Budivelnyk - Banvit BK 76-69 Budivelnyk came from behind in the second half to outscore Banvit at the Sports Palace in Kyiv. Leo Lyons (206-F-87, agency: Edge Sports, college: Missouri) scored 15 points and grabbed 9 rebounds to lead Budivelnyk to the opening win at Last 16 stage. Banvit enjoyed a strong start to the game. The Turkish team led by three points after the opening quarter 15:12. The visitors stretched the lead in the second term. Banvit accumulated an 8-point advantage at halftime. But Budivelnyk turned things around in the third term. The hosts used an 8:3 run to level things up at 47. Dainius Salenga (197-F-77) capped the period with a three-pointer to give the hosts a 57:54 advantage. Budivelnyk quickly boosted the lead to 7 points in the fourth frame. Charles Davis (205-C-84, college: Alabama) and Sammy Mejia dragged the Turkish side within two points 69:71 with just over a minute left in regulation. But Georgi Tsintsadze drained a triple and then Delaney followed with a jumper to seal the win for the hosts. Dainius Salenga finished with 14 points, while Georgi Tsintsadze added 12 points in the winning effort. Charles Davis answered with 21 points for Banvit. Sammy Mejia netted 13 points in the loss.
Buducnost - Triumph 90-69 Buducnost made a decisive run in the third frame and cruised to the victory afterwards in the opening game of EuroCup Last 16 round. The Montenegrin champions toppled visiting Triumph in front of the home crowd in Podgorica. Cedomir Vitkovac (201-F-82, agency: Beo Basket) stepped up with 24 points and 12 rebounds to pace the winners. Buducnost accounted for a 24:20 lead after ten minutes of action. Triumph stepped on the gas in the second frame. The visitors exploded with 24 points and narrowed the gap at 3-point mark 47:44 at halftime. But the third term belonged to Buducnost. The Montenegrin turned on aggressive defence. Triumph offence suffocated going for just 9 points in ten minutes. Buducnost capitalized boosting the margin to 9 points 62:53. The hosts went on a 13:2 run early in the final period to accumulate a 77:58 lead. Buducnost never looked back afterwards cruising to the win at the end. Aleksa Popovic (201-SF-87) provided 17 points, while Gerald Lee contributed 13 points in the win. Triumph answered with 20 points from Tasmin Mitchell (201-F-86, agency: Stanislav Ryzhov, college: LSU). Tywain McKee had 18 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists for the Russian team.
Valencia - VEF Riga 86-82 Valencia overcame the injury of Rodrigo San Miguel and the furious challenge from VEF Riga to post the opening win at EuroCup Last 16. Rafael Martinez (191-G-82) dropped 27 points to lead the Spaniards to the opening win in Group J. Valencia jumped to a 4:0 lead at the start of the game. They stayed in front to post a 20:17 lead after ten minutes. The gap grew at 7-point mark midway through the second quarter. However VEF Riga answered with a 14:0 run to take a 35:28 lead. They secured a 45:39 halftime lead as Valencia also lost Rodrigo San Miguel to an injury. Janicenoks and Donatas Zavackas stretched the lead to 10 points at the start of the third quarter. Valencia though went on a 20:1 run late in the quarter to ensure a 67:55 advantage. Earl Rowland (188-G-83, college: St.Mary's, CA) stopped the rot with a three-pointer to drag the Latvian champions within 9 points 58:67. VEF Riga narrowed the gap at 4-point mark midway through the fourth frame. Bertans put the visitors within 3 with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. Stefan Markovic seemed to seal it for Valencia with a three-pointer to make 84:78. But Janicenoks drained a triple and was fouled in progress to complete a four-point play 82:84. Rafael Martinez was sent to the penalty line and sank two free throws then to seal the win for Valencia. Justin Doellman (206-F-85, college: Xavier) and Bojan Dubljevic (205-PF-91, agency: Beo Basket) finished with 14 points each for the winning side. Earl Rowland answered with 21 points and 9 assists for VEF Riga. Donatas Zavackas provided 18 points in defeat.
