Euroleague: Home comforts on Friday night

EuroleagueIt was a case of home comforts in the Euroleague on Friday as only Anadolu Efes collected a win on the road with a 66-76 victory over Strasbourg. The rest of the round 2 games proved one sided for the home teams, with the close 72-67 win for CSKA Moscow over Budivelnyk Kiev being the only tight encounter. Fenerbahche kept things comfortable as the team closed out FCB Regal Barcelona 75-70 in the big game on Friday night.

Elsewhere there were plenty of comfortable evenings as Bayern Munich put 10 points on Montepaschi Siena (89-79), Unicaja Malaga swamped Stelmet Zielona Gora (101-68), Partizan Belgrade swept aside Nanterre (73-43), and Panathinaikos made easy work of Laboral Kutxa (95-74) on the way to tying a Euroleague record.

Group A

Fenerbahce – FCB Regal, 75-70
In the most eye catching match up of the second round, big spending Fenerbahce pulled off a surprisingly comfortable win against Spanish giants Barcelona. The 75-70 win looks closer on paper than it was in reality as the Turkish team maintained a solid lead throughout the encounter. Fenerbahce now holds a 2-0 record in Group A, while Barcelona drops to 1-1.

In front of a typically vibrant home crowd in Istanbul, Fenerbahce led after the first period by 24-17 and pulled further ahead in the second to lead 44-35 at the midway break. A third quarter of consistency from the home team stretched the lead to 66-52 heading into the final 10 minutes. A late rally from FCB Regal in the fourth, which saw the team win the period 18-9, was not enough to stop the Turkish giants running out 75-70 winners.

Linas Kleiza with 22 points set the rhythm for the home team, while Zoric Luka (12). Bogdanovic Bojan (11) and Bo McCalebb (10) provided a consistent base for the victory.

Navarro Juan Carlos netted 16 for Barcelona as did Ante Tomic.

Partizan NIS Belgrade – JSF Nanterre, 73-43
Partizan took apart Nanterre in front of the Belgrade faithful, putting thirty points on the French team in a contest that never looked in doubt. The 73-43 win puts Partizan´s record at 1-1, while Nanterre slipped to 0-2.

It was an explosive start from the Belgrade giants as they set about opening a 21-16 lead by the close of the first 10 minutes. During the second the Serbian team went through the gears and built up an impressive 37-23 lead heading into the changing rooms. With dominance assured in the game, and French champions Nanterre under pressure, Partizan eased off during the third but still took the quarter by 16-15. During the final section the Belgrade team once again went for the jugular with a 20 to 5 points haul.

Milosavljevic Dragan was a driving force for Partizan with 26 points, while Bogdanovic Bogdan with 16 proved an able deputy on the night.

On a disappointing night for Nanterre only Dejan Musli with 10 points stands out.

CSKA Moscow – Budivelnyk Kiev, 72-67
Russian giants CSKA Moscow made tough work of Ukrainian visitors Budivelnyk Kiev on Friday night, but eventually the powerhouse recorded a 72-67 win to claim a 2-0 record. In the closest game of the night, both teams traded blows, but with defeat came an unwanted 0-2 record for Budivelnyk.

It was the Kiev team that opened the game in better touch as the Ukrainian outfit opened an 18-17 lead by the end of the first. That seemed to kick CSKA into action as the Moscow team improved in the second to take the 10 minutes by 15 points to 9. At the midway buzzer the scoreboard read 32-27 in favour of the home team and it was the second period that would prove pivotal. During the second half there was nothing to split the teams as they both scored 40 points each, with the game ending 72-67.

Moscow´s Milos Teodosic was top scorer for the team with 14, while Viktor Khryapa claimed 10 and Sasha Kaun secured 9.

In a low scoring game for Kiev, it was Micah Downs who stood out on both sides with a haul of 23 points.

Group B


Efes claimed the only road win of the night

Strasbourg – Anadolu Efes, 66-76
Anadolu Efes Istanbul took the only road win of the night and took the club´s promising start in the Euroleague to 2-0. It was a fairly comfortable win for Efes as the team won 66-76 against Strasbourg, the French team now has a record that reads 0-2 in Group B.

