Zeljko Obradovic started the new Euroleague campaign with a home win over EA7 Emporio Armani in Istanbul. It was the Turkish giants who had a better start to take an 11-point lead after the first quarter.
Fenerbahce’s offense was ticking well, constantly finding opportunities to score. The visitors managed to turn the flow of the game in the second quarter though.
It was Nicolo Melli who stepped up as he scored three consecutive shots including a three-pointer to minimize the gap between the two sides. Melli ignited a 13-0 run for the Italians which saw them take the lead 43-41 after the first half.
The game was close till final minutes but it was the hosts who stayed on top despite numerous attempts from Milano to tie the game. Fenerbahce eventually survived a test as they won 77-74.
Last year’s Eurocup MVP Andrew Goudelock led Fenerbahce with 19 points, meanwhile Alessandro Gentile was the top scorer for EA7 Emporio Armani with 15.
The game between Barcelona and Bayern was decided by just 2 points thanks to Marcelinho Huertas and Brad Oleson who showed up at the crunch time.
Despite playing away as underdogs, the German champions were more than ready to mount a challenge to the hosts. At the end of each quarter the difference never exceeded 3 points.
“Pesic and I have a good, friendly relationship for many years. I admire him as a coach and his team’s defensive style is similar to ours. They have a well-organized offense and a winning character. In many ways, we have a lot of similarities. I am happy to have played against him.”, Barcelona’s head coach Xavi Pascual said afterwards.
Despite the loss Svetislav Pesic was not disappointed with the result: “I’m not disappointed. This was a game in which we had our chances to win. As always when you play on the road, it is especially important to avoid many turnovers and win in rebounds. We succeeded and that allowed us to compete against a team that has a lot of talent, especially on offense. We played great transition defense. But that cost us at the end of the game, especially since we had so many physical problems this week.”
Nihad Djedovic was the game’s top scorer with 19 points. Justin Doellman had 16 and Brad Oleson as well as Ante Tomic added 15 each for Barcelona.
It took Real Madrid three quarters to take control of the game as Zalgiris was putting a fight in Madrid. The Lithuanian champions led for most of the first half mainly thanks to the team’s newcomer James Anderson who ended the game with 19 points.
Real Madrid stepped up a gear in the third quarter and made a 11-0 run to put the hosts ahead. Zalgiris managed to narrow the gap to just 1 point before Gustavo Ayon and Facu Campazzo put Real ahead by 7 points.
The hosts kept their lead in the final period as Zalgiris struggled to stop Real Madrid’s offense. Real Madrid secured a home win 80-71.
Eleven out of twelve players scored for Real Madrid with veteran Felipe Reyes finishing as the top scorer with 11 points. James Anderson led Zalgiris with 19.
Euroleague newcomers Nizhny Novgorod and Dinamo Sassari squared off in Russia. Despite a poor start, Nizhny Novgorod managed to come on top with a narrow 88-86 win.
The Russian side was shocked at the start of the game as they trailed 7-26 after seven minutes of play. After gaining the lead early in the third quarter Nizhny Novgorod never looked back but had to survive a late drama to seal the win.
Euroleague veteran Tarence Kinsey had 17 for Nizhny Novgorod, followed by Trey Thompkins and Artsiom Parakhouski who had 16 point each. Former Panathinaikos and Maccabi guard David Logan was co-top scorer with Jerome Dyson for Sassari with 17 points.
Panathinaikos were made to work for a victory by visiting Polish champs Zurow Zgorzelec. Despite leading the whole game, the Greens could not relax as the gap between the two sides remained in single digits for the most part.
Dusko Ivanovic admitted that it’s too early for his team to play at its top level: “We knew that it would be a difficult game because Turow is a good team that can have five shooters on the court. Panathinaikos controlled the game until the third quarter, but after that they started to run and we stopped doing so. Fortunately, we played some good defense in the last minutes and got the win. It is too early to play at the level we want to reach, but I hope that as time goes by we will improve our game.”
Miodrag Rajkovic was glad with the way his team represented Poland also stating that his side showed to much respect to their illustrious opponents: “Several things decided the result. First is that Panathinaikos has a deeper bench, second is the free throws we missed. If you want to win in such a game, you have to score from the foul line. We showed too much of respect to Panathinaikos and I believe that in the next games we will play better and achieve something good in the competition.”
Newcomer A.J. Slaughter and Nikos Pappas led Panathinaikos with 16 points each. Former Olympiacos player Mardy Collins had 23 for Turow.
Alba Berlin failed to give a fight against CSKA Moscow as Russian giants recorded a comfortable 84-68 win in German capital.
Alba’s head coach Sasa Obradovic admitted that CSKA was a worthy winner: “CSKA is absolutely the deserving winner tonight. They are one of the best teams in Europe and from the beginning were in control. On offense, we didn’t have the necessary self-confidence and then that transferred to our defense. We need to check off this defeat quickly and simultaneously take a lesson from it and keep our feet on the ground.”
“Congratulations to my team for the win and a good game. I think we controlled the game from the beginning till the end, we executed our strategic plan and played focused.”, the new CSKA head coach Dimitris Itoudis said after the game.
Six players scored in double digits for the Muscovites with Sasha Kaun finishing as the top scorer with 16 points. Milos Teodosic and Sonny Weems had 15 each. It was different view on Alba’s statsheet as Reggie Redding was the only player to end the game in double digits with 11 points.