Round 2 of the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16 brought a lot of action all around the competition. Action opened with a road win for UNICS Kazan on Tuesday. A day later, Darussafaka Istanbul, Zenit St. Petersburg and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar all won at home to join UNICS as a group leader with a 2-0 record. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica was the only team beside UNICS to win on the road in Round 2.
In a battle between undefeated teams, Darussafaka Istanbul (1-0) takes on Herbalife Gran Canaria (1-0) on Wednesday. It is an interesting clash of different basketball styles, as Gran Canaria is the tup-scoring team in the competition (93.2 ppg.) and Darussafaka has the second-best defense, allowing just 72.2 points per game. Also on Wednesday, ALBA Berlin (0-1) hosts Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul (0-1) in the German capital. ALBA is 3-1 against Galatasaray and has won its two home games against the Turkish powerhouse. Jordan Taylor and Alex Renfroe return to Berlin to face their former team.
Zenit St. Petersburg overwhelmed Fiat Turin in the second half for a 95-84 come-from-behind victory at Yubileyny Sports Palace on Wednesday. Zenit trailed by 13 late in the second quarter, but turned up its defensive effort over the final two quarters, during which it outscored Fiat 49-26. One week after he scored a career-high 30 points, Kyle Kuric was perhaps even better with 28 points on 6-of-8 three-point shooting for a career-best performance index rating of 40. The victory put Zenit alone atop Group F of the Top 16 at 2-0, while Fiat slipped to 1-1. Zenit lost league-leading rebounder Drew Gordon in the second quarter. Gordon was helped off the floor after landing awkwardly on defense. FC Bayern Munich defeated Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius convincingly 81-68 at home. Jared Cunningham and Devin Booker each scored 18 points and Milan Macvan posted a double-double as Bayern improved to 1-1 in the group. Bayern hit 24 of 28 free throws (85.7%) compared to 6 of 12 (50%) for Rytas, which dropped to 0-2 in the Top 16.
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar topped Dolomiti Energia Trento 97-69 at home on Wednesday to improve to 2-0 in the Top 16 and remain the only undefeated team in the 2017-18 7DAYS EuroCup. Trento dropped to 1-1. Ryan Broekhoff led the winners with 20 points and Chris Babb contributed 17. Lokomotiv led 26-6 late in the first quarter behind an outstanding Frank Elegar, but Trento used a 1-18 run to tie the game, 30-30, on a dunk by Ojars Silins. Lokomotiv did not panic, as Trevor Lacey and Babb pushed the hosts to a 66-37 margin late in the third quarter on the way to a well-deserved win. A huge third quarter saw Buducnost VOLI Podgorica overcome Cedevita Zagreb for its first win of the Top 16, running out 75-78 winners thanks to a 13-29 advantage in the third quarter. Nemanja Gordic led all scorers with 18 points, with Sead Sehovic and Kyle Gibson adding 16 apiece for Buducnost, which improved to 1-1 while Cedevita dropped to 0-2.
UNICS Kazan erased a 14-point second-quarter deficit to edge Limoges CSP 66-69 on Tuesday at Palais Des Sports De Beaublanc. Stephane Lasme’s put-back and then steal on the game’s final two possessions gave UNICS the victory in a game that saw six lead changes in the fourth quarter alone. Lasme finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks in helping UNICS to a 2-0 start in Group H of the Top 16. Limoges fell to 0-2. The game was Limoges’s first home game since the sudden death of team president and former player Frederic Forte. He was honored by fans with a standing ovation during the fourth minute of the game; Forte wore No. 4 during his playing days. On Wednesday, ASVEL Villeurbanne bested Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia 68-64 at the Astroballe. The result left both sides with 1-1 records. ASVEL led 32-31 at halftime, extended its margin to 13 in the third quarter and led 64-51 with three minutes remaining, but a 1-11 run that Amedeo Della Valle capped with a layup got Reggio Emilia within 65-62 already in the final minute. John Roberson buried a step-back triple to seal the outcome down the stretch. Darryl Watkins paced the winners with 15 points. Amedeo Della Valle led Reggio Emilia with 17 points.