Madgen’s spark helps Lietuvos Rytas keep EuroCup hopes alive

Ben Madgen | Credit: www.lkl.lt

While Lokomotiv Kuban and Ryan Broekhoff extended their unbeaten EuroCup run to 14 straight games and in turn earned a quarterfinals berth, Ben Madgen provided an offensive spark that helped Lietuvos Rytas to their first Top 16 win and maintain a glimmer of hope to progress further.

Lietuvos Rytas broke through for their first Top 16 win in the EuroCup, accounting for Turin 101-68. Fighting to stave off early elimination from the competition, Rytas opened strongly to establish and commanding 30-14 first period lead. Just as Turin were starting to claw their way back into the contest, Ben Madgen provided a lift. The veteran guard drained three consecutive three-pointers to help keep the margin at 14 at half time, ensuring Rytas retained the ascendancy in a must win game.

Behind the stellar play of Martynas Echodas, Rytas would continue to pull away after the main break to put the result beyond doubt. The Lithuanian side would go on to cruise to an emphatic 33 point win and improve to 1-3 in the Top 16 as Turin fell to 2-2 [video highlights].

Echodas led all scorers with 22 points, while Madgen impressed with 15 points and 8 rebounds in a great return to form. Sasha Vujacic led the visitors with 14 points. The victory keeps their slim chances of making the quarterfinals alive, but they will need to win every remaining game for any chance to do so.

Lokomotiv Kuban clinched a place in the EuroCup quarterfinals thanks to an impressive 85-60 road win over Cedevita Zagreb, eliminating their opponents who have yet to register a win in the Top 16.

Both sides started slowly, with the visitors edging ahead 17-14 at the first break. Cedevita momentarily took the lead early in the second, before Lokomotiv unleashed a 9-0 run to take back the lead, something they would not relinquish again for the rest of the night. The Russian side would manage to scrap their way to a 12 point half time lead to give them some breathing room, however they would catch fire soon after.

After going scoreless in the first half, Ryan Broekhoff drained two triples to help extend Lokomotiv’s lead to 18 points as the visitors were seemingly in total control. However Cedevita were not done just yet, mounting a rearguard action that saw them close to within 6 at the last change. A dunk and three-pointer from Broekhoff as part of a 12-0 run to open the final term saw Lokomotiv wrestle back control as they cruised to a 25 point victory [video highlights].

Broekhoff would score all of his 11 points in the second half, 3-4 from long-range and adding 3 assists in 22 minutes. He was one of 4 players to score in double figures for Lokomotiv who were led by Trevor Lacey’s 15 points and Dmitry Kulagin’s 14 points. they connected on an impressive 13-26 from three-point territory while restricting Cedevita to just 1-24 from the same distance.

Damian Arsenis

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A patriotic and passionate follower of all things #AussieHoops. With a Master of Marketing, I am a Life Member of the Warrandyte Basketball Association, Level 2 qualified coach and referee, podcaster, and proud father of three girls.

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