The 2017-18 7DAYS EuroCup is shaping up to be a tough competition. After three rounds, only one team – undefeated Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, holds sole possession of any group. Lokomotiv is one of five teams with perfect records, but that won’t last long: unbeaten Group A leaders Darussafaka Istanbul and Fiat Turin will square off in Round 4 and the same is true of Group B co-leaders FC Bayern Munich and Buducnost VOLI Podgorica. Meanwhile Group D features a three-way tie between teams with 2-1 records: ASVEL Villeurbanne , Tofas Bursa and ratiopharm Ulm.
In a clash of previously undefeated teams, Darussafaka Istanbul trailed for most of the night but used an 11-0 fourth-quarter run to down UNICS Kazan 78-69 on Wednesday. Darussafaka remained unbeaten with a 3-0 record and shares first place in the group with Fiat Turin, which hosts Darussafaka in Round 4. UNICS dropped to 2-1. A pair of triples in the fourth quarter from Anton Ponkrashov gave UNICS an 8-point lead, but Darussafaka answered with 11 consecutive points to take a 66-63 lead and never relinquish the advantage. Scottie Wilbekin paced the hosts with 20 points. Jamar Smith scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half to lead UNICS. Fiat held off Levallois Metropolitans 73-79 to drop the home team to 0-3. Diante Garrett led the visitors with 22 points and Lamar Patterson posted 15 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. The game was tied at 69-69 with 3:50 to go before Trevor Mbakwe sparked a 1-8 game-clinching charge. Cedevita Zagreb defeated MoraBanc Andorra 91-73 for its first victory. The hosts were ahead most of the game and broke it open late in the third quarter thanks to Kevin Murphy, who finished the game with 18 points. Demetris Nichols led the winners with 20 points. Andorra fell to 0-3.
FC Bayern Munich maintained its perfect record by downing Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 83-91 in the Israeli capital and sending the hosts to 0-3. Vladimir Lucic led the winners with 16 points and Milan Macvan and Braydon Hobbs each added 15. Austin Daye paced Jerusalem with 28 points. Bayern led 12-31 lead after 10 minutes and Jerusalem never recovered. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica is also undefeated after beating winless Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul 87-78. Danilo Nikolic led the winners with 15 points and Nikola Ivanovic, Zoran Nikolic and Kyle Gibson each scored 14 for Buducnost. Alex Renfroe, Scotty Hopson and DaJuan Summers led Galatasaray with 14 points apiece. Nikolic struck three times from downtown in an early 19-2 run that effectively sealed the outcome as Buducnost led by double digits the rest of the way. And Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia claimed its first road win of the season by blowing past Lietkabelis Panevezys 75-82. Reggio Emilia improved to 2-1 to take control of third place, while Lietkabelis slipped to 1-2. Amedeo Della Valle starred again for Reggio Emilia with 22 points, while Julian Wright posted 16 points and 11 rebounds. Zanis Peinrers paced Lietkabelis with 15 points. It was a 1-point game in the fourth quarter when Garrett Nevels hit back-to-back threes for Reggio Emilia to pull away for good.
In the Round 3 opener, a battle of former champions that went into overtime, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar remained undefeated by downing Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius on the road 85-93. Joe Ragland fueled a Lokomotiv rally from 11 points down in the third quarter, but the hosts hit 3 triples in the final two minutes of regulation to send the game into the extra session at 81-81. However, Lokomotiv took control in overtime and scored the final 8 points of the contest to pull out a victory. The visitors featured six scorers in double figures with Ragland bagging 21 points and dishing 9 assists, while big man Frank Elegar collected 17 points plus 10 rebounds. Loukas Mavrokefalidis paced Rytas with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Partizan NIS Belgrade registered its first win in Group C by edging RETAbet Bilbao Basket 92-96 on the road. Both teams now have a 1-2 records. Nigel Williams-Goss paced the winners with 27 points and 8 rebounds and Novica Velickovic added 19 points and 8 rebounds. Axel Hervelle led RETAbet with 21 points. Free throw accuracy – 6-of-6 shooting in the final 14.8 seconds – helped Partizan stay ahead down the stretch. ALBA Berlin improved to 2-1 and registered its first road win by edging Limoges CSP 65-73 in France on Tuesday. Limoges dropped to 1-2. Luke Sikma led the winners with 14 points on 7-of-8 two-point shooting and 8 rebounds and Dennis Clifford added 12 points and 9 rebounds for ALBA. Mam Jaiteh paced Limoges with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Defense was the key, as ALBA held Limoges to very poor percentages: 42.9% from two-point range and 20.8% from beyond the arc.
Tofas Bursa claimed a remarkable comeback win on the road to stun Dolomiti Energia Trento 88-91 and improve to 2-1, with the home team dropping to 1-2. The visitors trailed by as many as 15 but fought back behind 28 points from Raymar Morgan, while Pierria Henry combined 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. Dominique Sutton paced the hosts with 23 points. There was also a big comeback win for ASVEL Villeurbanne, which produced a sensational fourth quarter to overturn a 10-point deficit and overcome Zenit St. Petersburg in an 88-85 thriller. Zenit led most of the way behind a monster performance from Drew Gordon, who had a huge double-double with 20 points and 18 rebounds. But 26 points from John Roberson, including 6 three-pointers, sparked a dramatic comeback for the hosts, who also had 17 points from A.J. Slaughter, including a late jumper that effectively sealed the outcome. The group’s other game was another high-scoring affair, as ratiopharm Ulm overcame Herbalife Gran Canaria 97-87 at home. Neither team managed to take full control of the game until local hero Per Guenther exploded in the last quarter with threes that put the hosts out of reach. Ulm is now 2-1 with Gran Canaria 1-2. Guenther led the winners with 21 points, including 5 triples. Ryan Thompson added 18, while Marcus Eriksson had 24 points for Gran Canaria.