Lokomotiv celebrated a memorable debut in the competition’s knockout stage with a 66-61 defeat of twice former winners Barcelona, while Laboral romped to a 84-68 victory over Panathinaikos, who have six titles.
Roared on by a partisan home crowd in Russia, Lokomotiv trailed for much of the contest but swung a physical battle their way in the fourth quarter.
The home side outscored a misfiring and disjointed Barca 16-8 in the final period as power forward Anthony Randolph netted 17 points and playmaker Marcus Delaney added 11.
“We were very nervous in the first half and missed a lot of open three-pointers, but we were also patient when we needed to be and I am very happy that we won the opening game,” said Lokomotiv’s Greek coach Georgios Bartzokas.
Delaney added: “Barcelona are a very good team but we benefited from a strong finish after collecting several rebounds and made some tough shots.”
A balanced effort enabled Basque outfit Laboral to blow away Panathinaikos, who relied heavily on their Serbian centre Miroslav Raduljica in the first half.
Raduljica scored 17 of his team’s opening 22 points but his effort was cancelled by a versatile home side who carved out a 39-28 lead at the interval.
There was no way back for Panathinaikos after Laboral stretched their advantage to 54-34 midway through the third quarter, Darius Adams leading the charge with 20 points.
CSKA Moscow beat Red Star Belgrade and Fenerbahce Istanbul downed holders Real Madrid in the opening games of the other two quarter-finals on Tuesday, with game two in both ties scheduled for Thursday.
The quarter-final winners advance to the May 13-15 Final Four in Berlin.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)