2018-19Regular SeasonRound 1
October 02, 2018 CET: 20:00
Local time: 20:00 GDYNIA ARENA

Lokomotiv survives stern Arka challenge

Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar outlasted upset-minded Arka Gdynia 73-80 in their EuroCup Group B opener on Tuesday at Gdynia Arena. The hosts led last season's runner-up by 3 midway through the third quarter before Dmitry Khvostov heated up to lead a 5-17 charge. Arka battled back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth to get within 4, but Lokomotiv held on. Isaiah Whitehead debuted with 17 points to lead Lokomotiv, Mateusz Ponitka added 13, Moustapha Fall and Khvostov netted 12 points apiece and JaJuan Johnson tallied 10 points and 8 rebounds. Robert Upshaw posted 15 points and 9 boards for Arka, Krzysztof Szubarga had 14 points and 5 assists and James Florence and Filip Dylewicz added 10 each.

Whitehead dominated early with 5 points and an assist to make it 2-9 in the visitors' favor, but Arka battled back to remain in the hunt. Mateusz Ponitka kept Lokomotiv in control and Fall twice split free throws before the first quarter ended at 12-17. Szubarga drew Arka within 16-17 early in the second quarter, but the home side had no answers for Mateusz Ponitka or Whitehead. However Arka continued to battle hard and their efforts bore fruit when Dylewicz's hook made it 28-27 with less than three minutes remaining in the half. Upshaw's alley-oop slam and Krzysztof Szubarga free throws gave the hosts a 32-31 halftime edge. The Arka lead in fact grew in the first part of the third quarter thanks to Josh Bostic and Dylewicz, whose layup made it 43-40. However, Khvostov scored twice in a 0-9 run that gave Lokomotiv the lead for good. A Khvostov triple and a Fall layup gave their team a 48-57 cushion through three quarters. The lead reached double figures in the fourth, but Florence's steals and layups made it 68-72 in the penultimate minute. Mateusz Ponitka's dunk wrapped up a Lokomotiv win.

PIVOTAL PERFORMER

The winning hand on this nigh belonged to Dmitry Khvostov, who fired in 10 third-quarter points to turn the game on its head. He scored twice in a 0-9 run to give Lokomotiv the lead for good after trailing 43-40 and added a pair of threes to send his team to a 48-57 advantage by the quarter's end. His 10 points in the third was exactly the difference between the teams in that period. Khvostov only missed 2 shots and contributed 3 assists in the winning effort.

OH BROTHER!

Mateusz Ponitka's first EuroCup game for Lokomotiv was also a return to his former hometown and a clash against his little brother. Mateusz, of course, played for the predecessor to Arka, Asseco Prokom Gdynia in the EuroLeague in 2012-13 and was a teammate of his brother Marcel at Zielona Gora three years later. On Tuesday, the big brother and former EuroCup Rising Star played a big role in the victory with 13 points on only 7 shot attempts plus 4 rebounds. Marcel played a game-high 31 minutes in defeat.

STELLAR STAT

Lokomotiv outrebounded Arka 35-43 in a key to the outcome, but even more impressive was that the rebounding burden was shared by many players. In fact, five different Lokomotiv players had at least 5: JaJaun Johnson (8), Isaiah Whitehead (6), Jamel McLean (5), Dorell Wright (5) and Moustapha Fall (5). Also noteworthy was that all nine Lokomotiv players who appeared in the game dished at least 1 assist. That sort of teamwork can take a team far.

TURNING BACK THE CLOCK

A few weeks before we turn our clocks back, Arka Gdynia's Filip Dylewicz did the same. The 38-year-old forward came off the bench for 10 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in 22 minutes. He gave Arka its first lead of the game in the second quarter and its biggest lead (3 points) in the third. On Tuesday night, Dylewicz looked every bit the team leader and star he was 10 years ago.

NEXT GAME

Lokomotiv heads back to Russia for its home opener next week against Limoges CSP, while Arka travels to Turkey for a Wednesday showdown with Tofas Bursa.

