In recent years Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar has stood tall as a force to be reckoned with in every competition in which it participates. Originally known as Lokomotiv Mineralnye Vody, the team from the North Caucasus region produced a number of strong youth talents over the years after its inception in 1946, but did not make its European debut until the 1998-99 Korac Cup. A year later, Lokomotiv picked up its first major title, the Russian Cup. After back-to-back third-place Russian League finishes, Lokomotiv shocked Europe in 2002 as it reached the Korac Cup finals, where it lost to SLUC Nancy. A year later, the club officially moved to the city of Rostov and reached the FIBA Europe Cup title game in 2005, but lost to CSU Asesoft Ploiesti. Lokomotiv continued to make the Russian League playoffs and advanced several stages in various European cups before moving again in 2009 when Krasnodar became its home and the club rebranded as Lokomotiv Kuban. The team reached the Russian League semifinals for the first time in 2011 while plowing through to the FIBA EuroChallenge final, where it lost to Krka Novo Mesto. Its EuroCup debut followed and Lokomotiv made the quarterfinals and appeared at the VTB League final four for the first time. Then came a historic 2012-13 campaign, in which EuroCup MVP Nick Calathes guided the team to the EuroCup championship game. Once there, Lokomotiv topped Uxue Bilbao Basket behind 14 points and 9 rebounds from EuroCup Final MVP Richard Hendrix. Lokomotiv made its Turkish Airlines EuroLeague debut in the 2013-14 season and reached the Top 16, but missed out on the playoffs via point difference. The following season Lokomotiv had another strong campaign with a near-perfect EuroCup run as Derrick Brown, Anthony Randolph and Malcolm Delaney led the club to 20 consecutive wins in the competition. However, a quarterfinal loss against UNICS Kazan prevented the team from going further. The 2015-16 season was one for the history books as Delaney and Randolph starred and took the team through FC Barcelona Lassa in the playoffs for the team's first appearance at the continent's signature club event, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four. Loko struggled at the beginning of the next season, but a coaching change that brought in Sasa Obradovic sparked the team into the EuroCup Top 16. Eventual champ Unicaja Malaga stopped the team in semifinals. Last season was another familiar story of dominance in which Loko tied its own record of 20 straight wins, which put the team at the door of the finals. However, in the decisive games, Darussafaka Istanbul took the upper hand and managed to sweep the series 2-0, thus depriving Loko of another EuroCup crown.
|Russian National Cup: 2000