Gran Canaria vs. Lokomotiv Kuban / Euro Cup – After more than five years, the Spanish Gran Canaria and Russian Lokomotiv are meeting again in the first round of the Top 16 phase in the Euro Cup, in which they played only twice. Both teams have celebrated then at home. Canaria has a much easier job in Group E, because they are in the same group with Spanish teams Murcia and Fuenlabrada, so they will not have to travel a lot, while the Russians should also pass this group stage. Begins: 04.01.2017. – 21:00 CET
Canria is with a score 7-1 the first in Group A and they are the most successful team of the first group stage, while only Valencia had the same score in their group. In recent years, they were usually the most successful team of the Euro Cup, but they still have not won it, like Lokomotiv did (2012/2013.). Last season they were stopped in the semi-finals, and the year before in the finals of the Euro Cup, but they are with 44 wins and 10 losses, the most successful team since 2014. Russian Zenit is second, but in that period they made “only” 27 wins. Canaria has also changed a lot of players, but not nearly as the Russian team.
The biggest gain is the return of the Canadian Kuric, who is, with 17 points and an index of 18.4 points per game, the best player in Euro Cup. Largely thanks to Kuric, they have won the Super Cup this season, but after that, they had a bad start in Endesa league. They now have the score 9-5, and they are sixth in the table and will, almost certainly, play again in the tournament Copa del Rey. In last the two games at home, the defeated Baskonia (74:61) and Joventut (98:80). Croatian center Planinic was injured for a long time, while they from NBA a few days ago brought the center Hollins.
Probable lineups Gran Canaria: McCalebb, Kuric, Salin, Aguilar, Baez
Only Broekhoff and Zubkov remained in Krasnodar from last year’s team Lokomotiv, who was a participant in Euro League and played at the final tournament in Berlin (F4). It was an uncertain the match, in which they were defeated by eventual champions – CSKA. Maybe we should look for the reason in that fact why they are only in the fourth place with a score of 3-5 from Group D qualified for the Top 16 of the Euro Cup, but that does not mean that they have no chance to win passage from Group E. Last month, they released Gabriel in Greek Panathianikos , but they still have a respectable team.
The fact that they in the final last year’s match, two weeks ago in VTB league, celebrated with 68:62 over Zenit, also confirms that. They were only a few days earlier, in the last match of the first group stage in Euro Cup, after they a round earlier defeated Hapoel from Jerusalem (88:68) at home, minimally defeated by Valencia (77:78). Jones was the best then with 20 points and six rebounds. Rochestie should return to the team, who was with 14.6 points, to scorer team in Euro Cup, who got injured against Olimpija and could not play this past month and a half. Everyone expected him to pause four to six weeks.
Probable lineups Lokomotiv Kuban: Baburin, Collins, Janning, Broekhoff, Vougioukas
Gran Canaria vs. Lokomotiv Kuban PICK
The guests are with an average of 77.4 points received and 37.6 rebounds per game, the best defensive team in Euro Cup. Canaria is, in turn, with 94.8 points the best offensive team, and they are also first in steals (9.7). Canaria records 113.9 index points as a team. We suggest a handicap on the host.
Pick: Gran Canria -7.5
Odds: 1.90 at bet365 (down to 1.82 can be played)