Broekhoff and Motum go head-to-head in Euroleague
Both Ryan Broekhoff and Brock Motum went head to head in Euroleague, with both trying to help lead their teams to a place in the top 16, while Brad Newley connected on the game-tying triple to sent his side's game into overtime in Eurocup.
Lokomotiv Kuban opened their Euroleague game against BC Zalgiris Kaunas with an 8-0 run, going on to establish a commanding 14 point lead at quarter time (28-14). Ryan Broekhoff would come out the gate strongly, scoring 10 points in the first period to help spark his team. With Broekhoff's explosive opening, he set the tone for Lokomotiv with his all around effort, which would rub off on his teammates throughout the contest.
Things only got worse for Zalgiris, with Lokomotiv continuing to power away thanks to great defense which resulted in plenty of quality scoring opportunities. By the end of the first half, Lokomotiv had all but secured the game thanks to an imposing 53-17 lead.
In the second half, Lokomotiv would maintain their lead, once again thanks to their stifling defense. The Russian side restricted Zalgiris to 34% shooting on field goal attempts and would go on to win easily, 80-50.
Broekhoff would end the game with 12 points (3/6 FG), 3 steals, 9 rebounds and a very healthy +32 (plus/minus) when he was on court. His Aussie counterpart wasn’t as lucky in a big loss, however Brock Motum tried his best in getting Zalgiris back into the game. He would finish with 14 points (6/13 FG) and grabbing 7 rebounds.
With the win, Lokomotiv punched a ticket to the next round of Euroleague.
Herbalife Gran Canaria faced Riesen Ludwigsburg, and right from the start the 2015 Eurocup runner-up found the going tough, trailing 44-36 at the main break. The game would remain close throughout the third and fourth quarters to set the scene for a thrilling finish.
Trailing by three points with 6 seconds remaining and with possession, Gran Canaria would have one final chance to tie the game and force an extra period. Enter Brad Newley.
Newley stepped up to connect on a clutch three-pointer, tying the game 81-81 all and ensure the close encounter would last for a further 5 minutes at least. Yet despite Newley's heroics, Ludwigsburg proved the better team on the day to keep their noses in front, winning the game 92-89.
Brad Newley was phenomenal, scoring 14 points (5-8 FG) with 5 rebounds, making 3 triples, including the big shot when it was needed. While the Spaniards will be disappointed with the loss, that will take great heart from the form shown by Newley.
Two other Spanish sides in CAI Zaragoza and Valencia Basket went into battle, with Valencia outscoring their opponents 26-22 in the opening period. They would increase their lead to 10 points at half time before Zaragoza's third quarter fight back.
Zaragoza's weak perimeter defense allowed Valencia to make 52% of their three-pointers in the game; a key reason they lost 84-76. New Zealander Isaac Fotu contributed well, adding 8 points and 2 rebounds to go with 1 steal and two made three-pointers.
Playing to keep their slim hopes of advancing to the next round alive, Buducnost Voli Podgorica would come out of the gates strongly against Aris Thessaloniki, outscoring their opponents 24-6.
The second quarter delivered more of the same, with Buducnost playing stifling defense. Aris were forced to shoot only 21% on field goal attempts through two quarters and were totally outplayed by a highly motivated outfit. The Montenegran's would power away to a convincing 75-56 win.
Center Aleks Maric played a good game, providing 6 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots, ending the game with the best plus/minus on the team (+31). Unfortunately he left the game midway through the third quarter, and wasn’t able to return. No details on his injury has yet been made available.