The 2021-22 7DAYS EuroCup season is upon us. The regular season tipped off with a new format – 20 teams split between two round-robin groups. The first five games were played on Tuesday. Partizan NIS Belgrade, Joventut Badalona, and Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana recorded the season’s first road wins in Hamburg, Germany; Trento, Italy; and Grand Canaria, respectively. Turk Telekom Ankara and Valencia Basket all triumphed on opening night at home. The action continues Wednesday with five more games.
Turk Telekom Ankara 73-65 Boulogne Metropolitans 92
On Tuesday, Turk Telekom Ankara won its Group A opener 73-65 over Boulogne Metropolitans 92 in the Turkish capital. Alex Perez paced the winners with 18 points, and a club record of 13 assists, Octavius Ellis and Dorukhan Engindeniz scored 12, and Sanmey Geyik had 10 for Turk Telekom. Will Cummings led Metropolitans with 26 points. Steeve Ho-You-Fat added 12 and Tomer Ginat 10. Perez, Engindeniz, and Berk Demir each struck from downtown late in the first quarter to give Turk Telekom a 24-22 lead after 10 minutes. Ho-You-Fat stepped up for Metropolitans and got plenty of help from Cummings to put the visitors ahead 36-42 at halftime. Metropolitans still led 47-53 late in the third quarter, but Octavius Ellis and Perez combined for 12 points in a 14-0 run that put Turk Telekom ahead for good, 61-53.
Hamburg Towers 97-106 Partizan NIS Belgrade
Partizan NIS Belgrade opened the Zeljko Obradovic era in the 7DAYS EuroCup with a 97-106 road victory over a feisty Hamburg Towers side on Tuesday night at Edel-optics.de Arena. The visitors led by as many as 28 in the third quarter before Hamburg fought back and cut the deficit to 9 in the closing minutes. Kevin Punter led the way with 26 points on 8-of-8 two-point shooting in his EuroCup debut. Dallas Moore made 5 of 5 threes en route to 17 points, Yam Madar and Alen Smailagic each scored 13, and Nemanja Dangubic had 10. Smailagic also grabbed nine rebounds, and Madar dished five assists. Caleb Homesley paced the Hamburg attack with 21 points and seven assists. Jaylon Brown scored 18, Zach Brown 15, Maik Kotsar 14 and Seth Hinrichs 10.
Dolomiti Energia Trento 56-86 Joventut Badalona
Joventut Badalona enjoyed a sweet opener in the 7DAYS Eurocup by defeating Dolomiti Energia Trento 56-86 at BLM Group Arena on Tuesday. The guests managed to build a double-digit lead at the end of the second quarter to take the reins and never looked back, thanks to an impressive defensive display that didn’t allow more than 20 points in any of the quarters. Ante Tomic led the winners and posted 13 points, eight rebounds, and three assists for a PIR of 19. Vladimir Brodziansky and Joel Parra followed with 13 points and five rebounds apiece, while Simon Birgander contributed 12 and 7 in just 15 minutes. Jordan Caroline was the only player on the losing team able to reach double-digits in scoring with 12, to which he added 11 boards.
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar vs. MoraBanc Andorra
Thursday action opens with Lokomotiv hosting Andorra. It is the second time in as many seasons these two teams meet in the regular season. When Andorra came to town last October, Lokomotiv cruised to a 76-61 victory. This time, it will be the first chance to see how Lokomotiv’s new offense that now features Errick McCollum, Johnathan Motley, and Darius Thompson looks. Andorra, on the other hand, is expected to be a tough cookie. It is a team that has a roster packed with players who have EuroCup experience. Despite only three players on the team being older than 30 years of age, only two Andorra players are making their competition debuts this season. That experience of playing in the EuroCup should be felt in this game and throughout the season.
