7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season Round 8: it's crunch time!
The 2017-18 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season reaches its decisive point. Six teams have already qualified to the Top 16 and five other squads could punch their ticket to the next round in Round 8. Three teams - Darussafaka Istanbul in Group A, FC Bayern Munich in Group B and Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in Group C - can also clinch first place in their respective groups. A lot will happen, so sit back, relax and enjoy the important games coming up. Three games will be played on Tuesday, followed by nine more on Wednesday.
In a critical game for first place, UNICS Kazan (5-2) hosts Darussafaka Istanbul (6-1) on Wednesday.
Both teams have qualified to the Top 16, but Darussafaka will lock up first place with a win. On the other hand, if UNICS wins, it will draw even with Darussafaka by record and if it does so by more than 9 points – the margin it lost by in Round 3 in Istanbul – UNICS will soar into first. Cedevita Zagreb (4-3) welcomes Morabanc Andorra (2-5) on Wednesday with a chance to qualify with a win. Andorra would not be eliminated with a loss, but its chances to advance would improve dramatically if it takes its first-ever EuroCup road win. Also on Wednesday, Levallois Metropolitans (1-6) visits Fiat Turin (3-4) knowing that a loss would mathematically end its chances to make it to the Top 16. Fiat seeks to put an end to its four-game losing streak.
Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul climbed back into the Top 16 picture with an 82-61 blowout victory over Buducnost VOLI Podgorica on Tuesday at Sinan Erdem Dome. Dwight Hardy made 6 of 7 three-point shots and finished with 22 points for Galatasaray, which won back-to-back games for the first time this season and improved to 3-5. Buducnost, which would have secured a Top 16 berth with a victory, fell to 4-4. The result also clinched first place in the group for FC Bayern Munich (7-0), which welcomes Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem (2-5) on Wednesday. Elsewhere, Lietkabelis Panevezys (3-4) visits Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia (3-4) in a pivotal game. Neither team can qualify this week, but the winner will take a major step toward doing so.
Limoges CSP took a big step towards reaching the Top 16 in coming from behind for a 78-84 win at ALBA Berlin on Tuesday in the German capital. Danny Gibson nailed 4 three-pointers in scoring 16 points to go with 6 assists for Limoges, which improved to 4-4. After trailing for most of the first half, Limoges used a 3-23 run in the third quarter to take control and never trailed again. Limoges will advance on Wednesday if RETAbet Bilbao Basket (1-6) defeats Partizan NIS Belgrade (1-6). RETAbet will be eliminated if it loses, regardless of other scores. ALBA, which was already guaranteed a spot in the next round, dropped to 5-3. Two more teams that have already booked their Top 16 spots, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (7-0) and Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (4-3) go against each other on Wednesday. Lokomotiv will lock first place in the group if it wins, but can also do it if it loses by less than 7 points.
ASVEL Villeurbanne erased a double-digit second-half deficit to beat Zenit St. Petersburg 89-92 on Tuesday at Yubileyny Sports Palace and thus close in on a ticket to the Top 16. ASVEL improved to 5-3 with its second win over Zenit this season and ensured it will have at least a share of first place in Group D at the end of Round 8. In fact, ASVEL will advance on Wednesday if both Tofas Bursa (4-3) and Herbalife Gran Canaria (4-3) win at home. Zenit dropped to 4-4. Justin Harper paced the winners with 18 points, while rookie Alpha Kaba posted 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. On Wednesday, Tofas hosts Dolomiti Energia Trento (3-4) knowing it advances with a win and Gran Canaria takes on ratiopharm Ulm (2-5). A victory cannot send Gran Canaria to the next round, but the Spanish powerhouse would be knocking on the door with a win.
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