EuroCup: PBC Lokomotiv Kuban stands alone


After five weeks of competition in the Last 16 round of the EuroCup, eight of 16 teams sport 3-2 records, five clubs have 2-3 marks, one is 1-4 and one has yet to win a game and is 0-5. Towering over the other 15 clubs is PBC Lokomotiv Kuban, with their unblemished 5-0 record after they held off a fourth quarter comeback attempt by Spartak to win 77:72 at home. Both clubs have already qualified for the quarterfinals and this week Ratiopharm Ulm and Unics Kazan wrapped up qualification in Group L with wins. In Group I all four clubs are either at 3-2 or 2-3 setting up a big Week 6 and in Group J the top three clubs are 3-2 making Week 6 games deciders for all three.

Group I
BC Triumph Lyubertsy – KK Buducnost VOLI, 76:66
Triumph Lyubertsy and Buducnost VOLI come out of their week 5 matchup with identical 2-3 records. Both clubs have shots at the quarterfinals if they can win next week. Buducnost wins tie-breaks with Triumph and Budivelnik, and if they can beat Banvit by more than nine, they will win that tie-break as well.

In this contest, it was tight until the final quarter with the clubs battling to an 18:16 first quarter tally, 30-all tie at the half, and 51:52 score after the third 10. The hosts took control in the fourth and on the strength of a 13:0 run picked up a 10-point win. Buducnost wins the tie-break with Triumph with a 21-point margin in the first matchup between the clubs in Week 1.

Triumph got a game-high 24 points from Sergey Karasev and 16 from Tywain McKee (8 assists). Buducnost was led by Marko Popovic’s 18 points. Dusko Bunic added 11 points and Cedomir Vitkovac dropped in 8 points and grabbed 8 rebounds during the contest.

Banvit BK Bandirma – BC Budivelnik Kiev, 94-85
Banvit got 24 points and 9 rebounds from Chuck Davis in a huge home win against Budivelnik Kiev on Wednesday, 94:85. The victory improves Banvit to 3-2, while Kiev drops to 3-2 with one week remaining in the EuroCup Last 16. Both teams will move on to the quarterfinals with wins next week, but a Banvit win in Week 6 against Buducnost will mean winning Group I. Budivelnik was in a position to win the group this week, but the loss and a late basket not only prevented the Kiev club from clinching a quarterfinals spot, it also gives the tie-break to Banvit.

Banvit took quarter two by 11 points, to take a 55:45 advantage into the halftime break. Budivelnik sliced the difference to two with a 16:24 third quarter, but Banvit outlasted them in the final frame 23:16 to pick up the win.

Davis’ 24/11 was game-high for Banvit, which also earned him a PIR of 28 on the day. Kalin Lucas added 14, Sammy Mejia dropped in 13, Vladimir Stimac and Kenan Bajramovic added 12 each. Leo Lyons lead Budivelnik with 20 points and 11 rebounds, Artur Drozdov contributed 14 points, and Malcolm Delaney added 10 points and 5 assists.

EuroCup Group I

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Standings[standings league_id=23 group=I show_website=false template=nolink]

Next Week’s Matches[matches league_id=23 match_day=6 group=I template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Group J
VEF Riga – Valencia Basket, 96:103OT
Valencia Basket needed an extra five in their road contest with VEF Riga to come out with a 96:103 victory. The win improves Valencia to 3-2 and creates a traffic jam at the top of Group J with three clubs heading into the final week of the Last 16 round with 3-2 records, including VEF Riga and Uxue Bilbao Basket. Two of Valencia’s three wins came at the expense of Riga, meaning that they win a tie-break should both clubs win come out even after next week. Valencia has the easier task in Week 6 squaring off against 1-4 CEZ Nymburk at home, while Riga has to travel to face Bilbao.

