Broekhoff helps Lokomotiv force game 5 in Euroleague quarterfinals
Ryan Broekhoff continued to show off his outstanding play on the defensive end of the floor, earning Lokomotiv Kuban their second victory in the series to force a deciding game 5 in the Euroleague quarterfinals.
With game 3 of the Euroleague playoffs kicking-off, Lokomotiv Kuban faced FC Barcelona Lassa. Lokomotiv came out of the gates looking like the team that wanted it more, taking the lead 23-19. However Barcelona fought back with an excellent showing in the second quarter, allowing them to go into the main break up 42-36.
In the second half of action Barcelona continued holding onto the lead, outscoring Lokomotiv 40-34 through the final two-quarters of action. That burst allowed them to come away with the win 82-70.
Ryan Broekhoff continued to excel on the defensive end of the floor, and his energy and hustle were on display as always. But his limited minutes didn’t allow him to get into an offensive rhythm, finishing the game going scoreless on just one shot attempt. He did try to make up for it with his rebounding (3 rebounds) and ball movement (2 assists) despite seeing only 17 minutes of action.
With the loss, Lokomotiv faced a 1-2 deficit heading into the must-win game 4.
Lokomotiv looked to keep their playoff hopes alive in game 4, and from the start they came out as the aggressors going up early 21-19. However Barcelona fought back with a strong showing in the second period. Lokomotiv withheld the storm, allowing the Russian side to go into halftime up, with the slight edge (40-35).
In the second half of play, both teams continued to trade blows, with the game coming down to the final seconds of action. Lokomotiv led 76-74, but Barcelona had the final possession and the chance to tie the game. Juan Carlos Navarro stepped up, hitting a clutch basket to send the home crowd into a frenzy and force overtime. From there however, Lokomotiv silenced the crowd in the extra period, outscoring the Spaniards 16-4. In the end, they were able to come away as victors, with the final score 92-80. Lokomotiv now take the series back to Krasnodar, Russia as they look to win the final game in-front of their home crowd and book the last place in the Final Four.
Ryan Broekhoff’s hounding defense once again set the tone for Lokomotiv early, and his ball movement and ability to find teammates for open looks helped spark the club offensively. He finished the night with 2 rebounds, 2 steals and one assist in just 18 minutes of action. He will need to rediscover his shooting stroke and scoring for game 5 to help his side progress to the semifinals.