Slask Wroclaw vs. Lietkabelis Panevezys
The 7DAYS EuroCup returns to Poland on Wednesday night when Slask hosts Lietkabelis in the first official game between the two teams. The most decorated Polish club returns to the competition for the first time since the 2007-08 season with the same man on the bench, head coach Andrej Urlap, who coached the team in two games in that season. For Lietkabelis, this is the fourth season in the competition, but the very first time it opens the season on the road. The team has never managed a winning season in the EuroCup, and a road win in the season opener would be a nice start towards that goal.
Valencia Basket 92-82 Promitheas Patras
Valencia Basket started its 2021-22 campaign in solid form with a 92-82 victory at home over Promitheas Patras in Group B. The four-time 7DAYS EuroCup winner used a 19-5 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to take control of the game – despite playing without some of its major leaders such as Bojan Dubjleivc, Klemen Prepelic, Victor Claver, and Mike Tobey. Louis Labeyrie led the way for Valencia with 23 points while Martin Hermannsson scored 13 points, Jasiel Rivero and Josep Puerto both had 12 points, Jaime Pradilla added 10 points and Nenad Dimitrijevic chipped in 9 points and 11 assists. Six players scored in double figures for Promitheas, topped by Abdul Gaddy, Isaiah Miles, and Nikos Rogkavopoulos, all with 13 points, with Dario Hunt scoring 12 and Kendrick Ray and Jerai Grant both tallying 10 points.
Gran Canaria 77-79 Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana
In a battle between 7DAYS EuroCup powerhouses that went down to the final seconds, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana edged Gran Canaria 77-79 on the road on Tuesday. Jacob Pullen led the winners with 27 points, Jaka Blazic added 18, and Melvin Ejim had 12 for Cedevita. Nico Brussino paced Gran Canaria with 20 points, Dylan Ennis and Miquel Salvo each scored 12, and Ilimane Diop had 10 for the hosts. Ennis, Brussino, and Salvo shined early to give Gran Canaria a 30-14 lead. Blazic and Pullen fueled an 0-11 run that brought Cedevita back into the game and kept pushing the visitors to bring their team even closer, 48-47, at halftime. Ejim and Pullen led another 0-10 run that gave Cedevita a 53-60 margin early in the second half. Brussino, Ennis, and Khalifa Diop helped Gran Canaria regain the lead, 65-63, after 30 minutes. Brussino gave Gran Canaria a 77-72 lead, but Ejim and Pullen fueled a 0-7 run that allowed Cedevita to win the game down the stretch.
Frutti Extra Bursaspor vs. Virtus Segafredo Bologna
Loyal fans in the city of Bursa will be up for a treat on Wednesday when Virtus Segafredo Bologna comes to town. Bursaspor is in its second season in the competition. After finishing strong last regular season, winning the last three games, Coach Dusan Alimpijevic and his men hope to continue building on that experience. They host Virtus, which opened last season with 19 consecutive wins before getting ousted in the semifinals. Milos Teodosic, Marco Belinelli, and co., this time guided by Coach Sergio Scariolo, start a new season with the ultimate goal of bringing home the EuroCup trophy.
ratiopharm Ulm vs. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica
Two teams with raised ambitions square off for the second year in a row when Buducnost pays a visit to play Ulm. The Montenegrin powerhouse swept Ulm last year in the regular season. It later reached the EuroCup Quarterfinals, where it ended up being the only team to win a playoff game against eventual champion AS Monaco. Ulm has put together a versatile roster that can offensively compete with any opponent and, with Coach Jaka Lakovic at the helm, is determined to turn its fortunes around and improve on the 24-52 record it has accumulated over the last six seasons in the competition.
Mincidelice JL Bourg en Bresse vs. Umana Reyer Venice
Wrapping up the opening-week action in Group B is the clash between Bourg and Venice. It is the first time that Bourg will welcome Venice to its Ekinox, even though these two sides played twice last season. But both of those games were played in Venice’s Palasport Taliercio, and Bourg swept the series. Now, Bourg enters the season with a revamped roster and a new head coach, while Venice has the core of the team that has long been together. Coach Walter De Raffaele’s team keeps raising its ambitions every season.