Three remain undefeated in EuroCup Last 16


Cajasol’s Luka Vogdanovic goes up for two of his 14 points against Spartak

There are a lot of interesting side notes that come out of Week 2 of the EuroCup Last 16, such as two undefeated teams in the regular season are winless in two games, Uxue Bilbao Basket and Triumph Lyubertsy; three groups have one team at 2-0, two at 1-1, and one at 0-2, while that last has four teams at 1-1; and Ratiopharm Ulm proved the old basketball saying that many games are won with free throws at the end when they went 18 for 20 in the last four minutes of their upset road win over Unics Kazan.

No one is out of contention just yet, but with the EuroCup Last 16 schedule one-third complete, three clubs need wins next week or they can kiss any plans to move on good-bye.

Group I
BC Triumph Lyubertsy – BC Budivelnik Kiev, 84:85
Budivelnik Kiev remained unbeaten in Group I with a big come-from-behind win in front of 1,500 in Moscow. The win moves Kiev to 2-0, while Triumph Lyubertsy, 6-0 in regular season play, drops to 0-2 and in dire need of a win next week to keep hopes of moving on alive.

Budivelnik built a 47:53 advantage through the first half, but Lyubertsy broke the game open with a huge third quarter, outscoring their guests 27:12 to head into the final 10 up 74:65. Kiev fought back by riding on the shoulders of Sergiy Gorbenko, who single-handedly got the visitors back in the contest dropping in eight unanswered points of his own to open the final frame. The clubs battled for the rest of the quarter and traded the lead for the last time with just over a minute to play, with Kiev getting the last hoop and a one-point lead. Gorbenko wasn’t about to let his early work go to waste and swatted away an attempt at the buzzer by Artem Vikhrov to preserve his club’s spot at the top of the group.

Leo Lyons led the way for Budivelnik with 26 points and 16 rebounds, accumulating a PIR of 32 on the day. Malcom Delaney dropped in 16 and Gorbenko added 14 to the win.

Tywain McKee led the hosts with 21 points, 7 assists and a PIR of 25. Kyle Landry added 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Banvit BK Bandirma – KK Buducnost VOLI, 89:80
Banvit BK Bandirma used an 8:1 run midway through the second quarter to build a lead that it would never relinquish to pick up their first win of the Last 16 and improve their record to 1-1. Buducnost drops to 1-1 with the lost and into a tie with Banvit for second place in Group I.

The 8:1 run helped the hosts head into the dressing room at the break with a 48:42 margin after trailing 18:22 at the end of the first stanza. Buducnost cut the gap by two in the third frame, but actually had pulled to within one at 63:62, until Banvit ran off six unanswered to open the gap again. Buducnost got a triple at the end of the period to send the clubs into the final frame with Banvit up by four, 69:65.

Banvit extended the margin to nine to get started with the fourth quarter, Buducnost was able to cut it to four again midway through the frame, but Banvit took control late to earn a nine-point win.

The home club got 17 from both Chuck Davis and Vladimir Stimac (who also grabbed 9 rebounds), and 14 apiece from Serkan Erdogan and Sammy Mejia.

Buducnost picked up 16 from Aleksa Popovic and 15 from Cedomir Vitkovac.

Group I

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Group J
VEF Riga – Uxue Bilbao Basket, 99:76
VEF Riga pounded Uxue Bilbao Basket to hand them their second loss in two games to open the Last 16 after running the table in the regular season and earning a perfect 6-0 record. Riga improves to 1-1 and a tie for second place with the win.

E.J. Rowland paced the hosts to a huge second half with 23 points on his way to a 30-point night. Riga had a six-point advantage at the half, 50:44, but opened the flood gates in the second and outscored regular season Group B winner Bilbao 49:32 in the final 20.

Rowland’s 30 points helped give him a PIR of 36 on the night, which should give him MVP honors for the week. Gatis Johovics added 16 points for Riga.

Kostas Vasiliadis contributed 20 points to Bilbao, Raul Lopez added 15, while Lamonte Hamilton and Alex Mumbru dropped in 13 each.

CEZ Basketball Nymburk – Valencia Basket, 77:82
Valencia Basket improved to 2-0, on top of a 5-1 regular season mark, to keep control of Last 16 Group J with a road win over CEZ Basketball Nymburk, 77:82. Nymburk drops to 1-1 with the loss.

