By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Lokomotiv Kuban was unstoppable in the fourth quarter (18-9) and beat Panathinaikos 81-70 in Krasnodar in the opening game of Group C.
Chris Singleton was the top scorer for the winners with 16 points, with Malcolm Delaney scoring 14 as well. For the Greens, who suffered their first defeat in the season, Miroslav Raduljica had 15 points, as Dimitris Diamantidis added 14 points and five assists.
Panathinaikos made a great start to the game and was in front by 10 points (4-14) in the first four minutes. However, the Russians fought back and with a 13-7 run they cut the deficit to four points at the end of the first quarter (17-21). Later, the Greens took an eight-point advantage (19-27), but Lokomotiv Kuban came back again and with an 11-2 run they took the lead by one point (30-29). Giorgos Bartzokas’ team outscored their opponents 28-20 and ended the first half in front by four (45-41).
In the second half, no team could take a significant and solid advantage, with many lead changes, as the Russians had a two-point lead (63-61) after 30 minutes in the game. In the last quarter, the match continued to be a derby, but six consecutive points from Chris Singleton gave an eight-point lead to the Russians (75-67), three minutes before the end. At the end, Panathinaikos missed crucial shots and Lokomotiv started their campaign in the Euroleague with an important win. It’s the first Euroleague win for coach Bartzokas with Lokomotiv, who had lost one year ago to Panathinaikos in the Greek cup quarter-final and left Olympiacos after that game.