The Eurocup is in full swing, and things have turned interesting as one of the pre-tournament favourites has suffered its first defeat of the campaign, leaving Group D in firm control of Besiktas.
Telekom Baskets Bonn edged Zaragoza in a thrilling encounter 90-88 thanks to a game-winning three-point play by Angelo Caloiaro with 0.9 seconds remaining. Both teams are now tied in Group A, each with a 1-2 record. Dirk Madrich led the winners with 20 points. Caloiaro added 16, Ryan Brooks had 15, Benas Vaikalas and Mickey McConnell each got 12, Tadas Klimavicius contributed 10 while Eugene Lawrence dished 10 assists for Bonn.
Brose Baskets were rarely troubled in their 81-55 win over Paris Levallois in Bamberg. It is second consecutive win for Bamberg which improved to 2-1 in Group A, while Paris dropped to 1-2. The hosts opened the game with a 12-0 run, and put together a 15-2 run in the second quarter to open a 20-point lead and never look back. Bamberg’s 31 assists is tied for third best in Eurocup all-time, with record 34 assists held by Ted Ankara and Khimki Moscow, both last season. Trevor Mbakwe paced the winners with 17 points.
Telenet Ostend picked up its first win of the season, going on the road and downing Artland Dragons 67-75 on Wednesday. Both teams now hold 1-2 records in Group B. John Prince led Ostend with 18 points.
A late 10-0 run was the difference as ASVEL held off winless Cantu 78-70. Edwin Jackson finished with 20 points, and David Andersen scored 16 with 6 rebounds to lead the hosts, as they move to 2-1 in the group.
Granc Canaria improved to 3-0 as they beat Dijon in France 71-69. Albert Oliver scored a basket with 6 seconds to go, putting the visitors in front 69-71, before Levon Kendall sealed the deal, blocking a potential game-winning three-point attempt from Steven Gray in the last second. Gran Canaria, which did not trail after the second quarter, had Kyle Kuric leading the way with 21 points on 5/7 three-point shooting.
Virtus Rome remained undefeated by taking a thrilling 84-82 victory over Seville to become the exclusive leader of the Group C table with a 3-0 record. The visitors dropped to 2-1. Seville took an early 21-34 margin in the game, but the home team came back in the third quarter. In a thrilling finish, Rome’s accuracy from the foul line was crucial to the win. Brandon Triche led the way for Rome with 25 points on 4/5 shooting from downtown.
SLUC Nancy secured a 72-67 win over EWE Baskets Oldenburg. The French side moved up to 2-1 in Group C as they tie with its next opponent, Seville, for second place in Group C each with a 2-1 record, while Oldenburg dropped to 0-3. Bandja Sy led the winners with 15 points.
Spirou Charleroi led from start to finish, holding off CEZ Nymburk 82-73 for its first 2014-15 Eurocup victory on Wednesday night. Both teams now hold 1-2 record in a share of the fourth place in Group C. Spirou led from the get-go, but did not pull away until Dylan Page, who led the victors with 22 points hit a three-pointer to cap a 11-2 run midway through the third quarter for 58-47. The hosts entered the final quarter up by 15 points, enough to hang on to it until the final buzzer.
Zenit Saint Petersburg secured their first win of the Eurocup season by downing VEF Riga 84-70. Kyle Landry led the winners with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Dmitry Kulagin added 14 points while Walter Hodge had 12 and 6 assists for Zenit. Gerald Robinson had 17 points for VEF while Mareks Mejeris added 14. Both teams are on 1-2 records.
One of the Eurocup’s pre-tournament favourites Khimki were beaten for the first time 66-64 by an impressive Besiktas in Istanbul. Hilton Armstrong and John Holland led the winners with 13 points apiece. Chris Lofton added 12 while Ryan Broekhoff got 10 and 9 rebounds for Besiktas, which only allowed 6 points in the fourth quarter. Petteri Koponen and Tyrese Rice led Khimki with 14 points apiece. Holland gave the hosts a 66-64 edge. Khimki had two chances to either send the game to overtime or win it at the buzzer but Rice missed around the basket and Sergey Monia did not connect from downtown.
Besiktas and Khimki both join Union Olimpija on 2-1 records after the Slovenians defeated Szolnoki Olaj 86-80 in Hungary. Alen Omic led the winners with 18 points and 8 rebounds with Sasu Salin adding 16.
Lietuvos Rytas cruised to an important 63-77 road win over Krasny Oktyabr Volgograd on Wednesday. The victory lifted Rytas into a share of second place in Group E at 2-1, while Oktyabr, playing its first game under new coach Dirk Bauermann, dropped to 1-2. The game was close through halftime, at which points Rytas led 32-29. The hosts went ahead 36-34 early in the third quarter but Rytas used a 12-0 third-quarter run and a 10-0 fourth quarter charge to wrap up the win. Adas Juskevicius paced Rytas with 13 points and 5 assists.
BK Banvit needed a 14-0 fourth-quarter run to put CSU Ploiesti away 81-66 and snag first place in Group E. Both teams entered the game 2-0 and sharing the top spot in the group. Keith Simmons finished with 18 points to lead the Turkish side.
Derwin Kitchen scored 9 fourth-quarter points, including the game-winning layup-plus-foul with 0.2 seconds left, as Hapoel Jerusalem recorded its first win of the season in dramatic fashion 82-79 over Partizan at Pais Arena Jerusalem in the Israeli capital. Partizan led by 10 entering the fourth quarter, but Jerusalem’s offense came alive when it was needed most to pave the way to victory. Lior Eliyahu led the Jerusalem attack with 22 points.
Buducnost got its first victory of the 2014-15 Eurocup campaign by routing Stelmet Zielona Gora 76-90 on the road and leaving the hosts at the bottom of the table in Group F. A 19-7 run late in the second quarter allowed the visitors to get a 34-47 cushion at halftime and they never looked back. Suad Sehovic and JR Reynolds led the way for the winners with 17 points each.
Karsiyaka Izmir left Latvia with a 72-81 victory over Ventspils to raise its record to 2-1 to join PAOK in second place in Group F. The hosts dropped to 1-2. Karsiyaka used an 11-0 second-quarter run to take the first big lead, 34-20. The visitors stretched it to 20 points in the third on a Jon Diebler triple and controlled the game in the final 10 minutes. Juan Palacios amassed 18 points and 10 rebounds for the winners.