EuroCup: Lokomotiv and Spartak to advance

Lokomotiv Kuban and Spartak locked in spots in the EuroCup Quarterfinals with wins on Wednesday. Both clubs are in Group K, Kuban’s win keeps them as the only undefeated team in the Last 16 with a 4-0 mark, while Spartak has their one loss to Kuban as a blemish on their 3-1 record. A number of clubs are set to grab their spots with wins next week, but Group L has a dead heat going with all four clubs tied with 2-2 records.

Derrick Brown scored 20 and earned a PIR of 32 to lead his club into the Final 8.

Group I
BC Triumph Lyubertsy – Banvit BK Bandirma, 93:89
Triumph Lyubertsy got their first win of the Last 16 with a 93:89 home win over Banvit BK Bandirma on Wednesday. With the win Triumph’s record improved to 1-3 and Banvit drops to 2-2. The four-point margin give Banvit the tiebreaker between the two as they won the first match by seven.

Triumph dominated the first half, outscoring Banvit 28:19 and 24:19 in the first quarters, to finish the half up 52:38. Banvit cut the gap to 10 winning the third frame 19:23 to head into the final quarter down 71:61.

At the start of the fourth Banvit cut the margin to seven, but Triumph countered and extended the lead to 12. Two fast breaks and a triple on consecutive possessions brought Banvit to within four, 84:80. Triumph forced a pair of turnovers that they capitalized on to extend the lead back to seven, 89:82, with just over a minute to play. In the last minute the visitors went five of six from the line and dropped in a deuce to pull to within two, 91:89, with 9 seconds left. In the attempt to get the ball back Banvit fouled Tywain McKee, who hit a pair of singles to ice the game for Triumph.

Sergey Karasev led Triumph with 19 points and 6 assists. Kyle Landry added 17 points and 13 rebounds, Yuval Naimy contributed 16 points, and McKee scored 10 points and added 10 assists.

Chuck Davis was game-high with 21 points for Banvit. Kalin Lucas and Vladimir Stimac scored 14 apiece, and Serkan Erdogan contributed 13.

KK Buducnost VOLI – BC Budivelnik Kiev, 75:77
Budivelnik Kiev earned their third win of the Last 16 round after being down 16 to Buducnost VOLI in the third quarter. The win improves Budivelnik to 3-1 and drops Buducnost to 2-2 and a tie for second with Banvit.

Buducnost jumped out to a big advantage in the first 10 with a 28:16 tally. They pushed their lead to 13 before Budivelnik ran off seven unanswered to cut the margin to six. From their the hosts outscored their guests 10:4 to go into the dressing rooms up 12, 49:37.

Two quick deuces in to start the third extended the lead to 16, where it stayed for the better part of the third stanza. The Kiev club tallied the final six points of the quarter to head into the last 10 down 10, 65:55.

Budivelnik took control of the game from the first inbounds play of the fourth and went on a 2:11 run to cut the margin to one, 67:66, by the mid-point of the quarter. They were able to knot the score at 70 shortly after, and got their first lead at 73:74 with a pair of singles by Malcolm Delaney. Buducnost got the lead back with a jumper, but a fast break layup with 17 clicks got the lead back for the guests for good. Demarquis Bost missed two layups in the last 10 seconds for Buducnost that would have put them back up, but Budivelnik held on and stayed at the top of the group with their third victory.

Artur Drozdov led the way for Budivelnik with 16 points, 8 rebounds and a PIR of 26 on the night. Leo Lyons scored 17 points, and George Tsintsadze and Delaney added 12 each to the guest’s win.

Cedomir Bitkovac was game-high with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the hosts. Dusko Bunic added 14, and Aleksa Popovic and Bost dropped in 10 apiece.

Group I

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Group J
Valencia Basket – Uxue Bilbao Basket, 60:61
Bilbao Basket stole a win from their host Valencia with a Kostas Vasiliadis triple with just over two seconds on the clock. The result ties both clubs at 2-2 on the Last 16 with a pair of games to play.

Bilbao got a slim early lead with an 18:20 first quarter, but Valencia got off to a 8:0 start in the second to build a six point margin. The clubs exchanged baskets for the rest of the quarter with the hosts picking up another two-points on their advantage before heading into the break up 37:29. Late in the third Bilbao went on a 0:7 run to pull to within one, 46:45, but Valencia dropped in the final four points of the quarter to open things up a bit to 50:45 heading into the final 10.

Valencia picked up the first two of the quarter, then Bilbao ran of six to take the lead, 52:54. By the time Valencia put any more points on the board, Bilbao was up 52:58. Valencia knotted the score at 58 with just over a minute to play with a pair of singles. The hosts took over the lead with 26 seconds to play off a fast break layup resulting from a steal. Bilbao held the ball for a final shot, which was kicked off as a drive to the hole by Alex Mumbru, who dumped the ball to Axel Hervelle, who then kicked it out to a wide-open Vasiliadis, who dropped in the game-winner from behind the arc to pull Bilbao even with Valencia in the group.

Bilbao got 14 from Vasiliadis, 12 from Lamont Hamilton, and 6 points and 11 rebounds from Hervelle.

Valencia got 14 points each from Justin Doellman, Serhiy Lishchuk and Rafa Martinez.

