Lokomotiv Kuban vs. Lietuvos Rytas. EuroCup. Preview

On December 13th, Lokomotiv Kuban welcomes Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius for Round 8 of EuroCup. In the first game, the Lithuanians got our team into overtime but didn’t succeed. Loko takes the first place in Group C and has to win the eighth game in a row to stay on the top. The game takes place in Basket Hall at 8:30 p.m. Moscow time.

The Take

Three participants of Top-16 were set in Group C in the previous round. Bilbao, Partizan, and Limoges still have chances to get the last ticket to the second group stage. As for other three already-qualified teams, no one has guaranteed the first place in the group. The Lithuanians will have to win if they want to stay at the front of the Top 16 race, but a loss would not be fatal. This will be the fourth time both sides meet in the EuroCup, with Loko winning all of the previous three.

The last win came in Round 3, 85-93, behind 21 points from Joe Ragland. After seven rounds, Ragland (14.9 ppg., 5.1 apg.) remains the main focus for Loko on offense, with Ryan Broekhoff (11.6 ppg.) and Trevor Lacey (11.3 ppg.) also playing key roles.

For Rytas, Loukas Mavrokefalidis is having a stellar season (16.6 ppg., 5.5 rpg.), aided by Rokas Giedraitis (14.0 ppg.) and EuroCup assists leader Chris Kramer (13.0 ppg., 7.6 apg.). Rytas boasts the best offense in the competition (89.5 ppg.) and will try to put that to good use, especially since Loko has the third-best defense overall (73.3 ppg.).

It will be a clash of styles between two of the four best teams in collective PIR in the competition. Both do their thing, and do it pretty well. Loko won’t have the pressure of fighting for a ticket, but pride could get in Rytas’s way if the hosts want to clinch first place already this round.

- In the first game, Lietuvos rytas proved to be a very strong team that could force aggressive basketball. They played under the support of their fans and it was hard for us. Now the factor is in our favor. After two road games, we are happy to come back home and want to please our fans.

- They had a good game against Zalgiris. They won a big game in a big way, so we expect a great confident team. As for us, we need to play our best game to win. Even though we have secured our place in the next part, we should always play on the highest level as possible.

Share with Friends: