Eurocup, Round 2 wrap up

EurocupRound 2 of the 2015/2016 Eurocup season provided plenty of enthralling action on the hardwood around the Old Continent of Europe.

Group A

JSF Nanterre vs. Union Olimpija Ljubljana, 85-72
French club Nanterre took sole possession of first place in Group A (2-0) with a comfortable home win over Union Olimpija. The hosts were hot from the start, using a 28-15 winning first quarter to fuel the victory, although Ljubljana hit back in the second frame to make it 49-42 at halftime. In the second half Nanterre cruised by winning the closing stanzas 18-15 to secure the victory. Tasmin Mitchell paced the winners with 18 points and 7 rebounds.

Dolomiti Energia Trento vs. EWE Baskets Oldenburg, 80-69
Dolomiti Energia Trento opened its win account with a home success over EWE Baskets, the Germans still looking for their first success of the Eurocup season (0-2). Trento blew Oldenburg away in the first half, winning the opening act 26-19 and then adding another 26 points in the second to extend to 52-32 through halftime. That twenty point lead proved vital as the visitors rallied in the third, but ultimately the Italian hosts held on to win the game by winning the fourth. Davide Pascalo set the pace for Trento with 15 points, while Filipo Baldi-Rossi secured a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Group B

Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas vs. MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg, 95-75
Gran Canaria continued to impress to stay unbeaten at the top of the Group B standings (2-0) by dominating Ludwigsburg. The Spanish hosts opened well and carved a 23-15 lead through ten minutes. Ludwigsburg of Germany improved second frame and tied the period 20-20 to make it 43-35 at the halftime buzzer. Gran Canaria extended despite the visitors continue to impress, using a 24-20 third to take a 67-55 lead into the last quarter. From there the Spaniards were able to close the game out in style in the closing stanza.

Enel Basket Brindisi vs. Le Mans Sarthe Basket, 65-72
Le Mans picked up a road victory to take a first win in the Eurocup this season, while Brindisi is still yet to taste success this term. The visitors edged the first quarter 17-22 for an early lead and then made the advantage count with an impressive 9-19 run through the second frame to lead 26-41 during the long break. Brindisi hit back with a 19-10 third act, but the Italians failed to stop Le Mans wrapping the game up in the fourth quarter. Tywain McKee led the scoring in the game with 24 points for Le Mans.

Group C

Proximus Spirou Charleroi vs. Ratiopharm Ulm, 80-86
In a close game, Ratiopharm Ulm outpaced Belgian hosts Charleroi to stay unbeaten (2-0) and keep pace with Valencia in Group C. The Germans took an early lead by edging the opening quarter 20-23, but fell behind to a dominant 25-10 charge from the hosts that made it 45-33 at halftime. Ratiopharm had double digits to make up and started in the third with a 15-20 winning frame and then completed a comeback by sending the game to overtime, the scoreboard locked at 78 apiece through regulation time. In the added stanza the visitors carried the momentum to victory.

Umana Reyer Venice vs. SLUC Nancy, 70-67
Another close game in Group C saw Venice take out SLUC Nancy in Italy to win its first game and keep Nancy on zero victories. Nancy had opened stronger, taking a 12-16 first quarter lead before extending with a 12-15 winning second for a 24-31 lead at the midway buzzer. Nancy added another 15 points in the third quarter, but Venice finally opened up and poured in 25 points to take the lead through thirty minutes, 49-46. The teams could not be separated through a sometimes tense fourth quarter, but Venice saw it out to take the win.

Group D

Aris Thessaloniki vs. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, 75-57
Buducnost’s solid recent form came to a grinding halt as Aris of Thessaloniki took apart the Adriatic League club in Greece. The hosts stormed into a lead in the opening stanza of the game and after ten minutes Aris were 25-12 in front and had control. A consolidating second frame followed that mean Thessaloniki led 44-30 in the long rest. The Greek players were in total control in front of their home fans and after winning the third quarter eased down the stretch to success. Jerel McNeal scored big for Aris with 17 points, while Okaro White’s double-double contribution of 15 points and 15 boards was vital to the success.

Banvit Bandirma vs. Unics Kazan, 79-85
Unics Kazan showed again it is a contender this Eurocup campaign with a road win over Banvit that kept the Russian top of Group D with a 100% record. Kazan led from the start, using a 14-20 first frame run to take the lead and then a 19-23 second quarter was good for the visitors to lead 33-43 at halftime. Unics were looking in control at both ends of the floor and extended to 50-65 through thirty minutes and could even spare a late rally from Bandirma and win comfortably.

Steaua CSM Bucharest vs. Trabzonspor Medical Park, 76-71
Steaua won its first game by outgunning Trabzonspor at home in Bucharest to kick-start its Eurocup campaign. By halftime the Romanians had carved a 43-39 lead, but the Turkish team of Trabzonspor roared back in the third to tie the game at 58-58 after half hour on the hardwood. The contest went to the wire in the fourth, but Marko Marinovic settled it with four free throws to seal the win for Bucharest in the dying seconds.

Group E

Besiktas vs. Avtodor Saratov, 79-103
Avtodor Saratov was the only team of the week to break a century of points as the Russians traveled to Istanbul and put Besiktas to the sword in their own back yard. The hosts could not live with the consistent scoring of the Saratov team as the visitors scored 56 points in the first half alone (34-56). In the second the Russian went big again in the third with another 29 points and then saw out the game in a professional manner in the fourth stanza. Four players scored more than 15 points for the winners, Malcolm Armstead 17 points, Travis Peterson 16 points, Jeffery Brooks 16 points, and Jeremy Chappell with 15 points.

Zenit St. Petersburg vs. PAOK Thessaloniki, 76-66
Zenit St. Petersburg were too strong for PAOK Thessaloniki in the north of Russia to build on last week’s win and remain undefeated. Zenit led after ten minutes 18-15 and consolidated with a 14-14 tie in the second frame to lead by three points at the midway buzzer (32-29). The scoring picked up in the third act as Zenit streamed in 24 points and PAOK managed 20, still the hosts extended to 56-49 at the final split and controlled the fourth frame to win the contest.

Group F

Galatasaray Istanbul vs. AEK Athens, 89-65
Galatasaray moved to 2-0 in Group F with a big win over AEK Athens, what proved to be a good home workout for the Turkish giant. Galatasaray was too strong in all categories, leading 22-11 after ten minutes and building to 48-27 at halftime. The hosts never yielded the twenty point cushion on the way to a controlling win, taking the third 16-10 before weathering an Athens rally in the fourth. Errick McCollum led Gala with 25 points, followed by Goksenin Koksal with 21 points, and Caleb Green with a double-double of 10 points and 10 caroms.

Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd vs. Nizhny Novgorod, 73-78
An all-Russian clash saw Nizhny of Novgorod down Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd on the road to join Galatasaray at the top of Group F (2-0). The first half proved to be the difference as Nizhny started hot at both ends of the court, working the offensive end to the tune of 47 points through the opening twenty minutes and stopping Krasny at 36 at the defensive end. The hosts responded to reduce the game to five points after thirty minutes (53-58), but Nizhny tied the fourth to ensure victory at the final buzzer.

Hapoel Jerusalem vs. Neptunas Klaipeda, 74-59
Hapoel Jerusalem registered its first win with a victory over visiting Neptunas Klaipeda. The Israeli hosts secured an early advantage with a 22-16 take in the first quarter and a locked 14-14 second meant the Jerusalem fans were happy through halftime, their team leading 36-30. A 21-14 run in the third act made sure the home team had control of the game in the fourth frame, allowing Klaipeda to be kept at arm’s length in the closing minutes.

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