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EuroLeague Diaries: Elie Ekobo sets new club record for LDLC ASVEL; Juan Nunez makes debut in Real Madrid loss

Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

The second day of EuroLeague Round 7 included several blowouts, some records and several debuts, including the first appearance of Dwayne Bacon with AS Monaco Basket and the debut of teenager Juan Nunez with Real Madrid.

Let’s dive in Day 2 of EuroLeague’s round 7.

Elie Ekobo sets new club record for LDLC ASVEL

ASVEL had another huge game away from home as they prevailed over Panathinaikos to improve its record further. Elie Ekobo showed up big for the French club, as he managed to set a new club record.

Okobo buried 8-of-12 two-point shots, 5-of-7 three-pointers and 4-of-4 free throws, adding 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals to finish the game with 35 points.

He surpassed the previous record by six points, as Ali Traore had 29 points against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul on October 28, 2009.

Ekobo was crucial for ASVEL as he managed to score 17 points in the last five minutes of the game, while he had 25 in the second half.

“My teammates give me confidence every day. I am working on my game. They trust me – the coaching staff, too. I try to bring a lot of energy. I knew tonight was going to be a tough game with this amazing crowd, and we got the job done,” Ekobo said after ASVEL’s big win.

Another teenager makes EuroLeague debut with Real Madrid

Real Madrid did not have the best of nights in Kazan, as the home team prevailed in a close-fought matchup. However, Pablo Laso did not hesitate to give minutes to another teenager.

Real Madrid playmaker Juan Nunez made his EuroLeague debut in his team’s showdown in Kazan. He contributed right away with a driving layup, a steal and an assist in his first minute on the floor.

Nunez became the 13th homegrown talent to play in the EuroLeague for Los Blancos since head coach Pablo Laso joined the club in 2011.

The promising point guard remained on the floor for almost four minutes, putting up two points, three assists, two steals and just one turnover.

Donta Hall energizes Monaco past CSKA as Dwayne Bacon makes EuroLeague debut

Monaco had a huge night in front of its fans as they got past CSKA Moscow with an impressive 97-80 win. Mike James was able to get one over his former team, as Donta Hall dominated the paint.

Hall converted 8-of-9 shots — most of them on dunks — for a team and career-high 17 points. He also added 10 rebounds (career-high), while dishing out 1 assist, grabbing 1 steal and picking up 2 blocks.

He registered a PIR of 26 to earn the game’s MVP honors. At the same time, Dwayne Bacon, who signed with the French club last week, earned his first EuroLeague appearance with Monaco.

The former NBA swingman remained in the court for 21 minutes against top-tier EuroLeague competition to score 11 points, on 4-6 shooting, while he added three rebounds and one assist.

“Glory to God and a shout-out to my mom. I talked to her for a while before the game. I knew I had to bring the energy, with a broken nose too. Either way, broken nose or not, I’m coming,” Hall said after the game.

Zenit sets record in rebounding vs. top-rebounding team in EuroLeague

Two records broke during the games in St.Petersburg and Kazan. Zenit was an especially dominant rebounding force in the first half, grabbing 31 boards to just 16 for Baskonia by halftime.

Xavi Pascual’s squad finished the contest with 52 rebounds to cruise to victory over the Spanish club. The club’s previous record was 41.

Alex Poythress finished the game with a season-high four blocks, while Zenit had a total of six blocked shots, the joint-second highest tally in club history.

Zenit also knocked down 14 three-point shots on 31 attempts, just 2 short of the club record in the competition of 16, while the 29-point margin was close to the team’s EuroLeague best, which is a 34-point win.

“It was a good game. All the topics that we prepared for this game, we executed very well. We controlled the defensive rebounds very well against a team that before this game was the best team in the competition at offensive rebounds.

We finished with 12 turnovers which is maybe too much but more or less we controlled this part of the game, we shared the ball on offense and I think tonight we have to be happy,” Zenit’s head coach Xavi Pascual said on the game.

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