Martiuk is victorious in the All-Star Game, Akoon-Purcell is the MVP

The VIII All-Star Game of the VTB United League ends with the victory of “Team Pascual” over “Team Rajkovic” with a score of 134:120. Loko’ forward DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell scores 44 points (the second highest score in ASG history) and gets the prize for the Most valuable player of the game.

At the 2024 All-Star Game, Lokomotiv-Kuban was represented by two players: center Andrei Martyuk and forward DeVaugn Akoon-Purcell. They have played for different teams.

Akoon-Purcell was in the starting lineup of “Team Rajkovic” and indicated his intention to score (mainly from behind the three-point line) from the very first seconds. In the middle of the 1st quarter he also began to do it beautifully – when he dunked after the Xavier Rathan-Mayes’ pass, turning 360 degrees in the air.

Soon Martyuk came out as part of another team – and on the second attempt he scored a dunk in his signature style! Then he tried to put in the three-pointer, but unsuccessfully, so he switched back to slam dunks. At the end of the 1st quarter the score was 31:28 in favor of Martyuk’s team (oh, sorry, of Pascual team, of course).

The 2nd quarter became the one man show – and it was Akoon-Purcell. He dunked, he scored hooks, he converted tremendous amount of three-pointers (5, to be exact). At the end of the period, he had 26 points – just a bit less than the record schedule of Vitaly Fridzon, who scored 57 points in ASG-2021. Though, “Team Pascual” still continued to lead – 66:59.

The Akoon-Purcell extravaganza initially continued in the dunk competition, which began after the 2nd quarter of the game. The Loko’ forward got the best marks among all four participants for the first dunk. But, unfortunately, the second one took too much attempts from him, so he was surpassed by Euheni Beliankou from Yenisei and Jordan Skipper-Brown from Astana, who performed in the Kazakh national outfit (and became the winner of this competition).

In the 3rd quarter, Martyuk showed top-level skills at least twice – once, when he gave Anton Glazunov a Lokic-like pass, and then equaling the score at 88:88 with a powerful poster over Akoon-Purcell.

But it still was Akoon-Purcell who continued to be the main actor of the game – during this quarter he added 4 more three-pointers and raised his overall score to 38 points. Thanks to this, “Team Rajkovic” went to the break leading – 91:90.

When the game resumed, “Team Pascual” made a swift run: 8 accurate shots in a row, then five more. Two minutes before the end, Martyuk and Co. were ahead by 10 points – 122:112. Akoon-Purcell scored another long-range shots, then both teams really got into some kind of fight. So, when 36 seconds left, “Team Rajkovic” got within two attacks – 120:124. But the next two attacks were successfully carried out by “Team Pascual”. And the match ended with Jeremiah Hill hitting two hoops at once, getting 6 points in one attack (yes, such things happen in the All-Star Games).

Martyuk finished the All-star Game with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Akoon-Purcell showed the second-best scoring in the history of the All-Star Games of the VTB United League: 44 points (plus 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block-shot). So, despite the fact that “Team Rajkovic” lost, it was the Loko’ forward who got the prize for the Most valuable player of the game. Congrats, Dap!

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