Rytas, Darussafaka advance to EuroCup Top 16

EuroCup

After Tuesday night’s basketball action, two more teams are advancing to the 7Days EuroCup Top-16. Group B’s Rytas Vilnius and Group C’s Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul both punched their tickets to the next round of the competition but in two different ways.

Rytas became the third team to make through into the next round after beating out Tofas Bursa, 99-83 on Tuesday. Thanks to a club-record 18 3-pointers, Rytas managed to dispatch with their Turkish guests in front of a home crowd.

Mexican import Francisco “Pako” Cruz made his debut for the black shirts and impressed with 17 points and a team-high seven assists. Arnas Butkevicius was effective, recording an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double.

The win puts Rytas in third place in the Group B standings with a 4-5 record. While it’s the same record as that of Tofas Bursa (4th), they have the tiebreaking advantage and are mathematically guaranteed of advancing into the knockout rounds of the EuroCup.

Darussafaka Istanbul are also qualifying into the top-16, despite losing to Germani Brescia 61-70 at home. They needed to win or just not to lose by 35 points or greater. They lock up second place in Group C with a 5-4 record, again, the same as Tofas Bursa (5-4), making their performance last night critical to their hopes of making it into the league’s postseason.

It was a tall task for Brescia, needing a huge blowout win to reverse the scales and be the ones guaranteed to advance, but to their credit, they played hard. Darussafaka cruised in this one, relying on the game-high 18 points of Sinan Guler and the 12-point, 12-rebound double-double of Johnny Hamilton.

Brescia took their attack from a distance, making an impressive 10-of-30 shots from behind the 3-point arc, but it was not enough to completely leave Darussafaka in their dust.

Two more spots down and there are five left to be claimed. UNICS Kazan, Joventut Badalona, Brescia, Asseco Arka Gdynia and Dolomiti Energia Trento are some of the teams within striking distance to claim those remaining slots in the EuroCup Top 16.

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