Motum shoots Zalgiris to EuroLeague win

Round 7 of the EuroLeague saw BC Zalgiris Kaunas coming away victorious against Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul, while Ryan Broekhoff and Ben Madgen also came away victorious in the Eurocup. Venky Jois and his team Tartu Ulikool Rock weren’t as lucky though, as they ended up getting their fourth loss in a row in the FIBA Europe Cup.

Zalgiris took on Turkish club Galatasaray, with both teams evenly matched, sitting tied at 20 points apiece by the end of the first quarter. But from there, Zalgiris started piling on the points and going up 69-51 by the end of the third period. However Galatasaray started fighting back, showing off some toughness in the final frame of action. They outscored Zalgiris 24-18 in fourth term, but Zalgiris was still able to come out on top, winning the game 87-75.

Brock Motum was a key contributor in getting Zalgiris the win, as he willed the team to victory with his scoring and rebounding. Motum followed up his 26 career-night from a week ago to pile on 24 points on the night while shooting an efficient 7/9 from the field and 3/4 from deep. The Turkish opposition just had no answer to stopping him from scoring or getting offensive rebounds (5 offensive), as the Australian forward continued to shine at the top level of competition in Europe.

Round 6 of the EuroCup saw Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar taking on Union Olimpija Ljublijana. Coming out of the gates, Lokomotiv looked to be the aggressor, taking an early 23-18 lead going into the second period. But their Slovenian adversary wouldn’t let up, continuing to fight back. But Lokomotiv wouldn’t let up this time, outscoring Union Olimpija 38-33 in the second half on their way to a 77-64 win.

Ryan Broekhoff was a beast on the glass all night, hauling in 7 rebounds in 27 minutes of action. The stout defense and contagious energy he plays with was also on display as usual. Broekhoff finished the game making two shots from behind the arc on his way to scoring 8 points. Lokomotiv now sit fourth in the Group D standings with a record of 2-3, but with their Australian star starting to finally break through from his shooting slump.

Ben Madgen has continued to play well defensively, whether it’s hounding opponents on the ball, or getting his hands in passing lanes (2 steals). That has been a key catalyst in why the team has continued giving him minutes even if he has himself an off shooting night. Madgen wasn’t able to find a rhythm this game, hitting only 2/7 of his shot attempts in 22 minutes. But despite that, Lietkabelis Panevezys was still able to pull out the win over a tough Macedonian club.

Kicking off the first half of play, both teams continued trading leads back and forth. But a terrible second quarter from MZT Skopje Aerodrom allowed Lietkabelis to take the lead, going into halftime up 46-32. In the second half, the Skopje fought back with a strong showing in the fourth quarter, outscoring Lietkabelis 31-25, but in the end Lietkabelis prevailed 87-80.

In the FIBA Europe Cup, Tartu Ulikool Rock came away on the losing end of a 89-68 loss to Pau-Lacq-Orthez. Tartu kept it close for much of the game, but a fourth quarter collapse left the team in shambles. They gave up way too many points to Pau-Lacq-Orthez when it counted most, but a lot of that had to do with the French side's defensive efforts. They allowed Tartu to shoot only 40% from the field that hurt the Estonian club, as they just couldn’t get the lid off the basket.

Venky Jois finished the game with a team-high 8 rebounds, while scoring just 2 points on 1/2 shooting from the field in 21 minutes of playing time. With the loss, Tartu now sits at 0-4 in the Europe Cup Group E standings.