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EuroView: Goulding, Newley and Broekhoff to taste Last 32 action in Eurocup
Chris Goulding, Brad Newley and Ryan Broekhoff will live to fight another day in the Eurocup with their respective teams now assured of progressing to the next round of 32 teams with one week remaining in the group stage.
While Newley's Herbalife Gran Canaria have known they will progress for some time now as they are yet to lose a game and Broekhoff and Besiktas Istanbul have not been far behind always in the top 2 of their group, Goulding and CAI Zaragoza sealed their fate just this week.
Coming up against Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia in Italy, the Spanish side knew they could book their ticket to the next round a week early if they should win on the road and have other results fall their way as well. A strong final quarter by the visitor's saw them secure the win 87-75 with Goulding again leading from the front and looking as dangerous as ever on offense chipping in with 19 points while going 3/8 from long range in 26 minutes.
CAI Zaragoza also got the result they wanted that was out of their hands as Paris Levallois needed overtime to beat Telekom Baskets Bonn 87-80 and doing so locked Goulding and Zaragoza into the last 32.
It was business as usual for Newley and Gran Canaria as they chalked up their ninth win in succession for the season overcoming Artland Dragons 90-81. Having led the Spanish team in scoring the last two weeks, Newley was only a point off doing the same this week as he scored 11 points to go along with 5 rebounds. Again the scoring was spread for Gran Canaria who shot an impressive 12/20 from 3-point land.
Meanwhile, Besiktas have put themselves in a position to still finish top of Group D courtesy of a 76-64 road win in Latvia against VEF Riga. Broekhoff was efficient in limited playing time coming off the bench notching 17 points in just under 21 minutes including 3/4 from long distance. Besiktas will now play Szolnoki Olaj at home while they will be hoping BC Khimki lose to Zenit St Petersburg on their own floor as the Russian side hold the advantage if it should come to a tie-breaker situation.
Unfortunately David Andersen will not be seeing any further Eurocup action after the final group stage match for Asvel Lyon Villeurbanne after they dropped a critical match in Belgium to Telenet Oostend. The Belgians were too much for Asvel eventually winning 78-70. Andersen scored 9 points and pulled down 7 rebounds in 14 minutes of court time.
Another player with only the last group stage match left in his Eurocup season is Daniel Johnson. Although last 32 action has eluded his team Stelmet Zielona Gora this season, they managed their second victory of this campaign winning a close one against Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir 71-69. Johnson's season continues to look to slide after a hopeful first few games of the season, scoring 5 points in less than 10 minutes on the hardwood.
It was unfortunately the same old story in the Euroleague with both Aleks Maric and Nathan Jawai not playing this week for Maccabi Tel Aviv and Galatasaray. It was Galatasaray that missed a golden opportunity to sure up their Top 16 hopes further as they lost on the road to Neptunas Klaipeda 82-72 leaving the door ajar for the Lithuanians to steal the last spot in Group D.
Meanwile, Maccabi won on the road 82-71 against Croatians Cedevita Zagreb.
Like the Eurocup, there is one week left in the Euroleague and along with the battle for the final spot in Group D, the only other vacant slot is in Group A as Unics Kazan and Zalgiris Kaunas battle it out. Unics now have the upper hand as they coincidentally took on Zalgiris this week on their own court and secured a 73-60 win that now sees them a game clear and their fate in their own hands.
A match to watch out for in the last round of group games is when FC Barcelona travel to the Greek capital to take on fellow European powerhouses Panathinaikos at the OAKA Arena, a fortress for any team to try and steal victory.
Euroleague Top 10 Plays of the Week: Round 9
The season continues to be a long one in the EuroChallenge for Romania outfit CSM Oradea and its Australian Guard Daniel Dillon. CSM Oradea dropped their fifth match in as many games this week to Russian side Avtodor 92-73. Dillon scored 11 points in the loss with one regular season match to come against Tofas SC of Turkey.