Loko is snapping at CSKA’s heels and will play against the Moscow team on February 19th on the road. The last obstacle ahead of the struggle against the best team in Europe is Astana from Kazakhstan. It tries to get to play-off of the VTB United League, but the situation is difficult for them. Kazakhstan had lost 4 games in a row in the United League; and another defeat can knock them over to the bottom of the standings.
It won’t be easy to win in Krasnodar: Loko has won all games in the United League under Sasa Obradovic, and 2 months ago, Lokomotiv defeated Astana on the road with a 20-point advantage.
American guard Robert Lowery is the leader of Astana. He is the most valuable player who is able to make do-or-die shots at the end of the game. He is also the top stealer – 2.1 on average. Dimitrios Katsivelis is the top assister (4.8), while Ousman Krubally is the top rebounder – 7.5.
In Loko, Kevin Jones is the top rebounder with 5.7, he is also the most valuable player of our team in the VTB United League – 13.7 efficiency. Mardy Collins averages 4.3 assists and 1.2 steals.
Sasa Obradovic, Head Coach of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban:
- We played against Astana in December, and at-a-glance we managed to win easily. I respect the team for their good basketball, especially considering the fact that they spend a lot of time by air. Yes, sometimes they don’t have enough forces at the end of a game, but when they have power, they always fight. There is a clear idea in their playing, and they are a good coached team in general. For us, it is important to continue the winning series and hold the position from which we would like to get to play-off.
Andrey Zubkov, Forward of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban:
- All-Star Game of the VTB United League is over, and we have to return to a working rhythm. We have no games in EuroCup till the end of February, so we need to focus on the domestic championship. Moreover, we have a very tough schedule after Astana – at first CSKA, and then Khimki. We respect every rival, but don’t want to lose points ahead of such difficult games. We know how to play against Astana and will try to use the knowledge on the court. I think we have even more chances to win due to a support of our fans.