CSKA Moscow got a small measure of revenge following their Milan heartbreak in May and despatched of champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 99-80 in a Group B game in the Russian capital.
In what was a relatively close encounter for two periods, became a rout in the third as the hosts raced clear with perfectly timed back door cuts leading to easy baskets. The champions looked clueless, and CSKA took full advantage.
“Most of the game we played focused and dedicated,” said CSKA coach Dimitris Itoudis. “You can’t describe everything by the numbers but today you can explain a lot by team ranking, our rebounding advantage, good shooting. We did not start well, we had problems with the opponents’ matchup zone, but then we started splitting it and getting good shots.”
Sonny Weems led Moscow with 18 points, with Sasha Kaun adding 17. The Muscovites had two players with double-doubles as Milos Teodosic had 15 points and 11 assists and Andrey Vorontsevich getting 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Brian Randle led Maccabi with 18 points as they fall to their first defeat of the Euroleague season.
In Group C, Bayern Munich took charge in the final period to beat Panathinaikos 81-75 at the Audi Dome to claim their first win of the season.
For a while, Panathinaikos looked in control. The ball movement was slick, and Estaban Batista, who finished with 18 points off 9/11 shooting, was having his way inside.
The Germans though kept plugging away and late in the fourth quarter, opened up an 8-point lead, which proved too much for the 2011 champions.
“It’s very difficult to expect in a Euroleague game that we will win the game in the first 20 minutes,” Bayern coach Svetislav Pesic said. “We were talking about that. Patience is the most important point. We believed that we will be in the moment where we can decide the game.
“We had confidence in our defence. Our defense was much better on Batista in the second half. We always contested their shots. Panathinaikos has a good balance between inside and outside. I know Panathinaikos will play better game-to-game. It was good luck for us that we played them the second game and not the last game.”
Dusko Savanovic drained five triples, en route to a game-high 20 points for Bayern. Nihad Djedovic added 14.
The Mediolanum Forum has not been a happy hunting ground in the past for Barcelona, but they put that behind them with a convincing 78-63 win at EA7 Milano.
The Catalan side, without Juan Carlos Navarro due to a leg injury hit 11 three-pointers in the game, with Alex Abrines going 5/5 to lead all scorers with 21 points as a 20-17 first quarter lead ballooned to 45-32 at the half, leaving Milano with a mountain to climb.
Daniel Hackett led the hosts with 15 points but Milano slump to 0-2, while Barca are 2-0.
Fenerbahce are also 2-0 in the group, following a comfortable 91-76 win over PGE Turow in Poland.
The visitors led 30-15 after the first quarter in a dominating display where there was clearly only one team in it. The Poles managed to narrow the gap to nine points after three periods, but Fenerbahce stepped up a gear again to seal the win.
Andrew Goudelock led all scorers with 27 points for the winners. Emir Preldzic added 16 points. Damian Kulig had 23 for Turow, who drop to 0-2.
In Group D a bank shot from Valdas Vasylius with 3.2 seconds left gave Neptunas Klaipeda a first ever Euroleague win as they beat Red Star 83-81 at home.
Both teams now hold 1-1 record in the group in what was a thrilling back-and-forth battle between two relative newcomers to the competition.
Neptunas coach Kazys Maksvytis was a little defiant afterwards, claiming that Neptunas deserve a spot in the Euroleague and that his team were not in it to merely make up the numbers.
“I want to refute the skeptics who said that we do not deserve to play in the Euroleague,” he said. “Our team deserved the victory because we led the whole game. Vasylius made last shot to win, because he often makes those shots.”
Deividas Gailius led the winners with 19 points, including going 4/6 from the three-point arc. Marcus Williams led Red Star with a game-high 23 points.
Galatasaray nearly let a double-digit lead slip, but eventually beat Valencia 71-64 in Istanbul, as the Turkish side got to 1-1 in Group D, while dropping the Liga Endesa side and last season’s Eurocup winners to 0-2.
Valencia held an early 8-10 lead, but the hosts simply took over with a 23-2 tear, en route to a lead that peaked at 45-17. The hosts led 47-24 at halftime and looked in firm control. Valencia though stormed back and pulled back to within 5 points with a minute left. Galatasaray though sealed the game thanks to good clock management, leaving Valencia frustrated.
Carlos Arroyo led the winners with 16 points and 5 assists. Luke Harangody paced Valencia with 16.