Riga took control of this contest early jumping out to a 30:13 advantage after the first 10 and eventually built a 22-point lead, but Valencia chipped away at the margin each quarter. At the half the lead had dropped to 49:38, and after three the home club was only up three, 70:67. With 29 seconds to play in regulation Earl Rowland connected on a triple to give Riga the lead, 89:86. On the other end Pau Ribas was fouled and dropped in a pair of singles to cut the margin to one, 89:88. Rowland was sent to the line himself, but could only hit the cords with one of his charity tosses to push the advantage back to two, 90:88. Back on the Valencia side, the guests worked the ball for a good shot, which turned out to be a reverse lay-up by Ribas with 6 clicks left to knot the score at 90. Riga missed on their last shot attempt to send the game to the extra frame.

Valencia controlled the overtime at the charity stripe, with Bojan Dubjevic sinking 7 of 10 for the visitors. Riga could only manage six in the last five minutes, while Valencia tallied 13 to take the contest 96:103.

Justin Doellman picked up 23 points and 8 rebounds for Valencia, accounting for a PIR of 28. Ribas and Dubljevic each added 18, with Ribas dishing off 5 assists and Dubljevic hauling in 10 rebounds on the night. Rodrigo San Miguel contributed 12 points and 6 rebounds to the visitors stat sheet. Rowland was game-high with 29 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists for VEF Riga. Kristaps Janicenoks added 14, Kaspars Berzins dropped in 12 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, and Donatas Zavackas and Dairis Bertans each accounted for 11 points during the contest.

CEZ Nymburk – Uxue Bilbao Basket, 69:83
Uxue Bilbao Basket opened their Week 5 contest with CEZ Nymburk with a 15:24 advantage and never looked back en route to a 69:83 victory that improves their record to 3-2. Nymburk drops to 1-4 with the loss. Bilbao sits in a three-way tie for the top of Group J with Riga and Valencia, all at 3-2. Valencia beats Bilbao in a tie-break and even though Riga is up 23 after the first match up with Bilbao going into their Week 6 contest, if Bilbao wins they’ll move on with a better record.

Milovan Rakovic led Bilbao with 18 points, Kostas Vasiliadis added 17, and Nikos Zisis dropped in 11. Radoslav Rancik was game-high for Nymburk with 19 points and 7 rebounds, Petr Benda added 17 points on an 8 of 9 shooting night inside the arc, while grabbing 6 rebounds. Vojtech Hruban contributed 11 to the loss.

EuroCup Group J

This Week’s Matches[matches league_id=23 match_day=5 group=J template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Standings[standings league_id=23 group=J show_website=false template=nolink]

Next Week’s Matches[matches league_id=23 match_day=6 group=J template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Group K
Cajasol Seville – Stelmet Zielona Gora, 81:85
Stelmet erased a 15-point deficit to pick up their second Last 16 win, with an 81:85 decision over winless Cajasol. Walter Hodge put the club on his shoulders and carried them to a win with a 31 point, 5 assist, 42 PIR performance that will earn him MVP honors for Week 5.

The hosts grabbed the early lead, getting up 10, 26:16 after the first period of play. Cajasol kept the pressure on in the second and stretched their lead to as many as 15 before Stelmet found their groove and started fighting back. By the end of the first half the gap had shrunk to four, 43:39. Hodge was key to a 0:13 run that crossed over the second and into the third quarter, finally knotting the score at 43. At the end of the third frame the hosts were able to hold on to a three-point advantage, 61:58. Stelmet took over in the fourth, outscoring Cajasol 20:27, but they didn’t get the lead until mid-way through the quarter and it took a 0:9 run at the end to earn the victory.

Hodge was the top scorer of the week with 31 points for Stelmet. Oliver Stevic added 18 points and 7 rebounds and Dejan Borovnjak contributed 11 points and 7 rebounds to the win. Cajasol got 15 points and 4 assists from John Holland, 12 from Brian Asbury, 11 from Beka Burjanadze and 10 from Luka Bogdanovic.

