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EuroView: Madgen a driving force for Lietkabelis
Ben Madgen was in great form in Lithuania, while Brock Motum's chances at making the EuroLeague playoffs were extinguished.
In Lithuania, Lietkabelis Panevezys registered an important win over 6th placed Vytautas in the LKL. As he has done all season, Ben Madgen was a driving force behind the narrow 85-82 victory. The scoring guard added 18 points (7-of-12 FG) with 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal as Lietkabelis managed to remain locked with Lietuvos Rytas in second place.
Unfortunately for Zalgiris Kaunas, their late-season run was halted at the hands of their rivals for the last EuroLeague playoff position, Anadolou Efes Istanbul. Playing at home, Zalgiris had the better of the first half to lead by 3 at the main break. However they were unable to hit shots in the second half, with Anadolou stealing the important 76-68. Brock Motum came off the bench for 5 points and 3 rebounds in 25 minutes but was unable to impart his offensive impact on the game.
Zalgiris rebounding strongly to account for Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv 93-77 in a must-win road game. Motum would finish with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting with 2 rebounds in just 15 minutes of action in the good win. However Anadolou also won their game against Fenerbahce Istanbul to make it mathematically impossible for Zalgiris to qualify for the EuroLeague playoffs.
Lokomotiv Kuban suffered a rare VTB United League loss to 80-83 loss to Zenit Saint Petersburg. It was a tight game, but it was Zenit who gained the upper hand in the second half, [prevailing by just 3 points. For Ryan Broekhoff, his teams' fortunes possibly reflected his output, as he went scoreless in just 12 minutes off the bench in his quietest game of the season.
PAOK Thessaloniki escaped with a close 73-70 win over Promitheas in the Greek A1 League. Nathan Sobey started and contributed 8 points on just 2-of-11 shooting (0-of-7 3PT) alongside 2 rebounds. It was an off night for Sobey, but his side still managed to win and move up into 4th position in the standings.
Jason Cadee was unable to help Kymis find a win as they fell short to Aris 77-80 in Greece. The play-maker would finish with 7 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in a solid performance. His side remains in 12th position in the standings, fighting to avoid the relegation zone.
In a battle between two of the top three teams, 3rd placed AEK Athens were no match for Panathinaikos Athens, beaten 87-106. Brad Newley came off the bench to play a defensive role, fouling out in 23 minutes with 2 points. His side remains in 3rd place despite the loss.
The quarterfinals action in Denmark continued, with Horsens IC taking a 2-0 lead over Randers thanks to a 105-82 thrashing. Forward Dan Trist was solid in chipping in 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting with 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Horsens IC are favoured to sweep Randers in the best-of-five games series.
While Trist's team in on their way to the semifinals, the same can't be said for Matt Adekponya's Naestved who have found themselves trailing 0-2 against Svendborg. In their 80-85 loss, Adekponya only say 1 minute off the bench.
In Estonia, Venky Jois chimed in with 6 points and 7 rebounds in Tartu Rock's 97-67 demolition of Tallinna Kalev. It was a big win by the ladder-leading Tartu over the 6th placed side, but their next contest against 3rd ranked Kalev/Cramo will surely be a sterner test.
It was a different story in the Baltic League semifinals, where Tartu were gallant in falling short to Pieno Zvaigzdes 75-82 in overtime. The home side appeared to have the advantage, however Tartu closed with a ferocious defensive display in the final term to force extra time. Pieno Zvaigzdes would pull away for the win and a win on aggregate after the first game was tied. Jois would add just 2 points and 3 rebounds in 7 minutes off the bench as their Baltic League campaign came to an end.