The 2016 Euroleague Final Four in Berlin went to form, with CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce reaching the final with victories on Friday over Laboral Kutxa Vitoria and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar. The two unfancied teams have given a good account of themselves and announced an arrival as potent forces in European Basketball.
On Sunday, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar completed its best ever continental season ever with a 75-85 win over Laboral Kutxa Vitoria in the third placed contest. The Russian club has never contested a Final Four before, so this was uncharted territory for Lokomotiv in the 2016 Euroleague event in the German capital.
Not that Laboral Kutxa Vitoria is hugely experienced, only appearing in the Final Four once before, a final loss to Maccabi Tel-Aviv in 2005.
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar vs. Laboral Kutxa Vitoria, 85-75
Vitoria’s strong offence against Krasnodar’s fighting spirits was the tale of the tape heading into the contest, but it was the Russians who found more joy at the bucket in the first quarter. Through the period, Lokomotiv carved 16-20 lead. The Spanish scorers soon clicked in the second frame and used a 26-20 winning quarter to steal a slender 40-42 advantage through the long break.
After the rest, the teams emerged from the locker room and Lokomotiv had a second win, streaming 21 points in the third act and keeping Laboral Kutxa at 11 points. That handed the Russians a 61-53 lead through thirty minutes on the floor. It was enough to seal the win as Lokomotiv won the fourth 24-22 as both teams threw caution to the wind.
Ryan Broekhoff topped the win with 21 points and 6 rebounds, while Malcolm Delaney nearly matched that haul with 21 points and 5 boards. Chris Singleton and Victor Claver scored 10 points apiece and both grabbed 7 rebounds.
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria’s team simply failed to spread the scoring duties, with only two players topping double digits during the game. Darius Adams shone in the losing effort with a game high 25 points, while Davis Bertans was good for 13 points.