In a battle featuring Australian Boomers on both sides, Ryan Broekhoff came up with some big shots in helping Lokomotiv Kuban sink Brock Motum and Zalgiris Kaunas on the road in a thrilling 76-74 second round Euroleague victory.
Despite only winning one quarter, the Russian visitors used their dominant 16-9 second period to earn them a very important away win. Zalgiris had a chance to steal the win, with their final shot teasing the home fans before rimming out.
"It was a huge win for us," shared Broekhoff exclusively with The Pick and Roll after the win.
"Winning on the road is very important and they are very tough at home. It was also good to catch up with Brock [Motum] for dinner after the game."
Broekhoff was able to make the big shots and plays just when Lokomotiv needed them - especially early. He connected on three triples and a big transition dunk on his way to 13 points (5/9 FG) with 6 rebounds and 1 steal in a blemish free 26 minutes. He was one of three Lokomotiv players to score in double figures. Motum was also very good for Zalgiris, adding 8 points (3/5 FG), 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 24 minutes.
The first quarter provided plenty of highlights for the fans in a fast and free-flowing game. Broekhoff was outstanding in the first period with 8 points, opening Lokomotiv's scoring with a banked triple from near mid-court as the shot clock expired. Motum added an early triple as Zalgiris maintained an early ascendancy at home. Broekhoff would soon after finish with a flush in transition. Both sides were shooting at a high clip, with Broekhoff adding another triple, and yet the home side led by 4 points at the first break.
Unlike the opening period, the second turned into a defensive struggle. Lokomotiv managed to silence the crowd by restricting the home side to just 9 points. With 16 points of their own, Lokomotiv edged ahead by 3 points at half time. Both teams traded blows in the third, yet the visitors maintained a 3 point lead at the final change.
Broekhoff came up with another big triple in the run home, as did his team mates as they looked to defend their small lead. With tough basket inside, Motum edged the hosts to within a basket of taking the lead back. Zalgiris would tie the game up with just over 12 second remaining thanks to a big dunk. Lokomotiv made two free throws at the other end, giving the home side the last possession of the game and a chance to tie or win. The potential game-winning three-ball rimmed out and Lokomotiv headed back home with a 2-0 record to open the Euroleague season.
Watch the full replay on Saturday, 24 October from 2:45pm AEDST on Eurosport Australia.
In the Eurocup, both Brad Newley and Aleks Maric were able to provide solid outputs in vastly different results for their respective teams.
Newley compiled 14 points (2/3 3PT) alongside 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals as Herbalife Gran Canaria easily dispatched MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg 95-75 at home. Gran Canaria were on fire from beyond the arc, connecting on a huge 17 triples for the game to bury Ludwigsburg.
2015 Eurocup runner up Gran Canaria is now 2-0 to open the new season and now sitting atop of Group B.
Finding the going tough on the road was Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, overrun by Aris Thessaloniki 57-75 in Greece. Veteran center Aleks Maric continued to show he has rediscovered his form, gathering 13 points and 9 rebounds before his team fell to a 1-1 record in Group D.