Lokomotiv-Kuban Russia defeated Tsmoki-Minsk Belarus at home, 67-56 (21-17, 12-11, 20-19, 14-9).
Lokomotiv-Kuban: Mardy Collins (18 + 5 reb), Ryan Broekhoff (15 + 7 reb + 4 stl), Brian Qvale (10 + 6 reb)
Tsmoki-Minsk: Aliaksandr Kudrautsau (12), David Kravish (10 + 5 reb), Chris Czerapowicz (10 + 5 reb)
Both teams shot worse than 40% from the field, but Krasnodar’s dominance on the glass and 33 combined points from Mardy Collins and Ryan Broekhoff gave the home team enough of an edge to emerge with a 67-56 win.
Lokomotiv lived up to its reputation as a defense-first team, limiting the visitors to 56 points on 35% shooting.
Ryan Broekhoff, who scored 15 with an efficient 4-5 from the field and 5-5 at the line, sparked Krasnodar with four steals. Mardy Collins, meanwhile, had 18 on 7-13 shooting to go with five rebounds.
Loko’s biggest advantage was on the glass. The Railwaymen pulled down 15 offensive boards, outscoring Tsmoki 16-8 on second-chance points.
Though Minsk trailed almost the entire game, the deficit was a measly four points, 53-49, after Devon Saddler’s layup with nine minutes remaining in the 4th. The visitors had several chances to cut it to one possession, but squandered it with two missed 3-pointers and a turnover.
With Loko unable to score in the first three minutes of the 4th, Collins delivered with a huge three-point play, quickly followed by an alley-oop on an assist from Trevor Lacey. Leading by nine, the home team never looked back, limiting Minsk to nine points in the final period.
— VTB United League (@VTBUL) December 2, 2017
23% – Lokomotiv managed to win, despite shooting only 6-26 from beyond the arc. Collins and Broekhoff both went 2-3, the rest of the team combined to shoot 2-20.
Lokomotiv-Kuban head coach Sasa Obradovic:
– Congratulations to my players. This was a tough game for several reasons. We lost our rhythm because of the break for the national team games. That was especially obvious on offense. But on defense everything was in order. We broke down every one of Tsmoki’s players and stopped their snipers. I’m satisfied with the defense. We were also playing without several guys. Elegar hurt his back a little. He’s practicing, but couldn’t play. Kulagin was fatigued from the national team games and also a little sick. Chris Babb is still trying to find his stride after his injury. Those are objective reasons that made this game difficult. We had to battle today, but that’s all for the better.
Tsmoki-Minsk head coach Alexander Krutikov:
– Congratulations to Lokomotiv-Kuban. They played better than us today. We committed 15 turnovers, weren’t accurate at the line and missed open 3-pointers. At the end, our opponent hit two big 3-pointers and was able to secure the necessary lead. I underestimated Brian Qvale. He was very good at his position. There’s no need to talk about what Ryan Broekhoff can do. He’s a sniper, like Collins.
Lokomotiv-Kuban: December 10 away vs. Astana
Tsmoki-Minsk: December 10 home vs. Kalev