Sarunas Jasikevicius victorious in EuroLeague head coaching debut with Barcelona
Sarunas Jasikevicius made his head coaching debut with Barcelona in the EuroLeague and saw his team defeat CSKA Moscow at home.
In a battle of two EuroLeague powerhouses, the Catalans rallied past the Russians (76-66) and earned the first win of the season.
Barcelona led for the majority of the game and sealed the deal behind 18 points from Brandon Davies, 17 from Nikola Mirotic and 13 from Alex Abrines.
Toko Shengelia paced CSKA with 15 points, with Mike James contributing 13.
“It is also true that we have problems when it comes to finishing games. When we are playing better, we always miss our concentration.
It happened again tonight and I want to work on this as much as I can. A team like Barcelona must always seal the outcome and not allow opponents to return to the game,” Jasikevicius told reporters afterwards.
Sarunas Jasikevicius replaced Svetislav Pesic and wants to bring Barcelona back to the top of the EuroLeague after 10 years.
The Lithuanian coach has one of the best and deepest rosters in the EuroLeague and wants to go all the way.
Barcelona is one of the title favorites and not reaching the EuroLeague Final Four will be a major failure for coach Sarunas Jasikevicius.
The opener of the EuroLeague saw a major upset, as Zenit Saint Petersburg edged Anadolu Efes in Istanbul.
The worst team of last season’s EuroLeague campaign defeated the title favorite (69-73), with Kevin Pangos as the leader.
Pangos scored a career-high 23 points – including four free throws in the final 23 seconds to seal the win – and dished seven assists in his Zenit debut.
Vasilije Micic led Efes with 17 points and nine assists, with the Turks missing star guard Shane Larkin due to injury.
Zalgiris Kaunas fought back from a double-digit second-half deficit to secure a 67-68 victory over Olympiacos in Piraeus.
Zalgiris was down by 11 late in the third quarter, but claimed the win thanks to a pair of free throws by Rokas Jokubaitis (career-high 12 points).
Hassan Martin was the only player in double figures (12) for Olympiacos. Kostas Sloukas had six points and seven assists in his first game back with the “Reds” in the EuroLeague.
Maccabi defeated ALBA Berlin 80-73 at home on Thursday night, thanks to a 25-2 second-quarter run.
The Israelis came back from a double-digit deficit and never looked back. Chris Jones had a great EuroLeague debut with 12 points and seven assists for the winners.
Marcus Eriksson netted 18 points for ALBA and Simone Fontecchio had 16 and eight rebounds.
Valencia Basket survived ASVEL Villeurbanne in a late thriller at home (65-63).
Sam Van Rossom scored a layup with 16 seconds to go and handed his team the win.
The visitors trailed by 12 in the second quarter and by eight with less than four minutes to go.
Yet, they turned things around and tied the game with 26 seconds remaining.
Amine Noua missed a buzzer-beating three-pointer that allowed Valencia to celebrate.
Derrick Williams had a strong debut with Valencia with 15 points and five boards. ASVEL had a top scorer in Moustapha Fall with 14.
The opening round of the EuroLeague will come to an end on Friday, with four games.
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