The Eurocup is back in full swing as Wednesday night saw all the remaining teams take to the court to get their respective campaigns underway.
Zaragoza held on to beat Paris Levallois 77-76 as they took the lead in the second quarter and never relinquished it. The visitors though fought back in the fourth quarter but were unable to snatch the win as Malaye Ndoye hit vital free throws in the last few seconds and Paris were unable to get a decent shot off in time. Marcus Landry and Stevan Jelovac each scored 15 points for the victors.
A dagger three-pointer from Andrea Cinciarini, helped by free throws from Federico Mussini in the last minute gave Reggio Emila its first win of the Eurocup season, as they bested Brose Baskets 70-67 in Italy. Cinciarini finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists, Rimantas Kaukenas netted 13, while Mussini scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Strasbourg claimed an incredible away win as they edged Telekom Baskets Bonn 86-83 in Germany. Eugene Lawrence gave an 83-80 margin to Bonn with 10 seconds left, but missed a second free throw. Paul Lacombe pulled down the rebound and raced down the court to assist Tadjia Dragicevic, who tied the game at 83-83. Then Antoine Diot beat the buzzer from downtown to give his side the win. Louis Campbell led the winners with 18 points, 5 assists and a perfect 5/5 shooting from long distance.
Gran Canaria and ASVEL won on opening night, so the only Group B game played on Wednesday saw Dijon beat Telenet Ostend 72-63. Dijon took control of the game with a 21-3 spurt that bridged the first and second quarters, opening up a 34-20 lead and from there, the French side never relinquished their advantage. Zach Moss led the winners with 18 points.
Nancy sealed a 78-76 win over CEZ Nymburk in a closely-fought contest in France. Ukrainian international Sergii Gladyr iced the game from the foul line in the final 14 seconds. Darius Adams paved the way to victory. Adams finished with 22 points and 5 assists to lead Nancy.
Seville were impressive in their 85-77 success on the road at EWE Baskets Oldenburg. A solid first quarter saw the Liga Endesa lead 27-19 and despite the German side’s spirit, breeze to victory. Alex Urtasun paced the winners with 16 points. Jacob Pullen added 13; Xavier Thames had 11, while Nikola Radicevic and Pierre Oriola each got 10 for Seville.
Virtus Rome sent a loud message to the other teams in Group C by demolishing Spirou Charleroi 88-59 in Belgium. The game was academic in the first half, as the visitors led 51-27 and never looked back. Brandon Triche paced the winners with a personal haul of 26 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, with Kyle Gibson adding 16 points for Rome.
Union Olimpija Ljubljana survived to beat Besiktas 78-76 in Istanbul, but nearly blew a double-digit cushion to a dogged Besiktas team. Olimpija had an 18-point lead with over 8 minutes remaining but managed to escape with a win behind 13 points from Halil Kanacevic and Sasu Salin.
Hungarian side Szolnoki celebrated a first ever Eurocup victory with a 96-94 home win against Zenit Saint Petersburg. Akos Keller and David Vojvoda sealed the home team’s victory from the foul line. Dmitry Kulagin missed a late three pointer to win it for the visiting team.
BC Khimki showed off their dominance on day one with a convincing 94-65 win over VEF Riga in the Moscow Region. After a close first quarter, the Russians broke away in the second quarter and then a added 12-0 run in the third gave the result absolutely no doubt. Tyrese Rice led Khimki with 16 points.
CSU Ploiesti grabbed an 81-75 away win over Krasny Volgograd, but they only just survived an onslaught from the hosts in the final period. Marius Runkauskas led the visitors with 15 points, while Dee Brown tallied 14 points and 6 assists, Alhaji Mohammed posted 12 points and 8 rebounds and Gerald Lee also scored 12 in the win.
Banvit were 80-76 winners over a strong Hapoel Jerusalem side, a result that already shows the competitiveness of the group. In a thrilling finale, Keith Simmons hit a triple for a 73-72 Banvit lead, Bracey Wright hit a jumper but Sammy Mejia answered from downtown and free throws by Vladimir Veremeenko and Simmons allowed the hosts to seal a valuable home win. Mejia led the winners with 17 points.
Lietuvos Rytas were impressive from start to finish in their 92-65 win over Partizan, who were making their Eurocup debut following 13 straight seasons in the Euroleague. Mindaugas Lukauskis and Travis Leslie paced the winners with 18 points. Leslie added 10 rebounds for a double-double.
After going into two periods of overtime, PAOK finally prevailed as they secured an 87-81 away win over Pinar Karisyaka in Izmir. PAOK’s Marc Carter forced the game to the first extra session, then Pinar’s Baris Hersek pulled down an offensive rebound and scored to tie it at 73-73 and force the game to the second overtime. Kevin Langford tied things at 77-77 and a 5-0 run for the visitors gave them a margin they kept till the final buzzer. Jake Odum was the main contributor for PAOK with 22 points.
2013 Eurocup winners Lokomotiv Kuban dominated from the first quarter onwards, en route to a routine 97-78 win over Stelmet Zielona Gora. A 14-0 run in the first period was the gateway to the win for the Russians. Derrick Brown led the winners with 23 points on 9-of-11 two-point shooting, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Krunoslav Simon and Anthony Randolph added 15 points apiece.
Ventspils did not need overtime though as they defeated Buducnost 82-75 in a closely fought battle. Mire Chatman paced the winners with 19 points, as they played their first Eurocup game since the 2009-10 season.