Loko takes the lead in the semifinal series!

Game 3 of the semifinal series results into the second victory to Loko – 89:83.

From the very first seconds of Game No. 3, it became clear that the gameplay in the Krasnodar Basket Hall would be strikingly different from what the spectators saw in Kazan.

Loko picked up a high tempo quickly. Of course, not without the help of the sixth player – the home stands definitely charged the players, who rushed into the attack with all their energy.

After the opening jump ball, Okaro White scored 2+1. The Kazan team responded immediately, and so Patrick Miller from mid-range – 5:2.

However, one thing remained the same in this semi-final series – an incredibly high level of contact. And also the accuracy of Karvel Anderson, who continued to delight the fans with his long-range shots: after a short 0:4 UNICS run, the Loko main sniper brought the leadership to the southerners again – 8:6.

Seconds later, White’s three-pointer made the arena erupt with joy; Andrei Martyuk started to score without hesitation; a long shot from Jaylen Barford – that evening the Krasnodar team, as they say, “flew.” With a dunk into which DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell seemed to put all his passion, the scoreboard lit up with a pleasant 19:12.

However, the guests were able to reduce the gap, and by the end of the first ten minutes the score was equal. Loko had a couple of seconds left to have possession, and JB successfully took advantage of them, scoring from mid-range, 24:22!

The next 2 minutes after a break were ruled by UNICS, who took the lead (24:28). Thanks to Karvel and his three-pointer – Loko immediately got back into fight.

And that fight was decent. The opponents were level: as soon as the guests went ahead, the red-greens immediately equalized the score. The young talent Kirill Yelatontsev made the arena yell with his powerful dunk, 37:37. Then another gifted graduate of the local Academy showed up with a smart and spectacular assist.

Yet, Loko ended the half in the role of catching up, being at a distance of one long shot – 44:47.

The second half, like the first, was opened by White’s points. Then Barford intercepted the ball, bypassed the opponent’s defence with wide eurostep, and returned the advantage to Loko – 50:49.

Nenad Dimitrijević‘s 3-pointer was immediately responded to by Anderson’s equal feature. In the next possession Patrick Miller strengthened the hosts’ advantage – 55:52. In the next minutes, Miller reached the 10-point mark; Martyuk dunked; Vladislav Yemchenko carried the ball to the basket with a neat lay-up. After White made the score 65:58, Velimir Perasović had to take the team to a timeout. This helped UNICS to avoid a double-digit difference in the score before the final quarter – 67:62.

The Kazan team started the final quarter with another mini-run. When the score became 68:67, DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell turned on “the beast mode”: he started to score from elsewhere, to snatch the ball from UNICS players’ hands, to make classy assists. After the pass from behind the back Maurice Ndour simply could not help but score!

However, the guests still managed to respond, and 3 minutes before the final siren, the “plus 7” came to naught – 79:79. The following clutch kept the audience in great thrill – and lasted quite long.

The players fouled a lot, have mistaken a lot – and scored a few. After it became 83:83, UNICS’ leader Jalen Reynolds was fouled out, and White scored both free throws.

In the response attack, Nenad threw for an equal score – and missed. Then Mikhail Belenitsky was fined with an unsportsmanlike foul after a video replay examined by referees. Dimitrijević‘s nerves couldn’t stand it either, and the red-greens, with their well-aimed free throws, recorded the final score of the match – 89:83! Loko is leading the series!

The next match against UNICS is scheduled at May 13th. The game starts at 19:30. Lokofamily, we are waiting for you in the stands!

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