Gescrap BB - CEZ Nymburk 83-85 Nymburk came up with the biggest upset of the opening day of EuroCup Last 16 round. The Czech champions knocked down Bilbao in Spain for the first win in Group J. Radoslav Rancik (207-F/C-79, agency: Beo Basket, college: St.Cloud St.) came up with 30 points and 7 rebounds to pace the visitors. Nymburk set the tone early. The visitors eked out a 19:17 lead after ten minutes of action. Bilbao reacted quickly stiffing defensively in the second frame. The hosts erased the deficit as the teams went into the locker rooms tied at 36. But Nymburk made a run in the third term. The visitors poured in 27 points in the quarter and ensured a 10-point lead at the final intermission. Bilbao used a 6:2 rally to narrow the gap at 6-point mark midway through the fourth term. Raul Lopez and Lamotn Hamilton finally tied things up at 78 with just over a minute to go. Vasiliadis put the hosts in front 80:79 however Radoslav Rancik drained a triple to make it 82:80 for Nymburk. Andrew Naymick (209-C-85, agency: Warren Sports International) and Radoslav Rancik extended the lead to 4 points 85:81 and Bilbao could not recover in the time left. Andrew Naymick posted 20 points, while Jiri Welsch had 12 points for the winners. Alex Mumbru (202-F-79) notched 13 points for Bilbao. Lamont Hamilton chipped in 12 points in the loss.
Stelmet ZG - Cajasol 76-67 Zastal Zielona Gora claimed the opening win at the EuroCup Last 16 round. They held off visiting Cajasol in Group K opener. Walter Hodge (183-PG-86, college: Florida) nailed 27 points and issued 6 assists to lead the hosts. Zastal found themselves trailing by two points after the opening quarter 15:17. Cajasol stretched the margin in the second frame. John Holland (195-G/F-88, college: Boston U.) completed his first-half 8-point tally to give the visitors a 39:30 lead. Zastal however came off the dressing room firing from all guns. They ignited an 8:0 run to narrow the deficit. Oliver Stevic pulled Zastal in front 49:48 midway through the period. Joan Sastre Morro and Latavious Williams regained the lead for Cajasol but Oliver Stevic capped the period with a jumper to level things up at 57. The lead changed hands for several times before Walter Hodge and Quinton Hosley drained back-to-back triples making it 71:64 for the home team. Luka Bogdanovic answered from downtown but Walter Hodge followed with five points in a row to seal the win for the hosts. Dejan Borovnjak (207-F/C-86, agency: Beo Basket) notched 16 points, while Oliver Stevic added 12 points and 7 rebounds for the home team. John Holland answered with 17 points for Cajasol. Joan Sastre Morro chipped in 15 points in the loss.
Spartak SP - Lokomotiv 70-84 Lokomotiv led from start to finish to upset Spartak SP at the start of Last 16 campaign for both teams. Derrick Brown (203-F-87, college: Xavier) scored 21 points to lead the Krasnodar team. Lokomotiv silenced their opponents in the opening quarter. The visitors went on a 26:10 run to take a comfortable lead. Spartak slowly adjusted their game in the second frame. The Russian side fired 23 points to cut the deficit to 11 points heading into the second half. Spartak tried to erase the deficit in the third term but Lokomotiv hung on tight. The visitors secured a 62:52 lead into the fourth period. Lokomotiv dropped 22 points in the final stanza and sealed a confident win at the end. Simas Jasaitis (202-SF-82) delivered 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Aleks Maric added 14 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists for Lokomotiv. Loukas Mavrokefalidis (207-C-84) answered with 20 points and 9 rebounds for Spartak SP. Zack Wright chipped in 16 points in the loss.
