The Euroleague is off to a hot start this season and the new competition format is certainly living up to all of its promise. The one league model of the Regular Season means all teams will play each other. As well a giant clashes, this also means a chance for smaller clubs to make their mark. So far, the action has been dynamic and exciting.
On Friday, round 2 was wrapped with four contests around the continent. CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce stayed unbeaten, while Crvena Zvezda Belgrade and Zalgiris Kaunas grabbed their first wins.
CSKA Moscow vs. Panathinaikos Athens, 81-77
Reigning Euroleague champs, CSKA Moscow, edged out former champions Panathinaikos Athens to stay unbeaten through two rounds. The Greek visitors had actually rallied back from a losing first half (35-30) to lead 57-58 through thirty minutes. However, CSKA hit 24 points in the fourth quarter to wrestle the tie and take the win. Panathinaikos is now 1-1 in the standings, but seems to be in solid health for the season.
Current MVP Nando De Colo continued to shine in the competition with 20 points for the Army Men, a haul that was matched by Andrey Vorontsevich.
Demetirs Nichols also hit 20 points for The Greens, with K.C. Rivers adding 16 points.
Galatasaray Istanbul vs. Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, 83-85
EuroCup champions Galatasaray is winless in the Euroleague this season after Serbian champ Crvena Zvezda Belgrade picked up its first success. It was a tight game in Istanbul which the hosts may feel they squandered. The Turkish club was 30-17 in front through the first act, but Belgrade rallied to 47-47 at halftime. The momentum swung to the visitors with a 67-69 lead at the final split, a two point cushion that was still present at the final buzzer.
Marko Simonovic showed his importance to Red Star with a 23 point game, while Stefan Jovic added 14 points and 9 assists.
Austin Daye had a game high 24 points for Galatasaray, followed by Alex Tyus with 19 points.
Zalgiris Kaunas vs. Baskonia Vitoria, 78-73
Two Euroleague veterans squared off on Friday, with Zalgiris edging this contest against Baskonia. The Lithuanian giant showed how unpredictable the Euroleague and that home any club is a major threat. However, it was Baskonia making the early running, taking a 34-40 lead at the long break. Zalgiris turned the momentum with a 27 point third act to tie the game, before continuing the comeback through a game winning fourth period.
Leo Westerman was good for 20 points in the win, while Brock Motum added 12 points.
Adam Hanga paced Baskonia with 18 points, followed by Andrea Bargnani with 17 points and Tornhike Shengelia scored 13 points.
FC Barcelona vs. Fenerbahce Istanbul, 72-73
Last season’s runner-up Fenerbahce has shown again that it is not a one season wonder with an edging road win over Barcelona. The Turkish club is definitely a contender this season, and a good way of proving that is to beat one of the other league favorites. This game was tight throughout, but Fenerbahce held the lead at the end of each quarter as Barcelona struggled to breakdown the Turkish team.
Kostas Sloukas and Bobby Dixon split 30 points with 15 apiece for Fenerbahce, while Bogdan Bogdanovic added 12 points.
Tyrese Rice was is usual offensive self for Barcelona with 19 points and 6 assists.