Home EuroLeague EuroLeague Diaries: Nikola Mirotic dominates in FC Barcelona win; Sasa Djordjevic returns...

EuroLeague Diaries: Nikola Mirotic dominates in FC Barcelona win; Sasa Djordjevic returns with a victory

Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

EuroLeague Round 1 was concluded on Friday, as FC Barcelona and Olympiacos dominated ALBA Berlin and Baskonia, respectively, to start their campaign with strong performances.

Here what’s stood out in Day 2 of EuroLeague Round 1:

Nikola Mirotic destroys ALBA Berlin’s frontcourt

Nikola Mirotic is undoubtedly FC Barcelona’s superstar and certainly the top player in the star-studded roster of the Spanish giants.

In his 2021-22 EuroLeague debut, the veteran forward remained on the court for 17 minutes, and dominated the German team’s frontcourt with ease.

He finished with 22 points, on 4-of-4 two-pointers, 4-of-4 three-pointers and 2-of-2 free throws. He added 5 rebounds, an assist, one steal and 2 fouls drawn for a PIR of 31.

“It was just great to be back and enjoy this game that I love so much. I am very happy and this is just the beginning. We have to keep grinding as a team and get better – me, personally, as well. Keep looking forward!,” Mirotic said after the contest.

Sasa Djordjevic returns to EuroLeague with a triumphant win

Fenerbahce’s win over Crvena Zvezda MTS Belgrade marked the return of Sasa Djordjevic in the competition. The Serbian legend achieved his first victory in EuroLeague since April 1, 2016, when he was the coach of Panathinaikos.

The Turkish giants presented a defensive masterpiece against Zvezda and held the win. This was Djordjevic’s EuroLeague debut with Fener, as the Serbian coach improved his competition record to 18-13.

“It’s obvious that we didn’t take advantage of the 21 turnovers that we made Zvezda commit, and that was due to our good defense. I think we played good defense for 40 minutes; we never stopped.

A couple of times we didn’t finish and finalize our good work on defense. So, we have to work on that, but it’s normal for the first game. A lot of players wanted to show their best game despite the tension, so it was a good win for us,” the EuroLeague legend said.

Elie Okobo’s dream start with ASVEL

It was a heavenly debut for ASVEL Villeurbanne’s point guard, Elie Okobo. The French side earned a much-deserved victory against Zalgiris Kaunas and Okobo was the main reason for that.

The former Phoenix Suns’ man scored a game-high 23 points by shooting a perfect 6-for-6 from two-point range and 3-for-3 from downtown. His only miss of the night came from the free-throw line (2-3).

“It feels good. We wanted to get the first win at home in the EuroLeague. We knew we are playing a good team; obviously, we came out ready to play.

We needed to adjust to some little stuff on defense, but we can see offensively that we get what we need when we bring energy on defensive end. We have good chemistry,” Okobo said after ASVEL’s win.

Olympiacos’ Kostas Sloukas achieves EuroLeague milestone

Olympiacos had a strong start in its EuroLeague 2021-22 campaign, as they decimated Baskonia. While the ‘Reds’ reached an easy win, thanks to their strong defensive play, Kostas Sloukas added another EuroLeague milestone.

Sloukas dished five assists to take sole possession of seventh place on the EuroLeague’s all-time assists’ leaderboard with 1,131. He also hit two threes to join the 300 club for triples in EuroLeague history.

Baskonia was able to score just 50 points, with those being one of the best defensive performances of Olympiacos in the competition.

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