Cedevita Zagreb sent shockwaves around the Euroleague by beating champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 83-73 at the Nokia Arena.
This was a more than deserved victory too, Maccabi looked uninterested at times and never posted a serious challenge to the Croatians, who took full advantage, as they drained 14 three-pointers, en route to their first victory of the season in Group B, while dropping the Israeli giants to 2-2.
“This is maybe the biggest thing in our history, especially against the champion of Europe,” Cedevita coach Jasmin Repesa said. “For us this win is important because already against CSKA we stayed very close to winning the game.
“We have been practicing very hard at playing aggressively and running well. And I told them coming here that we can play against any team in Europe. We just need to believe that we can win. This win was very important for the future because they saw today that if they are able to play against the champion of Europe they will be able to play this way against other teams in our group.”
Five Cedevita players hit double figures for scoring, led by Roko Leni-Ukic, who hit 17 points in a well-balanced attack. Jeremy Pargo had 24 to lead all scorers for Maccabi.
Real Madrid’s comfortable win over Dinamo Sassari started Group A and indeed week four of the Euroleague off, and Zalgiris carried it on by beating Unics Kazan 77-71 in the Kaunas Sports Hall.
The Lithuanian champions took a trip down memory lane, as the Zalgirio Arena was unavailable, so their old venue at the Sports Hall took center stage for an entertaining contest that was competitive throughout.
James Anderson was the difference between the two sides as he posted 27 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for Zalgiris as they improve to 3-1, while Unics drop to 1-3.
“This victory doesn’t belong to me, it was great teamwork,” Anderson admitted afterwards. “We tried to neutralize Keith Langford. We didn’t succeed in the first half, but later we did a great job. It was a key to our win. Also the fans helped us a lot and we are happy to hand them the win.”
In the other Group A encounter, Anadolu Efes improved to 3-1 after outlasting Nizhny Novgorod 76-66 in a game that saw Efes missing Nenad Krstic to injury and Nizhny without Will Daniels and Terence Kinsey.
Dario Saric doubled his Euroleague career high with 18 points to lead Anadolu, and there was a moment for 17-year-old Furkan Korkmaz who had 9 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists for the winners.
Barcelona came good down the stretch, defensively to edge Fenerbahce 80-78 in Istanbul to stay undefeated at 4-0 in Group C.
Ricky Hickman scored with just over a minute to play to make it 80-78 then both teams were locked in a stalemate with that minute. Emir Preldzic had a shot to win it, but his three missed everything and Barcelona survived.
Brad Oleson paced Barca with 16 points, as he hit all four of his three-point attempts.
“We are happy for this win in a tough, balanced game,” Barcelona coach Xavi Pascual said. “We played better in the second half apart from the final three minutes, in which we lost control and lost part of the good job we had done. We managed to get this important win and are happy about it.”
PGE Turow notched their first Euroleague win in Group C by stunning Bayern Munich 89-78 in Poland.
Damian Kulig hit 22 points for Turow as they showed their credentials after three straight losses. Bayern drops to 1-3 as well.