Euroleague, CSKA Moscow downs Tel Aviv

Six games tipped off Round 2 of the 2014/2015 Euroleague Regular Season and there were some massive clashes taking place on the night. The biggest game of the evening saw CSKA Moscow demolish the current champs, while other highlights of Thursday included Neptunas Klaipeda winning its first ever Euroleague game, while Barcelona and Fenerbahce both won on their travels.
Group B

CSKA Moscow vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv, 99-80
The big game of Round 2 of the 2014/2015 Euroleague season took place on Thursday as CSKA Moscow welcomed reigning champions Maccabi Tel Aviv to Russia. This clash of the titans lived up to billing as CSKA put on a master class to defeat Tel Aviv comfortably, winning the game 99-80 to send an early message to the rest of the teams in the competition.

The hosts were attempting to exact revenge for last season’s semi-final loss to Tel Aviv, and after the first quarter CSKA had opened a 21-19 lead. The Israeli visitors struggled to get to grips with the Moscow attack and conceded more ground on the scoreboard. At the midway point CSKA held a 48-41 lead. The home team found another gear in the third quarter and through the period poured in 32 points while holding Tel Aviv to 22, enough for a commanding 80-54 lead through 30 minutes. In the final frame CSKA Moscow put the finishing gloss to an already big win by easing through the quarter and seeing off the visitors comfortably.

Sonny Weems led the way for CSKA with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Sasha Kaun scored 17 points and took 8 boards, while Milos Teodosic doubled up with 15 points and 11 assists. Also in double-double form for the winners was Andrey Voronsevich with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Brian Randle was hot for Tel Aviv with 18 points and 6 rebounds, followed by Sylven Landesberg with 14 points and 6 boards.

Group C

Bayern Munich vs. Panathinaikos, 81-75
Another big 2014/2015 Euroleague clash saw German hosts Bayern hold off Greek giant Panathinaikos Athens at the Audi Dome in Munich. Bayern emerged victorious to open its Euroleague account for the season, while The Greens collected their first loss of the continental campaign.

Munich carved a slender advantage at the end of the first frame, taking a 17-16 lead into the first buzzer. A hot streak from Esteban Batista propelled Panathinaikos back into the game; he scored 10 points as the Greek team opened a 32-35 lead at halftime. The hosts cut into the deficit through a winning third quarter, but only by a single point as the scoreboard read 57-59 at the final split. Bayern put together a big 24-16 final phase to claim the win, opening a lead early in the period and maintaining it.

Dusko Svanaovic paced the winning effort with 20 points and was followed by Nihad Njedovic with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Estaban Batista topped Panathinaikos with 18 points and 7 caroms in defeat.

PGE Turow Zgorzelec vs. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, 76-91
Fenerbahce made it two from two by travelling to Poland and seeing off TBL champs PGE Turow in style. The Turkish giant never looked in doubt as the team held the lead consistently to ease past a determined but outclassed Zgorzelec. Fenerbahce had a massive first frame as they streamed in 30 points and restricted the home team to half that (15-30). The hosts responded with a 25-25 run in the second to win the quarter and close the gap, but Fener still had a double digit lead at the long break, 40-50. PGE Turow continued with the momentum to also win the third stanza, but the Turkish contingent was bullish in defence and kept possession of the lead through half hour (60-69). The visitors had weathered the storm and switched tempo in the final quarter to put the hosts to the sword.

EA7 Armani Milan vs. Barcelona, 63-78
Barcelona continued its impressive start to the season by sweeping EA7 Milan aside in the Italian fashion capital. The Spanish club once again looked convincing, even in the absence of Juan Carlos Navarro as they outpace the Italians. 33 of Barca’s points came from beyond the arc as they looked comfortable throughout, leading each frame (17-20, 32-45, 50-63) before claiming the win. Alex Abrines was the bucket getter for Barcelona with 21 points, while Daniel Hackett was once again the standout for Milan with 15 points.

Group D

Neptunas Klaipeda vs. Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade, 83-81
History was made in Lithuania as Neptunas Klaipeda picked up its first ever Euroleague win, with the success coming over Serbian powerhouse Crvena Zvezda Belgrade. The hosts paced to the lead with a downtown master class, sinking 9 of its first 14 threes, giving them a 25-20 first quarter lead and a double digit advantage at halftime (47-37). There proved to be no way back for Belgrade, although the red star team did show typical grit in attempting a comeback, making it a nervy finale for the hosts.

Galatasaray vs. Valencia, 71-64
Turkish club Galatasaray held on at home to see off current Eurocup champions Valencia Basket. The first quarter would prove pivotal to Galatasaray’s success as the hosts opened a confident 25-12 lead after 10 minutes on the hardwood. The Turkish team extended significantly through the second period to hold a commanding 23 point lead at the long break, the scoreboard reading 47-24. Valencia had been hit by a 23-2 Galatasaray run, but the Spanish team responded through the third quarter and made a game of it in the fourth, but ultimately it was not enough.

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