PBC Lokomotiv Kuban booked a place in the Eurocup quarterfinals with an 83-72 win over Cajasol Sevilla on Wednesday afternoon, keeping its perfect record in the Last 16 intact and denying the road side a first win of the stage. While Cajasol now has no hope of progressing, Lokomotiv’s path is assured after another key result in Group K went its way –Spartak St. Petersburg beat Stelmet Zielona Gora. Derrick Brown led Lokomotiv with 20 points and also contributed 5 rebounds and 5 assists, while Aleks Maric, whose late baskets ensured the win, tallied 14 points and 11 rebounds. Mantas Kalnietis added 17 points, Simas Jasaitis scored 13 and Nick Calathes 11 for the winners. Luka Bogdanovic paced Cajasol with 15 points, with Tomas Satoransky added 14 and Latavious Williams 13 in defeat.
Cajasol made a storming start, going 0-9 ahead in the early stage of the first quarter. After being held scoreless for two-plus minutes, the home team finally put points on the board with free throws by Brown. He followed up with a series of dunks and steals which tightened things on the scoreboard. Lokomotiv's tactics revolved around putting the ball inside and, while it did not convert from outside the arc, Cajasol's Satoransky, Roderick Blakney and John Holland all hit triples with that pulled the road team to a 15-23 lead at the end of the quarter. Maric finally got his first points at the start of the second quarter. However, Cajasol remained in front as Williams did an excellent job inside on defense, which he then transitioned into offensive power with 8 of Cajasol’s 16 points in the period. His hot streak kept his team ahead, 35-39, when the halftime buzzer sounded. Lokomotiv had yet to open its account from downtown, but was shooting with 68% accuracy inside and was dominating the boards with 19 rebounds to Cajasol’s 11.
Brown continued to send down the dunks in the third quarter, turning the game in Lokomotiv’s favor midway through before Cajasol’s Joan Sastre leveled things up at 49-49. Assists and baskets from Calathes helped the home team’s cause, and Simas Jasaitis finally scored Lokomotiv’s first three-pointers with a pair of shots from beyond the perimeter. Kalnietis also hit a triple in a spree of scoring. Jasaitis and Kalnietis both went into double digits as Lokomotiv Kuban went 63-52 in front. New Lokomotiv signing Richard Hendrix made an impact off the bench in the final quarter, starting off with a dunk off Brown’s assist. For Cajasol, Williams kept on pulling down rebounds, but only bench player Bryan Asbury was able to get any offensive threat going in the early part of the quarter. Bogdanovic then stepped up for a pair of three-pointers in quick succession, making it a 9-pont game with just over five minutes left on the clock. Cajasol looked to be in with a chance of overhauling the deficit, but Maric layups and a dunk ended its hopes of a win against the Group K leader.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013