On Tuesday basketball players of PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban unexpectedly lost in their arena to the Parisian club Metropolitan 92 in the first match of the Eurocup Top-16 round – 79:83 (19:20, 18:16, 22:18, 20:29).
The French team, which has not played in European competition since 2014, sensationally took first place in the previous round, beating even the Spanish “Unicaja”, a regular participant in the Euroleague. And now Krasnodar fans had to get acquainted with the still mysterious debutant of the Eurocup, headed by the former player of the national teams of Yugoslavia and Slovenia, Yura Zdovc.
And to support the railroad workers (by the way, Evgeny Pashutin’s team, who lost their leader Alan Williams for a long time due to an injury, lost both January meetings in the United League) about two thousand spectators gathered in the local Basket Hall.
However, the support of the fans, which the Parisians are deprived of on their site, did not bother them at all: the guests were in no hurry, preferring to bring their attacks to the right throw from close range. What they did well at first: the powerful center Shikoko pushed the hosts under the shield, while the defenders Mishino and Goodwin repeatedly found loopholes to the hosts’ ring (10 points each in the first half). By the middle of the quarter, Loko let the opponent go a little – 9:16.
The main point guard of the Kuban team, Kalnietis, did not manage to establish combinational actions, and as a result, his partners Kuzminskas, Lynch and Ilnitsky began to take the initiative, having noted serial hits – 27:20 in the opening of the second quarter.
In the third period, Hervey was added to them (the main sniper of the Kuban Crawford began to hit only by the end of the meeting), which allowed the hosts to keep the opponent at some distance – 61:56, 34th minute.
However, Goodwin, Mishino and Brown, who joined them in the fourth period, continued to regularly score points at close range, allowing Metopolitan 92 to take the lead again at the very end of the meeting – 71:75, 38th minute.
In general, ”“ Lokomotiv-Kuban ”, having spent the final minutes unintelligibly and with a huge number of errors, lost in the opening match of the Top 16 with a score of 79:83.
The most productive among the Parisians was defender David Michenot, who scored 18 points. The Lithuanian forward from Krasnodar Mindaugas Kuzminskas has 21 points.
In Group F, two more teams will meet tonight: Serbian Partizan in Belgrade will host Italian Trento.
Now next Wednesday, January 20, the railroad will play in Italy. And one more misfire in a fairly short tournament can be very costly for Lokomotiv-Kuban: only two best clubs from our group will make it to the playoffs of the prestigious Eurocup.
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