It’s quite a coincidence that games between these two teams always take place in very important moments of the season. This game is not an exception. What can be more significant than opening the season?
Fortunately, Krasnodar opens the VTB League season in Basket Hall. And there are a lot of reasons for having fun. Loko is professional in holding spectacular opening ceremonies. Remember last-year show ahead of Alba Berlin game or EuroCup Finals show.
The second reason is great basketball. It’s too early to predict that but we are absolutely sure about it.
Zenit held one of the biggest transfers in summer. Its name is Brandon Jennings. The experienced NBA player quickly adjusted to European basketball and almost got triple double in his first official game for the new club – 20 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists.
Adding stable Sergey Karasev and forever-young Evgeny Voronov, the team had everything to beat Turk Telekom (91:80).
Lokomotiv also signed NBA players: the champion for Miami Heat Dorell Wright and a young Brooklyn player Isaiah Whitehead. Krasnodar Americans need more time to adapt than Jennings does. Whitehead got 17 points in EuroCup opener but he felt misplaced. Dorell didn’t get a point but was helpful in defense and grabbing rebounds.
However, not only Americans strengthened Loko in summer. Polish Ponitka and French Fall made fans fall in love with them for their devotion and aggressiveness on the court in first games of the season. The players know their role in the team and ready to help Loko win all possible games.
The only obstacle on the way to a spectacular start of the season is injuries. Both teams suffer losses because of them.
Trevor Lacey arrived in Krasnodar with a knee injury and had to come back to America and receive a surgery. Now Trevor is recovering and won’t play against Zenit.
As for St. Petersburg, Sean Armand outstandingly started the Turk Telekom game but hurt his shoulder after less than three minutes on the court. So there are chances that he won’t play in Krasnodar.
Another interesting thing about the upcoming game is captains’ rivalry. Evgeny Voronov played for Loko in 2014-2016 and won bronze medals of Euroleague.
Dima Kulagin spent a year in Zenit. Now he is Loko’s captain taking the team to new achievements.
Lokomotiv Kuban vs. Zenit opener of the VTB United League takes place on October 5th at 8:00 p.m. Moscow time in Basket Hall.