Four new groups got the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 started on Wednesday, which proved to be a memorable evening for those involved. Five of the games were won by the visiting teams, including both Group H games. There was a comeback for the ages in a clash of former competition winners in Group G, which also featured one of the highest-scoring games ever as well as an all-time great individual performance in Group H.
Former EuroCup champion Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar opened the Top 16 with a statement road win, a 71-86 decision against Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas. The visitors jumped to a double-digit lead in the second quarter and Gran Canaria never managed to come closer than 6 points. Lokomotiv hit 12 of 22 shots from long range, while its defense held the hosts to just 7-for-25 three-point shooting. Matt Janning was 4 of 5 from three-point range and finished with 19 points, while Ryan Broekhoff hit 5 of 8 from downtown for 17 points. Kyle Kuric finished with 13 points for the hosts. In an all-Spanish duel, UCAM Murcia overpowered visiting Montakit Fuenlabrada 87-75. Murcia opened the game with a 14-0 run and never allowed Fuenlabrada to really threaten to erase the margin. Facundo Campazzo energized the hosts with 18 points and 9 assists, and Billy Baron netted 17 points. Ivan Paunic lead the way with 22 points for Fuenlabrada.
Khimki Moscow Region started the Top 16 on the right foot by downing Lietkabelis Panevezys 88-80 at home. Alexey Shved led the winners with 21 points and Nobel Boungou-Colo and Robbie Hummel each added 18 while E.J. Rowland had 10, 6 rebounds and 9 assists for Khimki. Ben Madgen led Lietkabelis with 19 points. Khimki outrebounded its opponents 38-27 and allowed Lietkabelis to pull down just 7 offensive boards in one of the keys to this game. FC Bayern Munich grabbed a 57-68 road win over ratiopharm Ulm; Devin Booker posted 19 points, 15 rebounds and 3 steals and Maxi Kleber added 15 points and 9 rebounds to lead the winners. Reggie Redding added 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for Bayern, which overcame a poor three-point shooting night (3 of 26; 11.5%) by outrebounding the hosts 30-42. Augustine Rubit paced Ulm with 12 points and 7 rebounds. The 57 points by Ulm was the second-fewest the club had ever scored in a EuroCup game.
Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem rallied behind Curtis Jerrells to defeat Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 76-80 at Siemens Arena in the Lithuanian capital on Wednesday. Jerrells scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in the second half for Jerusalem in both team’s Top 16 Group G opener. He made 5 of 7 three-pointers to spearhead an impressive team-wide 13-for-23 shooting effort from downtown for the visitors, which helped mask their 19 turnovers and allowing Rytas 17 offensive rebounds. Rytas seemed in control early and led 34-24 in the second quarter, but the visitors never folded. David Logan paced Rytas with 19 points. Nizhny Novgorod ousted Zenit St. Petersburg 113-105 in a high-scoring all-Russian clash. Both teams broke their respective single-game club EuroCup scoring records and Nizhny’s 113 points are most any EuroCup team has scored in regulation since 2012. Nizhny pulled away with a 12-0 run to finish the third quarter and never looked back. DeAndre Kane led the way with 31 points and 9 rebounds, while Ivan Strebkov had an all-round great performance with 18 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds in victory. Stefan Markovic paced Zenit with 17 points.
In a thriller that came down to the final shot, Valencia Basket edged Cedevita Zagreb 86-89 in the Croatian capital on Wednesday. Bojan Dubljevic led the winners with 17 points and Pierre Oriola added 15. Ryan Boatwright starred for Cedevita with 37 points, the second-highest scoring mark for any EuroCup player this season (Pierre Jackson had 38 for Cedevita), and 11 assists, but missed the shot that would have forced overtime. Boatwright finished the game with a performance index rating of 51, which is tied for the fourth-best mark in competition history. The all-time record is shared by Priest Lauderdale (Lukoil Academic Sofia, 2003) and Loukas Mavrokefalidis (AEK Athens, 2015), each with 55. Unicaja Malaga held off ALBA Berlin on the road 69-77. Unicaja used 4 second-quarter three-pointers to open a double-digit margin, and led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter. ALBA replied with 6 three-pointers in that stanza, but never got closer than 5 points the rest of the game. Jeff Brooks paced the visitors with 15 points and 6 rebounds. Dragan Milosavljevic scored 22 points for ALBA.