Just a solitary game opened the second leg of the Eurocup Eighthfinals on Tuesday as Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar punched its ticket into the quarter final with a cruising home win over Brose Baskets Bamberg.
The teams headed into their second game of a two leg series with both clubs in with a chance of winning. A tight game in Germany last week had saw Lokomotiv collect a valuable 78-80 road win, but with just two points the difference, the contest tonight was still there for the taking for Brose Baskets Bamberg. However, Lokomotiv has proved numerous times that in Krasnodar the team is formidable, and during this game they dictated play and eased into the next round with a 70-53 victory.
Of course, progression means the Russian club is another step closer to winning the Eurocup title that it last claimed in 2013, but of course there is plenty of hoops to be played before that outcome. Nevertheless, on this evidence and a fantastic continental campaign so far, Lokomotiv is among the favourites to win the competition.
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar vs. Brose Baskets Bamberg, 70-53
Brose Baskets knew it would be tough in Russia, and so it proved as the Krasnodar outfit maintained its undefeated record in this season’s Eurocup. The hosts were organized in defence and managed to cut out the Germans frequently, limiting the Bamberg players to just five assists during the game. However, it was the visitors who made the early progress, taking the lead in the opening minutes. It did not take long for Lokomotiv to start clicking though, and by the end of the first quarter the home team had carved out a 23-10 lead courtesy of an 18-2 run.
In the second quarter the away team rallied but could only keep pace with their opponents, the teams locking through the stanza 17-17 to make it 40-27 at the long break. The Russians went again in the third act with a 20-14 run that consolidated the lead and knocked the stuffing from the Bamberg players. A low scoring fourth quarter followed with the sense that both teams knew the game had already been settled.
Derrick Brown topped the scoring with 22 points in the winning team, while Alexey Zhukanenko added 10 points for Lokomotiv Kuban.
Janis Sterlnieks contributed 15 points to the losing effort, followed by Bradley Wanamaker with 11 points.