Two games sparked Round 3 of the Eurocup Regular Season into action as Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and Strasbourg both picked up important wins. The round will get into full swing on Wednesday with a further 16 games completing the schedule for week three of the competition.
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar vs. PAOK Thessaloniki, 87-46
Russian club Lokomotiv has sole possession of top spot in Group F with a resounding victory of PAOK at home to start Round 3 of the Eurocup Regular Season.
The demolishing that was imminent looked unlikely in the first quarter as Greek visitors PAOK stayed with Lokomotiv throughout much of the period. Nevertheless, after 10 minutes, the Russians had opened an 18-14 advantage and that was as good as it was going to get for Thessaloniki. In the second quarter the hosts erupted at both ends of the floor to sink 27 points and restrict PAOK to just 12. The buckets had rained and Lokomotiv led 45-26.
The 19 point advantage for Kuban meant they were in total control and they turned the defensive screw in the third quarter, stopping PAOK at just 7 points for the whole frame. A 17 point return for a slick Lokomotiv meant that through 30 minutes they led 62-33. During the fourth stanza, successful play after successful play found basket for the hosts and they opened a 45 point lead before easing down the stretch, recording a message sending victory in the process.
Maxim Grigoryev and Krunslav Simon nailed 15 apiece to pace the winners, while Derrick Brown added 14 points.
Julian Vaughn led a destroyed PAOK with 12 points.
Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia vs. Strasbourg, 59-66
Reggio Emilia welcomed French club Strasbourg to Italy but could not prevent the visitors leaving with a win. It was Strasbourg’s third consecutive Eurocup Regular Season win and they remain unblemished this season, while the Italians slip to 1-2.
A low scoring first quarter saw neither team go all out with attacking plays, both preferring to guard the perimeter. At the first interval Strasbourg held a narrow 10-12 lead. In the second frame the hosts found another gear and outpaced their opponents through the 10 minutes, resulting in an Emilia lead of 32-25 at halftime. That solid advantage was worked on by Strasbourg through the third stanza, but still after thirty minutes the hosts led 48-46. A big final stint by the French visitors saw them outscore the Italian team 11-20 to turn the game around and record the win.
Ali Traore came from the side-line to top Strasbourg with 16 points, while Axel Toupane notched 12 points.
Rimantas Kaukenas led the losing effort with 13 points.