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Broekhoff bows out of EuroCup, Motum poised for EuroLeague playoffs
Ryan Broekhoff's EuroCup season has come to an abrupt end, however Brock Motum's late season run with Zalgiris Kaunas in the EuroLeague has them poised for a playoff berth.
Brock Motum and Zalgiris Kaunas traveled to Russia to take on Unics Kazan in another must-win game if they wished to remain in the hunt for the last place in the 2017 EuroLeague playoffs. Unics Kazan who have already been eliminated from the playoff race put up a tough fight against the visitors. The hosts were in control for a tight first half, with 5 of their players scoring 6 points or more in the opening half as they managed to hold a slender 1-point lead.
Zalgiris hung tough, with Leo Westermann, Antanas Kavaliauskas, Brock Motum and Lukas Lekavicius keeping their side in the contest. It would come down to which team made the big plays down the stretch, and with Zalgiris having more to play for, they managed to sneak away with a narrow 82-80 win thanks to some cool heads at the line.
Motum would drain 3-of-3 from downtown on his way to providing 10 points and 2 rebounds in playing 22 minutes. His ability to stretch defenses allows his team-mates to get into the paint for open looks themselves. Zalgiris is just 2 games behind eight placed Anadolu Efes Istanbul with 4 rounds remaining. Their next contest sees them host a pivotal clash with Anadolu Efes Istanbul, with a Zalgiris loss all but ending their playoff aspirations.
Unfortunately for Ryan Borekhoff and Lokomotiv Kuban, they were swept 2-0 by Unicaja Malaga in the best-of-three semifinal series and miss out on qualifying for the EuroCup Final.
After dropping the first game 57-73 at home, it became a must-win road game for Lokomotiv in game 2. the home side however were on fire right from the start, quickly opening up a commanding 19-3 lead thanks to some hot three-point shooting. While Lokomotiv would mount challenges, they ultimately never recovered from that early onslaught to go down 63-74.
Broekhoff would chime in with 3 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block in the loss to round out a very good EuroCup campaign.