off game, full of tension. Both teams played under their level especially in the first half which is normal. Because right now both teams are little bit tired, s kind of exhausted. Our team was struggling in the new format of Euroleague. Now we have many injuries. And even players that played today had problems and I appreciate that they played and helped the team to win. It’s just one game in the five-game series, one step. It’s not easy to play here. Loko had a great season and they have a great team. So I don’t expect anything but a very tough series.


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