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Broekhoff's Lokomotiv locks up first place in EuroCup, Madgen's Rytas is eliminated
Round 5 of the EuroCup Top 16 saw the unbeaten winning streak of Ryan Broekhoff's Lokomotiv Kuban extend to 15 straight as they locked up first place in Group G, while Ben Madgen and Lietuvos Rytas saw their slim hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals extinguished.
Trailing by 8 points heading into the final period, Lokomotiv Kuban were staring at the prospect of losing their first game of the EuroCup season against second placed Buducnost Podgorica. After being quiet offensively across the first three periods, Ryan Broekhoff lifted to score all 9 points of his points in the final term to help lift his side to a 77-66 victory.
Lokomotiv were made to work hard over the course of the game. When Buducnost opened up their biggest lead of the game late in the third term, things were not looking good for Lokomotiv. Broekhoff combined well with Dmitry Kulagin (14 points), with both draining three-balls to get things moving. Broekhoff would come up big late too, completing a tough and-one, before hitting another trey to ice the game and completing the escape [video highlights].
Broekhoff finished with 9 points--all scored in the final quarter--with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Frank Elegar led the scoring for Lokomotiv with 16 points, as they locked up first place in Group G in the Top 16. Buducnost will now finish second behind them.
Unfortunately for Ben Madgen and Lietuvos Rytas, they were eliminated from quarterfinal contention after being on the wrong side of a high-scoring shootout with Zenit St Petersburg. Zenit set a team record for scoring, field goals made and index rating in rolling to a 113-100 victory.
Zenit took control of the contest right from the start, opening up a big 31-18 first quarter lead. From there, Rytas never really recovered. Rytas would fight back in the second half, taking the edge by 7, but it was not enough to overcome their 20 point deficit at the main break, sealing their EuroCup fate. Zenit was on fire, shooting almost 60% from the field, while Rytas could only connect on 36% shooting [video highlights].
Madgen came off the bench to play just 9 minutes, providing an offensive spark that resulted in 9 points on a perfect 3-3 from downtown. His cameo was not enough however, with Rytas consigned to a Top 16 exit with just one more round to play. Kyle Kruic was one of six players to score in double figures for Zenit, adding 20 points, with Rytas' Loukas Mavrokefalidis leading all scorers with 24.