Two teams that won their respective Top 16 openings will clash to stay undefeated in Group E as Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (1-0) hosts UCAM Murcia (1-0) on Wednesday. The game will mark the first time ever that these two teams meet in continental competition. Kevin Jones is the main man behind Loko (12.1 ppg. and 5.1 rpg.), followed by Mardy Collins (11.4 ppg., 5.7 rpg., 4.8 apg. and 1.4 spg.) and Matt Janning (10.3 ppg. and 2.6 apg.). Murcia has a clear leader in Facundo Campazzo (14.8 ppg. plus 7.5 apg. and 2.5 spg.), with big contribution from Billy Baron (13.0 ppg.) and Vitor Faverani (11.6 ppg.). Sadiel Rojas also steps in with 7.0 rebounds per game. Murcia has been scoring almost 6 points more than Loko so far this season, but the hosts have a better defense by basically the same amount of points, so the game will be a battle of styles between two teams that are rather balanced. Loko fares better in assists (17.2 to 16.3) and rebounds (37.2 to 35.2), but Murcia is a couple steps ahead in steals (8.0 to 6.6) and PIR (87.2 to 84.7). Both teams will try to convert their last wins into positive streaks on Wednesday to stay perfect in the short Top 16 phase, something that could make a difference in the end.
Sasa Obradovic, Head Coach of Lokomotiv Kuban:
- It’s very important for us to win the game, because if we lose at home, our road win over Gran Canaria means nothing. Canaria is able to defeat all Spanish teams in our group, and we must do the same. UCAM Murcia is a well-organized team with a good system which has a clear leader – Facundo Campazzo. However, he is not the only one who should be stopped. The game will be difficult, but we believe in our win and are getting ready for that.
Evgeny Baburin, Guard of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban:
- After UNICS, we are facing another difficult challenge – UCAM Murcia, a team which won its first game in Top-16 of EuroCup and wants to take the first place in our group. It’s very important for us to win the game, considering the standings and maintenance of our recent successes. We should maintain confidence and high spirit that we had in December and early January; we should support our pace in the game, set it and make the Spaniards follow it. It will be a bit easier to do with a support of our fans, but still it’s going to be a very tough game. Our win over UNICS is already forgotten, and now the most important thing is to win UCAM Murcia.