Loko loses Game 7

The decisive game of the semifinal series became a real thriller – but with unfortunate ending for Loko. 87:92 – UNICS goes to the finals.

As many expected, the opponents picked up the full pace from the very first moments of the game. Maurice Ndour opened the score; soon Patrick Miller, who was celebrating his 32nd birthday today, added a couple more points.

A couple of minutes later, the birthday boy successfully attacked from mid-range, but in defense Loko allowed the hosts too much – as a result, with the score 6:14, Alexander Sekulić had to take a timeout.
This pause did the guests good: Miller scored from distance, then Karvel Anderson reminded who the best sniper in the league is – 12:14! At that moment, Mikhail Belenitsky, from whose hands DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell snatched the ball, was given his 3rd foul – in just 5 minutes of the game! Then Karvel fired once again from behind the line – it was in!

UNICS accepted the three-point challenge: Nenad Dimitrijević executed the task twice and brought UNICS ahead again – 20:15.
Miller (1+1), Dmitry Uzinsky (2) & Andrei Martyuk (1) levelled the score – 20:20. The quarter ended with the mini-benefit of Akoon-Purcell: his assist and two free throws made Loko lead by the first break – 24:23.

The second quarter started with a long-range shot by Vladislav Yemchenko. Half a minute later, Martyuk dunked spectacularly, and in the next Loko’ possession Kirill Temirov added three from the very corner – 32:27!
However, the hosts fought back good. Also, the percentage of 3-pointers for both teams was good this evening: by the 20th minute, both teams scored 6 out of 13 attempts. As a result, Loko went to the big break in the role of catcher up, 46:49.

No matter how hard the red-greens tried to reach the opponent the third ten minutes, the Kazan team always remained ahead. Several times the hosts increased their advantage to 8 points, but Loko immediately shortened the distance. After Akoon-Purcell’s 3-pointers, the score became 64:67 – and a couple attack later it turned into “–9” (64:73) – the largest gap in the whole game. And again Loko got closer…
The final quarter began nervously. With each episode, emotions flared up with renewed vigor.
Yemchenko added another 3 points to the team’s score, Barford scored with a foul in a fast break, Okaro White made a good and perfectly timed long shot – and finally, Akoon-Purcell equalized the score, 83:83 just a minute and a half before the final siren!
But Dimitriević, who scored 30 points in this game, had his own plans… It was he who set the final score of this confrontation – alas, not in favor of Loko, 87:92.

The next game for Loko is on May 25 in St. Petersburg, against. It will be the first game of the bronze series which will last up to three wins.

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