VEF Riga – CEZ Basketball Nymburk, 81:59
VEF Riga jumped to the top of Group J with a pounding of CEZ Basketball, 81:59, at home. The win puts Riga at 3-1 and drops the Nymburk club to 1-3 on the Last 16 round.

Riga set the tone early in this contest by getting out 9:0 in the first two minutes. The guests were able to pull even at 13, but it was all Riga from there as the hosts won every quarter handily. They were up 44:31 at the half and had extended to 65:48 after three, before cruising in with a 22-point margin at the end.

Antanas Kavaliauskas was game-high for Riga with 17 points and 9 rebounds. E.J. Rowland added 15 points, Kristaps Janicenoks dropped in 14 and Will Daniels contributed 10 points and 6 rebounds to the win.

CEZ Basketball got 14 points from Pavel Houska and 11 from Vojtech Hruban.

Group J

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Group K
PBC Lokomotiv Kuban – Cajasol Seville, 83:72
Lokomotiv Kuban locked up their spot in the quarterfinals with an 11-point victory over winless Cajasol, 83:72. The win keeps Kuban undefeated with a 4-0 record, while dropping Cajasol to 0-4.

The guests looked to be making a game out of this contest, running off the first nine points and building a 15:23 advantage after the first quarter. The second quarter was much the same, with Cajasol staying out front, but losing ground. Kuban didn’t hit a shot outside the arc in the first half, but made up for it shooting 68% inside the arc. At the half the visitors held a four-point margin, 35:39.

Kuban was able to pull even at 49 and then never looked back as they had built an 11-point lead by the end of the third, 63:52. The two clubs played to a 20:20 tie in the final frame, even though Cajasol did mount a serious effort to bridge the gap, only to be turned back by their hosts on their way to win number four.

Derrick Brown was game-high with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, and shot 9 for 9 inside the arc to build a PIR on the night of 32. Brown’s PIR is second highest of the week behind Ratiopharm Ulm’s John Bryant, who turned in a performance index rating of 36. Mantas Kalnietis added 17 points and 8 assists, Aleks Maric dropped in 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Sima Jasaitis contributed 13 points and 6 rebounds.

Cajasol got 15 points from Luka Bogdanovic, 14 from Tomas Satoransky, and 13 from Latavious Williams.

BC Spartak St. Petersburg – Stelmet Zielona Gora, 81:54
BC Spartak was also able to secure a spot in the quarterfinals with a 27-point win over Stelmet, 81:54. Spartak sits in second place in Group J behind Lokomotiv Kuban at 3-1. The loss drops Stelmet to 1-3 with two games remaining.

The difference in the contest was the second quarter, where Spartak was able to hold Stelmet to seven points, while dropping in 22 of their own. The 15-point gap gave Spartak a 16-point margin at the break, 40:24. Spartak was able to also outscore their guests 41:30 in the second half to lock in their final 8 spot.

Spartak got 17 points and 8 assists from Zach Wright. Vladimir Dragicevic added 15 points, Joshua Carter contributed 13.

Dejan Borovnjak led the way for Stelmet with 14 points, and Oliver Stevic added 10.

Group K

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Group L
Ratiopharm Ulm – Galatasaray Medical Park, 91:70
Ratiopharm Ulm used a 17:2 run in the final 10 to not only win this critical Group L contest, but to also win the tiebreaker with Galatasaray. The result helps bring all four teams in Group L to a four-way tie for the lead in the group with 2-2 records and only two weeks to play.

Ulm built an eight point margin after the first, 25:17, and saw Galatasaray trim that margin by two in the second to head into the break with a 39:33 tally.

The visitors were able to cut the gap even further in the third by winning the 10 minutes of play 17:20, to set up the final 10 with a score of 56:53.

Ratiopharm apparently got a solid pep talk between the third and fourth quarters by their coach, Thorsten Leibenath, as they came out and ran off 14 unanswered points with a full run of 17:2 to put the contest on ice.

Ulm got 20 points and 17 rebounds from John Bryant, who also build a PIR of 36 on the night, which should be enough for him to earn EuroCup Last 16 Week 4 MVP honors. Allan Ray added 18 points, Sebastian Betz dropped in 13.

Carlos Arroyo was game-high with 23 points for GS Medical Park. Milan Macvan and Erwin Dudley added 10 apiece.

Crvena Zvezda Telekom – Unics Kazan, 81:73
Unics Kazan traveled to Belgrade to visit the Hala Pionir and take on Red Star, only to have their hosts turn them back with an 81:73 loss. The results added to the traffic jam in Group L with all four clubs sitting with 2-2 records.

Kazan got the early advantage, building a 20:26 margin after the first quarter. Crvena Zvezda Telekom was able to counter in the second and erase four points off the gap by winning the quarter 21:17, cutting the overall margin to two points, 41:43.

The third frame was the decider as the Red Star contingent held Unics Kazan to just seven points, while tallying 22, including the first 15 of the quarter, to build a 13-point lead.

Kazan did their best to mount a comeback, but the best they could do was cutting five off the margin to come up eight down, 81:73, and set the group up for a rather interesting final two weeks…

Igor Rakocevic’s 21 was game-high for Crvena Zvezda. Rasko Katic added 12 points and Mike Scott dropped in 11 to help the win.

Kazan got 18 points from Mire Chatman and 14 from Chuck Eidson.

Group L

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