The clubs traded control of this contest on a quarter-by-quarter basis with Valencia winning Q1 and Q3, and Nymburk taking Q2 and Q4. Heading into the fourth Valencia held a 51:67 advantage, only to squander it allowing Radoslav Rancik and Lukas Palyza to have huge scoring runs of their own to even the score at 76 late in the frame. Valencia’s Justin Doellman dropped in four points after a time out to give the guests the room they needed to close it out and earn their eighth EuroCup win in nine games.

Bojan Dubljevic led the guests with 19, Doellman added 18 and Thomas Kelati contributed 14 to the win.

Rancik was game-high with 24 and a 27 PIR for the hosts. Palyza added 18 with a PIR of 24.

Group J

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Group K
PBC Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar – Stelmet Zielona Gora, 96:87
Regular season Group E winner Lokomotiv Kuban picked up their second win in Group K competition with a 96:87 victory over Stelmet Zielona in Russia.

The guests got out to a slim 47:49 margin at the half, before Kuban took control in the third quarter with a 17:2 run that started late in the second quarter to build an 11-point margin heading into the last frame. Stelmet wasn’t able to get any closer than six in the final 10 and fell to 1-1 and tied for second place in the group. Kuban earns control of the top of the group with a 2-0 record.

Three of the hosts turned in performances of 20 points or more, Simas Jasaitis led the way with 21, Nick Calathes added 20 points, 6 rebounds, 12 assists and a PIR of 27, and Mantas Kalnietis dropped in 20 points while dishing off 9 assists to earn a PIR of 24 of his own.

Stelmet got 22 points from Quinton Hosley and 15 from Oliver Stevic.

Spartak St. Petersburg – Cajasol Seville, 78:59
Spartak earned their first Last 16 win with a home win over Cajasol Seville, 78:59. The lost drops Cajasol to 0-2.

The hosts got all they needed in the first half, amassing a 41:28 lead heading into the break. The second half was closer, but the St. Petersburg squad outscored their visitors in both second half quarters to complete the rout and even up their record at 1-1.

Joshua Carter led the way for Spartak with 14 points, Vladimir Dragicevic added 13, and Zach Wright contributed 6 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists.

Luka Bodganovic dropped in 14 points for Cajasol and Latavious Williams tallied 12 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.

Group K

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Group L
Unics Kazan – Ratiopharm Ulm, 87:95
Ratiopharm Ulm used earned a huge upset win behind some cool hands at the line that connected with 18 of 20 singles in the final minutes of this contest in Russia. The win helps even the entire group at 1-1.

The 2,700 in attendance got their moneys worth out of this thriller, even though their club came up short. The teams battled to a 46-all score heading into the intermission. Ulm opened the second half with a 2:12 run to get some breathing room, but a Unics countered with six straight from team leader Chuck Eidson that lead to a 13:2 scoring run of their own. Ulm tallied the final four of the frame to head into the last 10 up 59:63.

Ulm pulled away more with an 0:6 run early in the final quarter, but Eidson connected on multiple triples to keep the hosts in the contest. Unfortunately for Unics, every time they had an opportunity to close the gap, Ulm dropped in more singles to keep things out of reach and preserve their upset road win.

Free throws were the story on the day as Unics connected on 18 of 23 (78.3%) and Ulm dropped in 25 of 31 (80.6%).

Allan Ray led the visitors with 20 points, Per Guenther tallied 19 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists while building a PIR of 27, and John Bryant contributed 18 points and 13 rebounds on a 27 PIR night.

Eidson was game-high with 31 points and 10 rebounds with a PIR of 36 for the hosts. Kostas Kaimakoglou added 9 points and 7 rebounds.

Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade – Galatasaray Medical Park, 74:91
In yet another upset in Group L, Galatasaray Medical Park traveled to Belgrade to take on Red Star at the Pionir and came away with a decisive 74:91 victory to even up both clubs at 1-1 after two weeks of Last 16 play.

Galatasary never trailed in this contest, outscoring their hosts in every quarter en route to a 17-point win. Crvena Zvezda got to within one early in the second quarter, 26:27, but the guests added some space to head into the break up 42:48. GMP jumped out with an 0:10 run to start the second half and put the game out of reach early as Red Star never got closer than nine points throughout the rest of the contest.

The guests put six players in double figures, led by Jamont Gordon’s 22 points and Carlos Arroyo’s 19. Boniface Bdong contributed 15 points and 7 rebounds to the win.

Igor Rakocevic lead the home club with 16 points and DeMarcus Nelson added 13 in the losing effort.

Group L

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