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Motum in form as Zalgiris endures tough week
In round 3 of the EuroLeague, Zalgiris Kaunas suffered tough losses to Fenerbahce Istanbul and Maccabi Tel Aviv, while in the EuroCup Ryan Broekhoff and Ben Madgen's clubs both endured rough outings of their own.
Brock Motum was on fire in scoring 14 points on an efficient 6/9 shooting from the field and 2/4 from deep in 22 minutes of action, yet Zalgiris were unable to come away with a win against Fenerbahce.
Motum has just continued to find ways to score inside, whether it’s scoring through the post, cutting to the basket or attacking off the dribble, he has consistently found ways to get buckets in the paint so far this season. His three-point jump shot has also helped with that (shooting 50% through 10 games across EuroLeague and Lithuanian LKL), as players run to close out on his three-point looks, using that against them in attacking the rim.
From the opening tip, Zalgiris came out looking to show Fenerbahce that they can play on their level. Through two quarters of action they were only 7 points behind, going into halftime with the score 44-37. In the second half, Zalgiris continued competing but Fenerbahce stepped up in the final period to come away with a 82-68 win.
Zalgiris also took on Maccabi Tel Aviv for their second game of the week in what was a one-sided affair for much of the game. The Israeli side looked to be a step ahead of their adversary, taking an early 21-16 lead. Zalgiris fought back with their play in the second and third period, however it wasn’t enough as they lost 87-74.
Motum did an excellent job on the glass, hauling in 7 rebounds on the night in only 21 minutes of action. He was also everywhere in the passing lanes, getting his hands on 3 steals while scoring 9 points.
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar took on Ratiopharm Ulm in t he EuroCup, with the Russian side slow out of the blocks. In this contest, Lokomotiv just didn’t look to be on par with Ratiopharm, giving up a staggering 28 points to their adversary in only the first period. From that point on, Lokomotiv continued fighting back making a game of it - outscoring Ratiopharm 33-31 in the second half. Their dreadful play in the first quarter hurt them, as they were playing catch-up for much of the game before falling short 77-62.
Ryan Broekhoff played with his usual infectious energy and high motor on the defensive end, getting his hands on one steal and one block, while hauling in 4 rebounds on the night. But offensively he wasn’t able to get it going with his jump shot, scoring only 2 points in 22 minutes of play.
Ben Madgen has continued to play well defensively for Lietkabelis Panevezys against Nizhny Novgorod, making it hard for opponents to get off open looks with his hand consistently in their face. With that, it has also allowed him to earn the trust of the coaching staff (22 minutes) because they know that is something they can rely on from him. Yet Madgen wasn’t able to find many scoring opportunities (only one FG attempt), scoring 5 points on one three-pointer.
Through three-quarters of play the, Lithuanian side led outscored Nizhny 58-55. But when it counted most, Lietkabelis started letting up, allowing their Russian adversary to outscore them 20-14 in the final frame of action to go down 72-75. Lietkabelis now sits at 2-1 in the Group A standings after dropping their first game of the competition.