Lokomotiv Kuban – Spartak SPB, 77-72
Lokomotiv Kuban held an 18-point lead in the third quarter of their contest against Spartak and held off a fierce comeback attempt to remain the only undefeated club in the Last 16. The game had no significance to the quarterfinal qualifications as both clubs locked up their spots in Week 4, but the group title was still up for grabs, which now firmly belongs to Kuban.

The hosts won the first three quarters, outscoring Spartak 16:13 in the first, and were up 36:31 at the half. In the third frame Kuban built a huge lead with a 20:6 run, to head into the final 10 up 59:45. Spartak got a 2:12 run of their own in the fourth and were able to close down the lead to three, 71:68 with just under two minutes to play. Kuban got the lead back to five and wouldn’t let it get any closer to earned their fifth win and a Group title.

Derrick Brown lead Kuban with 18 points and 4 assists, Aleks Maric added 16, Simas Jasaitis dropped in 15, and Mantas Kalnietis contributed 11 to the win. Joshua Carter was game-high for Spartak with 20 points. Loukas Mavrokefalides contributed 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists, and Darius Johnson-Odom dropped in 10 points.

EuroCup Group K

This Week’s Matches[matches league_id=23 match_day=5 group=K template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Standings[standings league_id=23 group=K show_website=false template=nolink]

Next Week’s Matches[matches league_id=23 match_day=6 group=K template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Group L
Unics Kazan – Galatasaray Medical Park, 64:57
Unics Kazan earned a spot in the EuroCup quarterfinals on Wednesday, but it took a win over Galatasaray Medical Park and some help from Ratiopharm Ulm to make it happen. The win locked Kazan with Ulm at 3-2 on the Last 16 round, with a winner-take-all Week 6 matchup between the two clubs in Germany for the group title. Ulm won the first game 87:95 in Week 2.

Kazan got out to an early advantage, taking quarter one by seven, 21:14. The guests were able to close the gap to three late in the frame, but Kazan pushed it back shortly after. An Engin Atsur triple in favor of Galatasaray right before the halftime horn sent the clubs to the dressing rooms with Kazan up 32:28. In the third quarter the momentum swung the way of the visitors early on as they were able to secure the lead 39:41. Kazan countered and earned the advantage back, getting up by five, 47:42 with one quarter to play. During the final 10 Kazan was able to put together a 10:0 run to build a substantial lead, 60:49. Galatasaray did get back within five, but that’s as close as Kazan would allow as they held on for a 64:57 victory and a spot in the quarterfinals.

Vladimir Veremeenko was game-high for Kazan with 15 points and 9 rebounds. Mire Chatman added 12 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals. Kostas Kaimakoglou dropped in 10. Atsur lead Galatasaray with 12 points, Manuchar Markoishvili contributed 11.

Crvena Zvezda Telekom – Ratiopharm Ulm, 78:92
Ratiopharm added another major milestone to their already successful first season in the EuroCup, when they traveled to Belgrade and put a beating on Red Star on their home court and qualified for the quarterfinals. A win over Unics Kazan next week will give them a Last 16 group title to add to the mix.

Ratiopharm controlled the better part of the first quarter, building a seven-point lead, twice, only to give it up both times, ending the first 10 down 24:23. The clubs exchanged baskets and the lead during the second quarter, until Ulm ran off nine unanswered to lead 38:46 at the half. Ulm continued to add to their lead through both the third and fourth quarters as the Reds were never able to mount any kind of comeback in the second half and were eliminated from moving on with the loss.

Allan Ray was game-high for Rationpharm with 26 points. Steven Esterkamp tallied 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Lance Jeter added 15, and Keaton Nankivil contributed 13 points and 6 rebounds. Igor Rakocevic led the way for Crvena Zvezda with 24 points, while Rasko Katic and Mike Scott each scored 11.

EuroCup Group L

This Week’s Matches[matches league_id=23 match_day=5 group=L template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Standings[standings league_id=23 group=L show_website=false template=nolink]

Next Week’s Matches[matches league_id=23 match_day=6 group=L template=sumnoscore dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

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