Ratiopharm - Crvena Zvezda 95-100 Crvena Zvezda clinched the opening win at EuroCup Last 16 round. They upset Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany tonight. Igor Rakocevic (191-G-78) exploded with 32 points to lead the Serbian powerhouse. The teams stayed close throughout the opening quarter. Crvena Zvezda were able to eke out a 23:22 lead ten minutes into the game. The Serbian side cleared off in the second quarter. Vuk Radivojevic drained three triples in a row to give the visitors a 32:27 lead. Soon Igor Rakocevic made it a double-digit lead 42:32. Crvena Zvezda arrived at halftime up by 9 points 48:39. The third term brought little relief for Ulm. They lagged behind throughout the period as Crvena Zvezda accumulated a 69:58 advantage heading into the fourth frame. The hosts erupted for 37 points in the final period but Crvena Zvezda hung on tight to their lead and snatched an important road win at the end. Boris Savovic (210-F-87, agency: Beo Basket) had 17 points, while Elton Brown added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the winners. John Bryant (208-C-87, college: Santa Clara) stepped up with 20 points and 12 boards for Ratiopharm Ulm. Allan Ray banked 19 points in defeat.
Galatasaray - Unics 74-80 Unics opened their EuroCup Last 16 campaign in style. They bettered Galatasaray in Istanbul to improve at 1-0 record in Group L. Chuck Eidson (203-F-80, agency: Three Eye Sports, college: S.Carolina) stepped up with 23 points to pace the visitors. It seemed to be going Galatasaray way in the opening frame. The Turkish team gained control and raced to a 20:16 lead ten minutes into the game. Cenk Akyol stretched the gap to 5 points midway through the second term. However Unics finished the half strong and cut the deficit at one-point mark 35:36. The teams went neck and neck throughout the third term. Galatasaray secured a slim one-point lead heading into the final stanza 55:54. The hosts were still up by three 67:64 with just over three minutes to go in regulation. However Chuck Eidson and Ian Vougioukas (212-C/F-85, college: St.Louis) triggered a 6:0 run from the visitors as they posted a 70:67 lead. Chuck Eidson made it 75:69 with one minute remaining in regulation. David Hawkins kept the hosts hopeful with a three-pointer but Samoylenko and Mire Chatman seal the win for Unics in the dying seconds. Ian Vougioukas provided 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Michael Wilkinson added 14 points for Unics. David Hawkins answered with 20 points for Galatasaray. Jamont Gordon had 18 points in defeat.
Behind a strong double-double showing of 12 points and 10 rebounds, courtesy of 6-11 Australian center Aleks Maric, and thanks to a dominate Most Valuable Player performance by interim big man Richard Hendrix, who contributed 14 points and 9 boards, Russian Lokomotiv Kuban secured its first ever Eurocup title with a 75-64 triumph over Spanish Uxue Bilbao [read more]
Behind a strong double-double showing of 12 points and 10 rebounds, courtesy of 6-11 Australian center Aleks Maric, and thanks to a dominate Most Valuable Player performance by interim big man Richard Hendrix, who contributed 14 points and 9 boards, Russian Lokomotiv Kuban secured its first ever Eurocup title with a 75-64 triumph over Spanish Uxue Bilbao.
Both Maric (Panathinaikos) and Hendrix (EA7 Milan), shown the door by their recently respected Euroleague homes, have managed to come alive in Russia, upped their statistics, and resurrect their stardom, en route to returning to Euroleague action next season.
While Maric is locked in with Kuban for the upcoming 2013-14 season, Hendrix, who is on a loan from Milan, will get shipped back to Italy to honor the second year of his deal.
Kuban Coach Evgeny Pashutin utilized his massive inside presence to the maximum. Maric playing the center, and Hendrix at power-forward revealed to be a killer duo combining for 19 boards, five of them offensive, and five assists.
"Our strategy offensively was to go inside to Richard Hendrix and Aleks Maric," a victorious Pashutin said. "They both dominated and we were able to get a lead, go from there and have a good game," the 44-year-old Russian-born coach added.