Isaiah Whitehead - Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (photo Arka Gdynia) - EC18
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: BISSANG, JOSEPH; PETEK, SASO; RACYS, SAULIUS
Attendance: 2049
By Quarter1234
Arka Gdynia12201625
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar17142623
End of Quarter1234
Arka Gdynia12324873
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar17315780
Arka Gdynia
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 FLORENCE, JAMES 19:26 10 3/7 1/4 1/1   4 4 1 5 3   3 3 4 8
3 BOSTIC, JOSH 28:02 9 1/5 0/8 7/7   1 1 1 3 3   2 3 3 -3
7 SZUBARGA, KRZYSZTOF 25:20 14 2/4 2/5 4/4   1 1 5 1 3     5 4 12
8 DYLEWICZ, FILIP 21:48 10 2/5 2/5   3 3 6 1 1 2   1 3   6
10 WITLINSKI, MIKOLAJ 11:03 2 1/4     1   1 1             1
11 PONITKA, MARCEL 31:15 3   1/3     4 4 2 1 3     2 1 4
16 LAPETA, ADAM 10:54       0/2 1   1     1     4 2 -4
23 KAMINSKI, GRZEGORZ DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
30 GARBACZ, JAKUB 5:29 3   1/2                       2
44 DULKYS, DEIVIDAS 15:18 2 1/3 0/2     2 2 3 1 1     2   1
55 UPSHAW, ROBERT III 21:56 15 6/9 0/1 3/4 1 8 9     1 3   3 2 20
91 WYKA, DARIUSZ 9:29 5 1/1 1/2   1   1           3 1 3
Team           3 2 5               5
Totals 200:00 73 17/38 8/32 15/18 10 25 35 14 12 17 3 6 28 17 55
        44.7% 25% 83.3%
Head coach: FRASUNKIEWICZ, PRZEMYSLAW
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 MCLEAN, JAMEL 24:50 7 2/5   3/4 1 4 5 1 4   1   3 5 16
3 WRIGHT, DORELL 20:18     0/2     5 5 2   1     2   2
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 22:45 9 2/6 1/2 2/2   2 2 1 3 2       2 10
10 IVLEV, VLADIMIR DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 ILNITSKIY, STANISLAV DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 KHVOSTOV, DMITRY 23:57 12 2/3 2/3 2/2   2 2 3   2     3 1 11
15 WHITEHEAD, ISAIAH 28:07 17 5/11 1/4 4/4 1 5 6 3 2 6 2 2 1 5 17
20 PONITKA, MATEUSZ 24:37 13 5/5 1/2 0/1 1 3 4 2 1 5 1   3 3 14
22 KULAGIN, DMITRY 16:19   0/3 0/3   1 1 2 3   3   1 1   -6
25 JOHNSON, JAJUAN 24:11 10 3/7   4/6 2 6 8 3     2   3 6 20
93 FALL, MOUSTAPHA 14:56 12 4/4   4/8 2 3 5 1         1 6 19
Team           4   4               4
Totals 200:00 80 23/44 5/16 19/27 12 31 43 19 10 19 6 3 17 28 107
        52.3% 31.3% 70.4%
Head coach: OBRADOVIC, SASA

Head Coaches

FRASUNKIEWICZ, PRZEMYSLAW
Arka Gdynia
"I am really proud of my team and my players. We actually did what we were supposed to. 95% of the game plan we were following, but it's not enough. To win against a team like this we have to be focused for 40 minutes, clean the boards and definitely we have to make some shots. Today we played really good defense, but for some reasons the balls didn't drop."
OBRADOVIC, SASA
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar
"It was never easy. First games are allways the hardest ones. We didn't play at our expected level, but a win is a win. We are going to improve from game to games. We have to have a certain intensity to start the game. We were slow, without any energy. We gave them a certain confidence and then everything was harder."

Players

UPSHAW, ROBERT III
Arka Gdynia
"It is very exciting to be here. We never had thought I would be in this position as a basketball player, with everything I have been through, but by the grace of God, I was able to work hard this summer and join Arka Gdynia. It has been a great experience here. As you could see tonight, we are really getting it together and learning. We still have to make a few adjustments, but it is really exciting. It was great that my teammates were able to find me; Marcel Ponitka found me on a lob and I was able to finish. That shows the trust we have between each other. Every game is the same, we are going to treat us as it is our last one that we are playing. The adjustments we made from our Barcelona pre-season game until now were great. We are learning to have better team chemistry. We have to keep making adjustments, keep watching film because tonight we competed. We didn't make a lot of shots, had a lot of mistakes, but that is what film is for. We are going to get back to it and treat each game as if it is our last EuroCup game."
JOHNSON, JAJUAN
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar
"It was a very important win. My team won last year. The key is to win on the road. We were fortunate today to get a tough road win. They played really hard. In the second half we played really well. We got some stops, some easy buckets, some transition points; that was pretty much the key. They were playing tougher than us in the first half; In the second half we were the more aggressive team."
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