EuroCup Top 16: Round 3 Wraps
grabbed their respective first wins of the Top 16, and today there was plenty more action. At the end of three rounds, the best 16 in the EuroCup are fighting for position in the next round and three of those teams took a major step to the quarterfinals and remain unbeaten.
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar swamped Fuenlabrada 86-61 to stay top of the standings at 3-0, untouched in the Top 16 so far. Fuenlabrada drops to 1-2 in the chasing pack of three Spanish clubs. The Russian hots built this win on a splendid first half showing. Lokomotiv drained 53 points for a 21-point advantage through the long break. The home team never looked back from there. Matt Janning paced the win with 25 points.
Bayern Munich continues to dominate Group B. The German clubs took out Lietkabelis Panevezys 85-69 in a cruising home performance to stay top at 3-0. The losing club, Panevezys, slips to 1-2 but is firmly in the mix for qualification. Bayern was a class above here, and led 27-14 after ten minutes. The tone had been set and the hosts simply eased to victory, controlling both ends of the court throughout. Nick Johnson top-scored for Munich with 17 points.
Khimki Moscow Region ensured it is poised to jump on any Bayern Munich mistakes with a 90-95 road win over Ratiopharm Ulm. As for the German hosts, they are without a win in the EuroCup Top 16 and need to get cooking next week to have any hopes. Khimki cruised 15-27 through the first act, but Ulm roared back with a 34-21 second to make it 49-48 at halftime. A back and forth second half followed, but Khimki managed to take the game in the fourth quarter. Alexey Shved stood tall in the win with a game-high 28 points.
Zenit St. Petersburg took top spot in Group C by defeating nearest rival Hapoel Jerusalem in a message sending display. The Russians won 101-81 at home to leave both clubs on a 2-1 record in a tussle for first place. Zenit was unrelenting at the bucket. Jerusalem kept pace in the first half (52-44), but the hosts maintained the heavy scoring in the second half and roared to victory. Ryan Toolson personified Zenit’s prowess in offence with 28 points.
ALBA Berlin impressed with 93-76 home win over winless Cedevita Zagreb to move to 1-2. Both clubs were playing for their first Top 16 success of the season and the spoils went to the team from the German capital. Cedevita led by 7 points after the first quarter, but ALBA took the momentum in the second quarter and broke 25 points for all remaining frames to record an easy win. Elmedin Kikanovic scored 19 points in the game winning effort.
Valencia joins Bayern Munich and Lokomotiv as unbeaten Top 16 clubs after defeating Unicaja Malaga 70-78 in a Spanish derby. Malaga slips to 2-1 because of this loss.
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