VTB United League Semifinal Playoffs Game 3, Lokomotiv Kuban wins Khimki 78:55. Red-greens forced guests to score their lowest this season allowing them to gain only 16 points during the second half. Loko's leaders were Delaney (23pts, 6ast) and Voronov (12pts, 4reb). Nikita Balashov brought the game to turning point by scoring 9 points and 3 rebounds and 12 minutes.
Sergey Bazarevich, Lokomotiv Kuban head coach:
– We showed great defence during the second half, with the great help from Nikita Balashov. Defence allowed us to to gain such a lead. I hope, we all understand that this is not the end, and we have to make our game as intensive on Wednesday. Could this game end differently? Every game is a new scenario. It can go in any direction. Of course, missing two centers is a great loss for Khimki, though Pateev has been in Davis mode for the past two games and is not playing any worse. However, perhaps, he couldn't quite handle the second half. I would rather play the game when both teams are playing the full roster. I'm sure Khimki won't give up and will show their character in the next game. We need to prepare for a very tough game.
Nikita Balashov, Lokomotiv Kuban forward:
– Great game, we worked well on defence, allowed Khimki to score 25 points less than their average. We only missed 16 points during the second half. Perhaps this is because our opponent's roster was not complete. But this does not change the result — we played a great second half and deserved the victory. We'll try to repeat the result in the next clash.
Andrey Vedishev, Lokomotiv Kuban president:
– We won 23 points in first home match — I think, this will give us energy for the most important game this Wednesday. In fact, in series the amount of points is not as important as the number of wins. We have to make one final step towards the final, and we'll be making this step in the next home game. Right now bringing up memories about defeat in the first game we start remembering that there were two possible scenarios. First — the team gives up and looses the series. Second — the team concentrates and plays better the following games. We, perhaps, chose the second one, and I'm glad that my guys used the defeat as motivation. The most important is to remain the spirit for the final shot.
Rimas Kurtinaitis, Khimki head coach:
– Lokomotiv proved that they're able to play decently at home. They showed energy, good technical arsenal. And it's not even about the absence of three of our leaders: Honeycutt, Augustine and Davis. Out current roster is enough to win being in a good mood, if only some of our guys were not dreaming about summer holidays too much. This irritates me as a coach — such attitude is highly unprofessional. But the hope dies last and we still have a chance in the next game. We'll try to get everyone back to the game: both mentally and physically. I'd like to congratulate Sergey Bazarevich, Lokomotiv was giving their whole selves and showed understanding of importance of this game. We completely lost on rebound. I'm worried about my team's attitude to mistakes, such problems force to loose the ball. But we made 14 mistakes — this is not our level, these losses were made by the players that won Eurocup. this is just unacceptable. This mistakes tell us about the spirit, concentration.