Awkwardly enough, Israeli power Maccabi Tel Aviv, currently trailing Real Madrid 0-2 in the best-of-five Euroleague quarter-finals series, is getting demolished inside the paint by its Spanish rival.
Seeing that Maccabi sent 7-footer Giorgi Shermadini to Greece on December 2012, and waived high-flying 6-8 power-forward Malcolm Thomas, who is now hooping for the Chicago Bulls, Shawn James' outstanding performances remain no match against Madrid's inside firepower. Dating back to March 2013, Maccabi targeted and engaged in conversations with Maric, who eventually preferred the Russian currency. Upon joining Kuban on January 2013, David Blatt heavily pursued Hendrix, and urged Tel Aviv officials to re-sign the Alabama alumnus. Yet Maccabi executives eventually inked Croatian Euroleague-rook Darko Planinic to a multi-year deal.
Planinic is far from being the coaching staff favorite Hendrix was, or Maric could have been, registering just 3.5 points and 1.5 boards during 6.5 minutes per versus Madrid.
As Madrid outrebounds Tel Aviv 85-44 over the first pair of series contests, Maric, tailing a miserable four points in seven minutes for Panathinaikos under former coach Zeljko Obradovic last season, has jump-started his international career, revisiting his dominance from when playing in Serbia with Partizan Belgrade.
"Our target from the beginning was to win this cup. We are now going to the play in the Euroleague. We conquered our goal of taking Kuban to the next level. It is an amazing feeling," said Maric, completing his Eurocup debut season with double-digit scoring figures of 11 points and 7.3 rebounds nightly.
Hendrix's season upside has also been remarkable. The 264-pounder who took home Israel's Center of the Year honors, discovered unfamiliar territory earlier this season under Sergio Scariolo, barley logging double-digits in minutes, which by default, meant failing to adapt to the Italian system.
In Russia, Hendrix revived his brand, doubled his scoring averages, and tripled his European competition statistics. For Kuban's defensive anchor, winning the Eurocup title was simply the icing on the cake.
Lokomotiv Kuban crowned new champions! - Apr 13, 2013
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Gescrap BB - Lokomotiv 64-75
Lokomotiv Kuban are the new EuroCup champions. They knocked down Bilbao Basket in Charleroi tonight to clinch the trophy. Aleks Maric (211-C-84, college: Nebraska) paced balanced effort from the Russian team finishing with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. The teams went neck and neck throughout the opening quarter. Bilbao Basket eked out a narrow 17:16 lead after the starting quarter. But Lokomotiv took over in the second frame [read more]
Gescrap BB - Lokomotiv 64-75 Lokomotiv Kuban are the new EuroCup champions. They knocked down Bilbao Basket in Charleroi tonight to clinch the trophy. Aleks Maric (211-C-84, college: Nebraska) paced balanced effort from the Russian team finishing with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. The teams went neck and neck throughout the opening quarter. Bilbao Basket eked out a narrow 17:16 lead after the starting quarter. But Lokomotiv took over in the second frame. They used a 15:2 run to secure a 37:28 lead. Kostas Kostas Vasiliadis (200-G/F-84, agency: FCM) stopped the rot with a jumper but Lokomotiv entered the second half up by 8 points 38:30. Derrick Brown (203-F-87, college: Xavier) and Calathes extended the lead to double digits early in the third term. Lokomotiv stayed in front throughout the third term. The Russian team entered the fourth quarter up by 9 points 54:45. Lokomotiv opened the fourth stanza with 11 straight points to shock Bilbao. The Basque team fought desperately till the final seconds and cut the deficit to 7 points but it was as close as they could get. Lokomotiv stayed calm and escaped with a triumphant victory at the end. Richard Hendrix (204-C/F-86, college: Alabama) finished with 14 points and 9 rebounds, while Derrick Brown added 11 points for the winners. Kostas Vasiliadis answered with 11 points for Bilbao Basket. Milovan Rakovic had 11 points in the losing effort.
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