CSKA Wins Shootout vs. Loko

CSKA Wins Shootout vs. Loko

CSKA defeated Lokomotiv-Kuban at home in Game 1 of the playoff semifinals, 101-95 (26-22, 32-30, 19-18, 24-25).

Top Scorers
CSKA: Nando De Colo (20+7 ast), Vitaly Fridzon (15), James Augustine (13), Milos Teodosic (12+6 ast), Cory Higgins (12)

Lokomotiv-Kuban: Matt Janning (21), Mardy Collins (21), Taylor Rochestie (17+5 ast), Ian Vougioukas (10)

CSKA and Loko surprised everyone in the first half by engaging in a full-fledged shootout, combining for 110 points in the opening 20 minutes! Matt Janning answered Vitaly Fridzon’s sharp shooting as both teams lit up the perimeter. Near the end of the 2nd quarter, Moscow started to pull away, with Janning’s 3-pointer to close the half keeping Krasnodar within two possessions, 58-52.

CSKA appeared to have the momentum, but Loko refused to let the home team take control. Ryan Broekhoff and Mardy Collins both got hot from outside, cutting the deficit to two, 68-66, midway through the 3rd.

A timeout from Dimitris Itoudis had the desired effect. James Augustine got CSKA going with Victor Khryapa’s fast-break dunk pushing the lead to 11, 81-70.

Turning Point
Loko came charging back in the final quarter. Krasnodar continued to drain 3-pointers, with Collins cutting the lead to three, 97-94 in the final minute. CSKA, however, took care of the business at the free-throw line, hanging on for victory after Janning’s 3-pointer rimmed out in the final seconds. The Red-Blues open the series with a 101-95 win.

21 – both teams took 21 three-point attempts. Amazingly, both teams also made 13, shooting an impressive 61% from the perimeter.

CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis:
– Congratulations to the team on a 1-0 lead in the series. We understood from the start that both teams are at different places in terms of fatigue. We returned from the EuroLeague Final Four in Istanbul, while Lokomotiv had a chance to prepare calmly for several days. Nonetheless, we came back in rhythm. We battled, rebounded, dove to the floor. We had some good stretches. We could have secured a comfortable lead, but we didn’t take advantage of a few opportunities. When Victor missed a shot and James passed under the basket instead of shooting. We got another lesson that the game doesn’t end until the final whistle. Loko is a good team and playing without pressure. They showed toughness and hit big shots. All the same, I’m happy with my team’s approach. We have winners on our team. Right now we need to analyze the tape and understand what we can do better. Thanks to the fans. There were a lot of them today and they did a great job supporting us.

Lokomotiv-Kuban head coach Sasa Obradovic:
– This was a good game to watch. It wasn’t clear until the end who would win. This was high scoring, quality basketball. The foul at the end–even if I didn’t see it–probably didn’t decide the outcome. One basket here, one basket there… I think we’ll be better prepared on Sunday. There were several dozen Loko fans in the USH CSKA stands today. Most of them came from Krasnodar. Thank you for your support, Loko Nation!


Game 2
May 28 in Moscow


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