Lokomotiv Kuban is the only team in EuroCup which stays undefeated. By Round 5, the story repeats for the first time in 11 years. Earlier, at least two teams in all groups knew no defeats. However, it’s not an advantage for our team. Any club is ready to beat anyone – that’s why we love basketball.
Alba proved the statement. At the start of the season, they hammered everyone scoring more than 100 points in each game but were defeated by Cedevita in Round 2.
This is Alba’s only failure. They play great in the domestic championship. The Berlin team fantastically performed in Limoges and Gdynia games.
Loko could also fail in the Cedevita game. After a 23-point lag, the Croats had a chance to snatch Krasnodar’s victory. However, they didn’t. Sasa Obradovic oppressed the opponent with defense in the end.
After the away game in Zagreb, Lokomotiv Kuban went to Nizhny Novgorod and finished its week tour with a win. Krasnodar will play four next games in a row at home. It would be perfect to start the home series with a win over Alba. Moreover, Berlin comes to Kuban with a shorten roster.
In two previous rounds, Alba scored less than 90 points. It makes them less fearful than they were before. At the moment, Aito Garcia Reneses’ team averages 91 points (the third place in the tournament). Alba is the top team in moving the ball in EuroCup. They average 22.3 assists which is 2 assists more than opponents’ index.
However, we had some bad news for basketball fans. The most spectacular performer of modern Alba Peyton Siva won’t come to Krasnodar because of an injury. He makes a half of all team’s assists and he is their top scorer.
Nevertheless, Berlin won’t surrender. They started the season without Dennis Clifford but didn’t lose anything in attacking. Rokas Giedraitis (15.5 points) and MVP of the last season in the German championship Luke Sikma (7.5) guarantee stability in the opponent’s end of the court.
However, they are not big enough to defend their glass. Alba is the last but one in block shots (0.75) and the 14th in conceded goals (81.8).
Loko got a new top scorer. No wonder it is Dima Kulagin. The captain stole the floor in the first half of the Cedevita game and scored 21 points. Then he ran into Stipanovich, his shoulder was bandaged, Sasa Obradovic expressed his respect and said ‘it was a different Kulagin’ but he meant only the second half. In EuroCup, Kulagin averages 5.5 field goals in a game (9th place) and takes 10th place in field goal efficiency (62.5%).
The main thing is that Kulagin didn’t get an injury. In the Nizhny game, Loko’s guard shot 7/11 field goals (14 points), 4/4 in the first quarter.
Mateusz Ponitka supports the captain. He averages 10.8 points and shoots 70.8% of field goals. This is the second place in the tournament – a very high result for a player who scores from different positions.
Previously in EuroCup
Last season, Loko beat Alba in the regular championship twice.
In the first game in Krasnodar, Lokomotiv Kuban let the top scoring team of EuroCup shoot only 59 points.
In Berlin, the game was tougher but you-know-who took the victory.
Jamel McLean and Sasa Obradovic built Alba’s glory in the 2014/2015 season.