Krasnodar and Perm will host regular season games on Sunday.
Time: 14:00 (Moscow time)
Place: Russia, Krasnodar, Basket Hall
Broadcast: Match! Igra, TV Start, League website
Lokomotiv Kuban: The Krasnodar team clearly learned some moments from the stunning loss to Astana, when offense literally fell apart in one quarter. Immediately afterward, an extremely energized Loko prepared to the game against CSKA as if it was the last and gave the Army team the first loss of the season. Jaylen Barford finally reminded us of himelf in his best games last season. He scored with a high percentage and was brilliant in the clutch. With DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell and Okaro White also showing a very high level (White made it to the Team of the Round), it will be very difficult for Avtodor to deal with the trio.
Avtodor: The rivalry history between Avtodor and Loko looks bad for the Saratov team: the last time, the team beat Lokomotiv 3 years ago, and has won only twice in Krasnodar since 2014. The last Avtodor game did not give reasons for optimism – the team lost to Zenit with 25-point difference. On the other hand, it’s not a very representative example – Zenit has been on a roll in recent games, winning 3 games in a row by 20 points or more. Loko leaves a lot more questions with their game. This week, Milenko Bogicevic has had added problems: Avtodor parted ways with Kyle Vinales, 1 of only 2 players in the United League who scored over 20 points per game this season. Part of the reason for this decision is understandable: Vinales is a prime example of a one-and-done player, and his efforts on defense have been very tentative. But the Saratov team coaching staff will have to do a lot of thinking to replace their most dangerous offensive player.
Time: 18:00 (Moscow time)
Place: Russia, Perm, Molot UDS
Broadcast: TV Start, League website
PARMA: A 3rd straight loss dropped Evgeny Pashutin team to the bottom of the standings. It’s not a disaster yet – only 2 wins separate PARMA from Lokomotiv Kuban, which is 8th – but it won’t be easy for the Perm team to change the situation, even with the upcoming schedule. Tour to Samara and Saratov, and home games against Loko and MBA are ahead. So far, the team coaching staff has not been able to provide PARMA with a stable and varied offense. Even 4 foreigners don’t always score their points well – Reese, Johnson, Solomon and Bryce scored 21 points combined against Zenit, and the team’s top scorer was Aleksandr Platunov.
Astana: A win over Loko, when Astana won the last quarter 26:4, was the first in a 3-game winning streak. Oleg Kiselev team has already got to 6th place and clearly has no plans to stop. Although the last game in this series was not so convincing (Astana barely defeat MINSK), so far the guests look like the favorites in Sunday’s game. On the other hand, the Perm team has proven to be a strong defensive team, while Astana can hardly be called a serious offensive team. This season, the Kazakh team max points in 1 game was 80 points against Uralmash. So it’s unlikely that the fans should expect a scoring game.