Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar remained undefeated in the 2017-18 7DAYS EuroCup by downing Cedevita Zagreb 69-64 at home in Group G on Tuesday. Lokomotiv improved to 3-0 in Group G, while Cedevita dropped to 0-3. Frank Elegar led the winners with 20 points and 9 rebounds and Trevor Lacey added 19 points. Demetris Nichols and Damir Markota paced Cedevita with 14 points and Karlo Zganec added 11 - all in the final six minutes – plus 11 rebounds for the guests. A jumper by Dmitry Khvostov capped a 15-0 run that bridged the halftime break and gave the hosts a 44-28 lead and the difference stood at 56-38 after 30 minutes. Roko Ukic and Zganec brought Cedevita back to life and the visitors clawed their way to within 65-64 with 22.5 seconds to go. However Ryan Broekhoff hit free throws for Lokomotiv and Markota missed from downtown a few seconds before the final buzzer.
Andrija Stipanovic got Cedevita going with a driving layup, but three-pointers by Mardy Collins and Pavel Antipov gave Lokomotiv a 6-2 lead. Kevin Murphy downed a baseline jumper and Nichols added a back-to-back layups for a 6-8 Cedevita edge. Lokomotiv improved its defense and found a go-to guy in Elegar, who followed a three-point play with a big slam that gave the hosts a 14-10 edge after 10 minutes. Elegar dunked again early in the second quarter and Chris Babb added a floater, but three-pointers by Will Cherry and Markota caused Lokomotiv to call timeout at 18-16. Cherry and Markota each insisted from downtown to put Cedevita in charge, 20-22. Lacey had 5 points in a 7-0 run and Broekhoff added a driving layup, but consecutive three-point plays by Nichols kept the guests close, 29-28. Kulagin hit free throws and followed Elegar's dunk with a buzzer-beating layup that gave Lokomotiv a 37-28 margin at halftime.
Elegar scored down low after the break and Khvostov followed Kulagin's three-pointer with a jumper that prompted Cedevita to call timeout at 44-28. Markota sank a jump hook, but a triple by Babb and a put-back layup by Broekhoff broke the game open at 49-30. Nichols hit a couple of jumpers and Toni Katic added a floater, but Lacey singlehandedly kept Lokomotiv way ahead, 56-38, after 30 minutes. A floater by Stipanovic and a three-pointer by Ukic caused the hosts to call timeout at 56-43. Murphy capped a 0-7 run with free throws and Zganec brought the guests within single digits, 58-51, after a 2-15 run. Zganec and Toni Katic made free throws and Markota followed a triple with a jumper for a 63-60 score. Lacey hit a jumper, but Zganec hit 4 free throws to make it a 1-point game, 65-64, with 22.5 seconds left. Markota airballed an off-balance three-point shot and Lacey rounded off Lokomotiv's win with a jumper on the buzzer.
Sasa Obradovic, Head Coach of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban:
- We expected it would have been a hard game. The moment of the season is also important. You cannot expect that you have all games perfect, playing best basketball and have domination wins. Today the game was without several guys, offensively not productive. But we found a way to win the game and it was important. We should also talk about the rhythm. Maybe we were not patient. There were situations in the game when we should definitely control the game and win the game calmly in the end. This is also a problem. We should know how to protect the lead, what are our best shots and to use them, what’s the best individual quality of each player.
Frank Elegar, Center of PBC Lokomotiv Kuban:
- It was a hard game. We built the lead once again but lost the focus in the second half, took some crazy shots and we allowed them come back in the game. But nevertheless, we won.