Eurocup 2015-16 round up (week 2)

After an opening week in which teams got the first taste of the new Eurocup campaign, it’s already time for Round 2 and 18 more exciting clashes. For 17 of the teams that were away from home last week, this is the chance to introduce themselves in the competition to their home fans, while EWE Baskets Oldenburg is the only side that will wait another week for its first home game. Action starts with four games on Tuesday, before 14 remaining games will be played across the continent on Wednesday.

GROUP A

In a Tuesday game, Dominion Bilbao Basket held off Telekom Baskets Bonn 81-90 victory. Dominion took the lead for good with a 0-13 first-quarter run and led by as many as 22 in the second quarter. Bonn never quit and slowly clawed its way back in the second half until it got within 3, but Dominion used a well-timed 0-6 push to fend off the Bonn challenge. Dairis Bertans paced the Dominion attack with 15 points and Dejan Todorovic added 14. In two Wednesday games, JSF Nanterre (1-0) hosts Union Olimpija Ljubljana (1-0) with the winner assured of holding at least a share of the top spot in the standings. Olimpija was the highest scoring team last week with 98 points, and knocked down week-high 14 triples on 63% shooting as well. But Nanterre is full of confidence after a road win at Bilbao. Newcomer Dolomiti Energa Trento (0-1) plays its historic first Eurocup home game against EWE Basket Oldenburg (0-1). Both teams will try to avoid starting the season with consecutive defeats.

GROUP B

ALBA Berlin recorded a come-from-behind 82-76 victory over Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia on Tuesday at Mercedes-Benz Arena. The hosts trailed by 10 in the third quarter before turning things around. Dragan Milosavljevic was 9 for 9 from the foul line and finished with 17 points and Will Cherry added 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for the winners. ALBA outrebounded Reggio Emilia 43-24, including 18-5 on the offensive glass. On Wednesday, Enel Basket Brindisi (0-1) makes its Eurocup home debut when it faces Le Mans Sarthe Basket (0-1). Both teams will be gunning for their first win of the season after narrow losses in Round 1. This is the ninth season in the competition for Le Mans, which has only twice started the season with back-to-back defeats. Also on Wednesday, Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas (1-0) hosts MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (1-0). The two teams faced each other last time Ludwigsburg played in the competition, back in 2007-08, and Gran Canaria – last season’s Eurocup runner-up – swept that series eight years ago with two double-digit wins.

GROUP C

Bojan Dubljevic scored 24 points to lead Valencia Basket to an 87-68 victory over CAI Zaragoza on Tuesday. The result put Valencia atop the group with a 2-0 record. John Shurna sparked an 11-0 start to the second quarter and Valencia never looked back. CAI outrebounded the hosts 26-38, but was doomed by 19 turnovers and poor three-point shooting (4 of 18). Proximus Spirou Charleroi (0-1) hosts ratiopharm Ulm (1-0) and Round 1 MVP Raymar Morgan. Spirou and Ulm meet in an official game for the first time despite Spirou being in its 11th season in the competition and this Ulm its third. The hosts will attempt to avoid their fourth straight 0-2 start in the season. Two more team will be playing not to fall to 0-2 when Umana Reyer Venice (0-1) hosts SLUC Nancy (0-1). It will also be a historic occasion for Venice, which plays a European competition game on its home floor for the first time in more than 30 years.

GROUP D

In Wednesday action, Unics Kazan held off Banvit Bandirma 79-85 on the road to take sole possession of first place. It was the fifth win in as many head-to-head games for Unics, which was in front 50-68 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and then held off Banvit’s strong finish to the game. Keith Langford and Arturas Milaknis each had 23 points in victory. Steaua CSM Eximbank Bucharest edged Trabzonspor Medical Park 76-71 for its historic first-ever Eurocup win. The game went down to the wire in the Romanian capital, but Marko Marinovic hit clutch free throws in the final 23 seconds to secure the victory for Steaua. Titus Nicoara led the winners with 18 points and Denis Ikovlev added 15 on 5-of-6 three-point shooting; Tarence Kinsey scored 21 for Trabzonspor. Aris Thessaloniki handled Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 75-57 for its first victory of the Eurocup season. Aris pulled away early and cruised the rest of the way as Okaro White amassed 15 points plus 15 rebounds and Jerel McNeal scored 17 points.

GROUP E

Zenit St. Petersburg defeated PAOK Thessaloniki 76-66 on Wednesday, and by taking care of business in its Eurocup home opener took sole possession of first place. Zabian Dowdell had 17 points, while Janis Timmas had an all-round effort with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists for Zenit, which never trailed after the second quarter. Avtodor Saratov topped Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul 79-103 and register its first-ever Eurocup win. Avtodor used 5 three-pointers in a 4-19 first-quarter run to grab a double-digit lead and never look back. Malcolm Armstead paced the winners with 17 points and 7 assists, and Travis Peterson collected 16 points plus 9 rebounds. On Tuesday, Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius stormed past Szolnoki Olaj 65-89 for its first win of the new Eurocup season. Deividas Gailius paced the Rytas attack with 19 points, Arturas Gugaitis grabbed 10 rebounds and Mindaugas Lukauskas dished 8 assists.

GROUP F

Two teams remain perfect through two games in Group F. Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul routed AEK Athens 89-65 in a game it led from start to finish. Eighteen unanswered points scored by the home team bridging the first two quarters gave it a huge 31-11 lead just two and a half minutes into the second quarter. A 16-0 charge in the third quarter essentially iced the game. Errick McCollum led Galatasaray with 25 points and 5 assists and Huseyn Koksal was perfect on 5 three-point shots en route to 21 points. In a battle between previously undefeated teams, Nizhny Novgorod bested Krasny Oktaybr Volgograd 73-78 in Moscow, Russia. Dmitry Khvostov led the winners with 15 points and Semen Antonov added 13. JaJuan Johnson led Krasny with 26 points. Krasny led 75-71 with 55 seconds left, but Victor Rudd had 5 points, including a critical three-point play, in a 0-7 run that sealed the outcome in crunch time. Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem defeated visiting Neptunas Klaipeda 74-59 in the Israeli capital. The hosts opened an 11-point lead in the second quarter and used a 10-3 spurt in the third to take a 55-41 lead. Neptunas was not going away, but never got closer than 58-51 the rest of the way. E.J. Rowland paced the hosts with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, and Donta Smith had 16 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

Eurocup Basketball