Zalgiris get deserved win in Izmir, Euroleague hangover

Euroleague Basketball

Zalgiris got its second road win of the Euroleague season by edging Pinar Karisyaka Izmir 68-66 in Group C.

A late 6-0 run by the Lithuanian champions handed them a 67-64 lead which they kept for good, despite the Turkish newcomers best efforts. Justin Carter did have a chance to snatch victory from Zalgiris but his potential game-winner smacked the backboard and grazed the rim.

Paulius Jankunas led the winners with 16 points and 10 rebounds with Brock Motum adding 13 points as Zalgiris goes to 2-1. Kenny Gabriel hit 17 but Izmir drops to 1-2.

“I am very happy and I complimented my players for a solid game,” said Zalgiris coach Gintaras Krapikas. “I think in the end we deserved to win. I think it was very important to stop [Karsiyaka’s] fast break because they have a lot of good athletes and are a very strong fast-break running team. And I think we did a great job on that and it was one of the reasons we won the game.”

Barcelona were sublime as they blew by Panathinaikos 77-52 in the other Group C game.

After a slow first quarter, Barcelona showed their dominance by posting an early second quarter 8-0 run as Panathinaikos looked lost on the defensive end. Once the lead grew gradually as the game progressed, the Liga Endesa giants were always comfortable.

“We won by many points and were at a very good defensive level all game long,” Barca coach Xavi Pascual said. “Offensively, we stopped in the third quarter, didn’t circulate the ball well but in general terms, we played an all-around game.”

Justin Doellman led a balanced Barcelona attack with 13 points and six rebounds as the Catalan side improve to 2-1. Panathinaikos drops to 1-2.

In Group B, Cedevita Zagreb handed Anadolu Efes its first loss of the Euroleague season with a stunning 81-75 win in Istanbul.

Trailing for the majority of the contest, Cedevita came alive in the final quarter, with a 14-point turnaround to grab an unlikely win.

Miro Bilan paced Cedevita with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Laboral Kutxa showed no mercy on French side Limoges by hitting 13 three-pointers and forcing 21 turnovers en route to a 107-71 victory.

The Liga Endesa side improves to 2-1, while Limoges drops to 1-2.

“I think we played very good, especially first two quarters,” Laboral Kutxa coach Velimir Perasovic said. “We had only one turnover. When you play on the road against an aggressive team like Limoges, and lose only one ball, and score 60 points, everything is easier. This margin is not a normal difference between two teams, but for us it was a key game. We knew if we win we had more possibilities. After win of Cedevita in Istanbul, everything is open in this group.”

CSKA Moscow remain unbeaten in Group D but were pushed to the limit by Brose Baskets Bamberg, eventually settling for an 83-77 win in the Russian capital.

Nando De Colo had 22 points for CSKA who threw away a 15-point lead at one stage, but responded well to the German side’s pressure to go 3-0.

Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv collected its first win of the season at the third attempt by beating Dinamo Sassari 79-63 in Tel Aviv.

The 2014 Euroleague champions Maccabi improved to 1-2 in Group D. Sassari dropped to 0-3.