Tsmoki-Minsk hosts Loko, Zielona Gora plays Kalev.
Wednesday, March 27
Time: 7:00 PM (7:00 MSK)
Place: Falcon Club, Minsk, Belarus
Tsmoki-Minsk: The Belarusian Dragons ended a 10-game losing streak over the weekend and are determined to escape last place. This time, however, they are taking on a team they rarely beat. One year ago, Minsk sensationally upset Loko, the first time in 13 meetings with the Railwaymen. Tsmoki was led by Devon Saddler’s 22 points in the game. The American guard has been playing well in recent weeks, sparking the win over PARMA, and would probably love for a repeat of last year’s historic victory.
Lokomotiv-Kuban: The past 10 days have seen a lot of change in Krasnodar. Immediately following the loss to UNICS, Vlada Jovanovic was dismissed, replaced by the experienced Bob Donewald, who has worked at three NBA clubs as well as guided the Chinese national team to an Asian championship. The American coach takes over Lokomotiv during a challenging period. The team is still trying to finish in the top three and will only trail Khimki by one win with a victory in Minsk. Dmitry Kulagin will probably be extra motivated for this game. His miss from the free-throw line last March was a big reason why Tsmoki was able to pull the upset.
Thursday, March 28
Time: 7:00 PM (9:00 MSK)
Place: CRS Hala Zielona Gora, Zielona Gora, Poland
Zielona Gora: The Poles are out of the running for a playoff spot, but could still impact the top eight. Zielona Gora’s next two games are against teams battling for a top-eight spot. The club’s first meeting with Kalev was super competitive. The Poles led by six with several minutes remaining, but Kalev closed the game on a big run to steal the victory. Even though Zielona Gora is playing at home this time, Tallinn will be favored again. The game vs. Nizhny exposed the Polish club’s weaknesses as they gave up more than 100 points for the third time.
Kalev: The moment of truth has arrived for the Estonians. After the loss to CSKA, Avtodor is a game and a half back in the standings. Kalev can go up two games with a victory over the Poles on the road. Kalev’s coaching staff likely watched tape of Zielona Gora’s loss to Nizhny Novgorod. The Russians were able to score 38 points in the paint and Kalev big man Arnett Moultrie is probably salivating over the opportunity to score inside. The schedule gets much tougher in the coming weeks with four games against top-eight teams, which means Kalev can ill-afford to miss this opportunity for a win.