The result was never really in doubt after the opening period as the Istanbul team took an early advantage by winning the quarter 22-12. In the second 10 the Turkish team once again outscored the home team, this time by 21-17, to take a commanding 43-29 lead into halftime. Strasbourg came out for the third in better touch and managed to claim the period 20-15. However, any thoughts of a comeback were short lived as Efes rallied again in the 4th and took 18 points to 17 to secure a 66-76 victory.

Scotty Hopson put 20 points on the board for the visitors while he also took 6 rebounds. Zoran Planinic helped with 16 points of his own, while Jamont Gordon claimed 12.

For Strasbourg, Alexis Ajinca shot 18 points and 9 rebounds, with Jeremy Leloup hitting 13 points.

Group C

Bayern Munich – Montepaschi Siena, 89-79

Current Serie A champions Siena will be disappointed that they could not get more out of their road game against Euroleague newcomers Bayern Munich. However, the German team has proved a solid debutant so far and this comfortable 89-79 win takes the club´s record to 2-0 this season. For Montepaschi, the team now stands at 0-2 after a winless start to the campaign.

The match opened tensely, with both teams trading blows after the opening tip-off. After the first 10 minutes Bayern Munich emerged with a slender 22-20 lead, a margin that would increase after an impressive second period that saw the German team outscore the Italians by 24-13. With the score at 46-33 at halftime, Montepaschi had much to do, but it was the home side that secured the third 24-19. Siena took control in the last quarter by securing 27 points compared to Bayern´s 19, but it was a case of too little too late as the German team claimed an 89-79 win.

Malcolm Delaney topped the scorers for Bayern with 20, followed by John Bryant with 15 and 11 rebounds and Nihad Djedovic with 15.

Kim English shot 12 for Siena and Taylor Rochestie posted 13.

Unicaja Malaga – Stelmet ZG, 101-68
Malaga demolished Polish team Stelmet Zielona Gora during the second round of the Euroleague on Friday night. In a one sided encounter the Spanish team was on the front foot from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer, eventually winning 101-68. Malaga´s record improved to 1-1, while Stelmet´s fell further to 0-2 in Group C.

During the first quarter Stelmet managed to stay within touch, although Malaga did end the period leading 24-19. During the second 10 minutes the Spanish team surged ahead as their opponents crumbled, by the end of the first half Malaga was leading 55-32 after an impressive 31-13 second quarter. With the victory already assured, Malaga continued to push and won the 3rd period 25-20 and the 4th 21-16 to break 100 points and record an easy win.

Niklas Caner-Medley was the standout player with a double-double performance of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Mindaugas Kuzminskas grabbed 15 points for the home team while Zoran Dragic netted 12.

On a miserable night for Stelmet, Vladimir Dragicevic scored 20 points and picked up 5 rebounds.

Group D

Panathinaikos – Laboral Kutxa Vitoria, 95-74
Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos put 21 points on Laboral Kutxa in their group D encounter. The Greens were on record equaling form as they took the game 96-74 to put their Euroleague record at 1-1 for the season. Vitoria´s defeat also meant the Spanish team has a record of 1-1 in the competition.

Panathinaikos tied the Euroleague record for the amount of assists in a single game, with 31. The total equaled the famed Maccabi Tel Aviv team of the 2003/2004 season that managed that total on two occasions.

The Greek powerhouse was in control from the start of the contest, taking the first quarter by 26-16 and the second 24-19. Leading by 15 points at the midway stage (50-35), Panathinaikos took further steps to victory in the third by winning the 10 minutes by 27-21 and equaled Vitoria´s 18 points in the 4th to take the spoils.

Michael Bramos nailed 21 points for the home team, while Ramel Curry hit 15. Dimitris Diamantidis hit 9 points while helping that assist total with 9.

Laboral Kutxa Vitoria´s Andres Nocioni was the standout performer in the contest with 23 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double. David Jelinek scored 17 and Walter Hodge put 15 on the board.

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