Defense was the big storyline of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar’s 68-59 win over UNICS Kazan’s in Game 2 of the quarterfinals. And Loko is hopeful to come up with the same energy for the do-or-die decider in Kazan, while UNICS is confident it will reach the 7DAYS EuroCup semifinals for the sixth time.
UNICS made just 14-of-46 (30.4%) of its two-point attempts for the game including just 4-of-26 in the first half (15.4%). UNICS, which came into the game averaging 85.2 points, scored just 7 points in the second quarter and just 20 in the first 20 minutes - setting a club record for fewest first half points after previously hitting 24 points in 2005-06 versus Virtus Roma.
Lokomotiv head coach Vlada Jovanovic was pleased with his team’s performance, especially the effort and energy. And he knows his men will need a repeat of that on Tuesday in Kazan for Game 3 to get into the semifinals of the EuroCup or EuroLeague for the fourth straight season.
“We have to try to be on the same level in our will and effort and energy. That is for sure,” Jovanovic said. “If we can have the same level on defense then I will be very satisfied. The game will be very difficult and tough of course. They must have some reaction like we did today, and we will be there.”
UNICS’ leading scorer Errick McCollum was pretty confident that things will go differently in Game 3 back at home, especially since he said the poor performance was more UNICS not executing than Lokomotiv’s defense compared to Game 1.
“Nothing different. It was pretty much us. We missed shots. We didn’t make layups inside. We didn’t make open threes. We were just a second late on our reads and everything. It was all us at the end of the day. We’ll correct those mistakes and you’ll see the difference in Game 3,” McCollum said as both teams look ahead to the decisive showdown.