Lokomotiv Kuban vs. VEF. The VTB United League. Preview

On October 20th, Lokomotiv Kuban welcomes VEF Riga at home in Game 3 of the VTB United League.

The Take

Loko suffered first defeat in the season last round. The team was beaten by UNICS on the road. Is history repeating itself? Last year, after a defeat from Kazan in Game 2 of the VTB League regular season, Lokomotiv set a record-breaking winning streak of 26 games in all competitions.

Loko has already learnt a lesson from the Kazan defeat and showed spectacular basketball in the Tofas game in EuroCup.

First of all, Obradovic’s team stopped thoughtlessly shooting from downtown and increased Kazan 25 per cent to Krasnodar 80 per cent! Fridzon, Kulagin, Ponitka, and Whitelead netted all their threes. Khvostov and Wright missed only one shot each.

VEF also can repeat the last-year start. Defeated by Khimki in Round 1 – mission completed! However, we shouldn’t criticize the Riga team in this case. Khimki was stronger and left no chances for a win.

At the same time, VEF can blame only itself for a defeat in the PARMA game. After an unsuccessful first quarter, the Latvian team was back into the game and could win it but for awful execution of free throws – 56% (10/18).

The Loko game will be the first away game for VEF in the VTB United League this season.


The Riga club has partition of power. Arturs Ausejs who tried to save VEF from PARMA and Artis Ate who got 19 points in the Khimki game are competing for “the crown.” Each of them averages 16.5 points.

Andrjs Grazulis averaged 9 rebounds after two games – 4.5 offensive rebounds and 4.5 defensive rebounds. He commits more fouls than other players (4) and he is also the top stealer of the team (3).


Lokomotiv Kuban plays effectively at the start of the season. The team has five players who average 10 or more points. Whitehead is the top scorer (15) but he is chased by McLean (12.5), Ponitka (12), Wright (10.5), and Kulagin (10).


Vladimir Ivlev, Forward of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban

We shouldn’t underestimate the team that advanced to play-offs of the VTB United League last season. VEF has a strong roster: they aggressively fight for rebounds at both ends and have good shooters. We should think more about our game, be aggressive in defense, share the ball, and control the rhythm of the game. We play at home and have to do our best to win.


Lokomotiv Kuban vs. VEF game takes place in Basket Hall on October 20th at 5:00 p.m. Moscow time.

The game is broadcasted by Match! Igra TV-channel,, and

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