A Perfect Weekend For Spartak, Lokomotiv


8. Lionel Chalmers (Lokomotiv Kuban)
Russian PBL MVP of the Week Lionel Chalmers had 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Lokomotiv Kuban

Lokomotiv, Spartak Impress With Victories

Leading players in the Spartak Saint-Petersburg and Lokomotiv Kuban squads had big weekends in Russia's PBL.

Lokomotiv Kuban's Lionel Chalmers and Spartak Saint-Petersburg's Nikola Dragovic shared the MVP of the Week award after leadings their sides to wins in Russia's PBL over the weekend.

Chalmers finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists in Lokomotiv's 104-72 triumph over Enisey.

In Spartak's 88-68 victory over the Red Wings in Samara, Dragovic had 23 points.

Both players finished with valuations of 32.

Lokomotiv's Mike Wilkinson also had 23 points, including a nine of 11 effort at the free-throw line, five rebounds and three steals.

The win has left Lokomotiv, who host BK Prostejov in a crunch EuroChallenge game on Tuesday, third in Russia's top flight with a 10-5 record - the same as second-place CSKA Moscow.

UNICS Kazan top the table at 11-3.

Lokomotiv Defense

Enisey, who had won the first encounter between the sides, began well and led 23-21 at the end of the first quarter but Lokomotiv finally got on track and took a 47-39 lead to half-time before pulling away for a big win in the second half.

"Everything was not easy as the result makes it seem," Lokomotiv coach Kestutis Kemzura said.

"The beginning of the game was not easy.

33. Nikola Dragovic (Spartak)
Nikola Dragovic, who shared the MVP award with Chalmers, contributed 23 points in Spartak's 88-68 defeat of Red Wings Samara

"We had problems on defense against the pick-and-roll and fast-break.

"Enisey started the match aggressively and with intensity, playing tough on the brink of fouling. The main thing we did in the game - strengthened our defense.

"The turning point came in the third quarter.

"We worked well in defending our opponent.

"I think the game was spectacular and one the fans liked. There were slam dunks, hook shots, beautiful transition.

"We returned the favor to Enisey for the defeat in the first round."

Dragovic, Ponkrashov and Beverley Sizzle

Dragovic drilled five of six shots from long range in his outstanding effort.

He also pulled down nine rebounds, came up with two steals and a blocked shot.

Spartak won without Henry Domercant and Evgeny Kolesnikov, who were both hurt in last week's EuroChallenge win over Lukoil Academic.

Guards Anton Ponkrashov and Patrick Beverley, a player Sherf has been raving about, had big games.

Ponkrashov poured in 26 points while Beverley had 13, along with 11 rebounds, three assists, four steals and a block.

Spartak improved to 9-6 and are fifth in Russia.

They have the same record at fourth-place BC Khimki.

"We came here knowing that the game would be difficult and very important for both teams," Spartak coach Zvi Sherf said.

"I have great respect for the Red Wings, a team with a lot of great players.

"In the past two weeks, the Samara team played great games and won over Lokomotiv Kuban and Dynamo.

"In the last game on Tuesday, we lost to Domercant and Kolesnikov to injuries, which greatly weakened our backcourt.

"But we played very, very well on defense in the second half and were able to stop the Red Wings' attack."


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