The first three teams into the EuroCup Quarterfinals came in Round 4. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, FC Bayern Munich and Valencia Basket all won to go through with 4-0 records. Valencia even clinched first place. The race for second in every group remains tight with plenty still to play for.
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar outlasted Montakit Fuenlabrada 87-91 on Wednesday to remain unbeaten in the Top 16 and advance to the quarterfinals. Lokomotiv improved to 4-0 and can clinch first place in Group E – and with it home-court advantage in the quarterfinals – next week with a victory or a loss by fewer than 15 points against second-placed Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas. Fuenlabrada fell to 1-3. Taylor Rochestie paced the winners with 17 points, of which 11 came in the second quarter. Mardy Collins, Ian Vougioukas and Matt Janning each added 15 points and Collins also collected 9 rebounds to help the visitors dominate the glass 17-39. Ivan Paunic led Fuenlabrada with 20 points. Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas climbed into second place in the group with a 67-83 road win at UCAM Murcia. Gran Canaria improved to 2-2 with its second straight victory over Murcia, which fell to 1-3. The visitors used a pair of 0-10 first-quarter runs to take control and led by as many as 28 before easing up. BoMcCalebb led the winners with 15 points. Vitor Benite made 4 of 7 three-pointers en route to a game-high 21 for Murcia.
FC Bayern Munich became the first team to qualify for the playoffs not only in Group F, but in the entire competition, by downing Lietkabelis Panevezys 72-78 in Lithuania. Bayern improved to 4-0 and sealed its ticket to the quarterfinals, while Lietkabelis dropped to 1-3 and is in a do-or-die situation – it must beat Khimki Moscow Region by at least 8 points to keep its hopes alive. Four players – Bryce Taylor, Anton Gavel, Devin Booker and Nick Johnson – led the winners with 12 points each. Ksistof Lavrinovic led Lietkabelis, also with 12 points. The game went down to the wire, as Lietkabelis rallied to tie it at 71-71. Reggie Redding scored a critical basket and Anton Gavel added 5 more points in crunch time to take Bayern to the next round. Khimki dramatically improved its chances to advance by edging ratiopharm Ulm 85-84 in an up-and-down game. Alexey Shved led the way for Khimki with 32 points – a new EuroCup career-high – on 8-of-13 three-point shooting. Nobel Boungou-Colo added 16 for Khimki. Augustine Rubit had 20 points for Ulm. Khimki led 78-64 in the fourth quarter, but Ulm used a 0-13 run to get back in the game. Shved and Boungou-Colo made sure to keep Khimki in charge until the final buzzer.
Round 4 opened in the Israeli capital, where Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem moved atop the group by routing Zenit St. Petersburg 97-81 at Pais Arena Jerusalem on Tuesday. Amar’e Stoudemire recorded his best game yet in a Jerusalem uniform with 26 points and 9 rebounds to pace the winners, who improved to 3-1 and can clinch a spot in the quarterfinals with a win in either of their remaining games. Zenit fell to 2-2. Curtis Jerrells added 22 points and 7 assists for the winners, who made 10 of 18 three-pointers (55.6%) Ryan Toolson made 5 of 8 threes for 27 points to lead Zenit. In a clash between two sides looking to remain in the hunt, Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius grabbed its second consecutive Top 16 win by downing Nizhny Novgorod 99-73 in the Lithuanian capital on Wednesday. Rytas improved to 2-2, while Nizhny dropped to 1-3. Laimonas Kisielius led the winners with 24 points on 6-of-7 two-point shooting and 4-of-5 on three-pointers and Drew Gordon added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Petr Gubanov paced Nizhny with 17 points. Gordon and David Logan helped Rytas to 51-34 lead at the break and it cruised the rest of the way.
In an all-Spanish clash, Valencia Basket routed Unicaja Malaga 86-62 to remain undefeated in the Top 16 and clinch first place in Group H. Valencia improved to 4-0 behind a balanced offense in which Fernando San Emeterio netted 19 points and Antoine Diot had 14 points and 4 steals in 13 minutes. Valencia took the lead for good late in the second quarter, and kept increasing its lead, which peaked at 86-54 late in the game. Unicaja dropped to 2-2, but remains in sole possession of second place since Cedevita Zagreb defeated ALBA Berlin 99-83. Cedevita led from start to finish and registered it first Top 16 win, while keeping alive its chances of advancing to the next stage. ALBA also holds 1-3 record. Miro Bilan had 20 points for the winners and Ra’Shad James netted 19 for Cedevita. Elmedin Kikanovic led five ALBA scorers in double figures with 18 points.