A round for the hosts, EuroCup Top 16 hangover

It was a great round for the fans in the arenas as each and every home team won their Round 2 clashes. The results left five teams undefeated at 2-0 and guaranteed at least one 3-0 team, since Group H co-leaders Unicaja Malaga and Valencia Basket will meet next. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in Group E, FC Bayern Munich in Group F and Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem in Group G are the other unbeaten teams and group leaders.

Group E

In a rare Tuesday game that opened Round 2, Montakit Fuenlabrada held the 7DAYS EuroCup’s top offense to just 23 second-half points in defeating Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas 85-75 .The result gave Fuenlabrada its first Top 16 win, while Gran Canaria fell to 0-2. Pako Cruz starred with 16 points and 6 assists and Ludde Hakanson made 4 of 6 three-pointers for 16 points, too. Fuenlabrada outshot Gran Canaria from every range, making 11 of 24 (45.8%) from downtown. Kyle Kuric made 5 of 12 three-pointers to lead Gran Canaria with 21 points, but the rest of his team combined to shoot 4 of 20 from behind the arc. On Wednesday, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar set a EuroCup defensive record in its 70-60 home win against UCAM Murcia. Lokomotiv held UCAM to 5 two-point shots, a new record in the competition. Six teams – Aris Thessaloniki, PAOK Thessaloniki, Benetton Olympic Fribourg, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, Elan Chalon and Neptunas Klaipeda – had been held to 7 two-point baskets in the past. Lokomotiv improved to 2-0, while UCAM improved to 1-1. Kevin Jones led the winners with 15 points and 9 rebounds. Jose Angel Antelo paced UCAM with 16 points and 8 rebounds.

Group F

FC Bayern Munich protected its home court to remain undefeated in the Top 16 by beating visiting Khimki Moscow Region 90-74. Bayern used 10-0 and 8-0 third-quarter runs to open a double-digit margin and cruise to a big win, which improved it to 2-0 in the standings. Bryce Taylor paced five double-digit scorers with 15 points, while Vladimir Lucic and Devin Booker scored 14 apiece. Jacob Pullen netted 17, and Alexey Shved had 16 points in defeat. Khimki dropped to 1-1 and a share of second place with Lietkabelis Panevezys, which rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to edge visiting ratiopharm Ulm 86-84. The hosts grabbed the lead for good with a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter, then survived a last-second scare as Mindaugas Lukauskis netted 21 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting, and Ksistof Lavrinovic scored 19 in victory. Raymar Morgan had 27 points for Ulm.

Group G

Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem rolled past Nizhny Novgorod 98-76 on Wednesday at Pais Arena in the Israeli capital. After falling behind 2-11, the hosts took control of the game to lead by 11 at halftime and as many as 26 in the fourth quarter. The victory lifted Jerusalem to first place in Group G at 2-0, while dropping Nizhny into a tie for second at 1-1. Shawn Jones shined for the winners with 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting plus 9 rebounds. Curtis Jerrells also scored 21 and Yotam Halperin delivered 11 assists. Jerusalem outrebounded its opponent 43-24. DeAndre Kane put up another strong line for Nizhny with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. And Janis Timma poured in 27 points off the bench as Zenit St. Petersburg defeated Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius. Zenit never trailed in taking its maiden win in Group G, while Rytas fell to 0-2. Stefan Markovic ran the show with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists and Trevor Mbakwe anchored the defense with 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 blocks for the victors. Zenit led by double figures after 10 minutes, but Rytas rallied behind Corey Fisher to get within 43-40 at halftime and then tie it four times in the third quarter. However Zenit never fell behind and when Timma heated up, he padded the lead and allowed the hosts to cruise to victory. Drew Gordon led Rytas with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Group H

Two teams – Unicaja Malaga and Valencia Basket – remain undefeated in Group H and two others – ALBA Berin and Cedevita Zagreb – are still looking for their first win. In a thriller, Valencia Basket downed ALBA Berlin 85-80 at home on Wednesday. Bojan Dubljevic paced the winners with 15 points and Fernando San Emeterio added 13. Carl English, Engin Atsur and Elmedin Kikanovic led ALBA with 12 points apiece. ALBA trailed 75-58 with eight minutes left and worked its way back in the game, had a chance to tie it in the final minute, but came up short. Unicaja defeated Cedevita Zagreb 73-59. Adam Waczynski led the winners with 17 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting, including a three and a steal in crunch time to stop Cedevita’s comeback. Nemanja Nedovic added 12 and 7 assists for Unicaja. Ryan Boatright led Cedevita with 19 points and Rashad James added 18. These teams will now face the same opponents in Rounds 3 and 4. Valencia plays back-to-back games against Unicaja, just as ALBA does against Cedevita.

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