Loko wins the second semifinal game

Game 2 in the semifinals against UNICS finishes with Loko victory – 84:71. So, the score in the series is now equal – 1-1.

The red-greens started the game No. 2 with an all-foreign five: DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, Patrick Miller, Karvel Anderson, Okaro White and Maurice Ndour.

The debut was tense, and the contact was hard. Both teams seemed to be in no hurry to score points: the statistics filled up much faster with fouls and losses. However, Akoon-Purcell opened the score from the free-throw line; then Ndour added another 1 point; Anderson did his best from the long range; Miller hovered in the air, pushing aside the opponents in the paint – that’s how Loko got ahead (8:7).

But then UNICS uncovered their long-range artillery, and the host’s advantage quickly grew to 8 points (8:16). A feeling of déjà vu seemed to haunt the spectators: the score of the opening quarter very much resembled the one from the first game – 12:22, the same dozen from Loko, and a double-digit margin.

Despite the colossal difference in the conversion of three-pointers, Loko still managed to stay in the game – largely thanks to the aggressive play in defense.

Okaro White fought zealously for the rebound, Jaylen Barford time after time found his way to the opponent’s basket – and the gap began to melt. And after Ismael Bako missed both free throws, Akoon-Purcell reduced the distance to one attack – 22:24.

Moments later, Ndour turned Miller’s pass into a spectacular overhead shot. They switched roles at the end of the quarter: the forward assisted the guard into the fast break. As a result, at the equator of the game the rivals were separated by the same 2 points – 37:39 in favour of UNICS.

After the long break, both the guests and the hosts tried to finish their attacks as carefully as possible. The Kazan team made no turnovers in this quarter, but this did not stop the red-greens from making an 8-0 run: Miller corrected the team statistics of three-pointers, and a powerful dunk from Ndour allowed Loko to take the lead for the first time this evening (47:46). Andrei Martyuk did not hesitate to fire a three-pointer, once again proving that he poses a danger to the opponent from any point on the court.

By the beginning of the final quarter, UNICS still remained in the lead (52:54), but the performance of the red-greens in the next 10 minutes was outstanding.

Anderson scored four three-pointer in a very short period. Then Loko made one more run – 11:2, and Velimir Perasović’s time-out was already useless.

One more episode, that amused Krasnodar and neutral fans, took part in the final minutes. After Nenad Dimitrijević’s technical foul, Anderson and Ndour started playing Rock-paper-scissors to decide who would take the free-throw. The guard won this mini-battle, the much more important fight was won by Loko – 84:71 at the end. The Krasnodar team equalises the series score!

Now the series moves to Krasnodar. Game 3 is scheduled on May 11, 2 PM. See you!

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