Jamel McLean came to the rescue for EA7 Milano as his last second block ensured a narrow 99-97 win over Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv.
McLean deflected an attempted lay-up from Sylven Landesberg on the final buzzer as Milano just about defended their 72-65 advantage that they had held heading into the final quarter.
“We played really well on offence, but defence is the problem, highlighted Ricky Hickman, who led Milano with 22 points against his former club.
“We definitely have to get better at that if we want to be serious this year. We definitely have to look at the film and make some adjustments. Me, personally, I like to compete on defence. Whatever it takes, if I have to guard their best player or try to slow something down, I am going to give it my all, being there to help my team.”
Andrew Goudelock paced Maccabi with a game-high 27 points on his EuroLeague return.
EuroLeague champions CSKA Moscow silenced the raucous 9,800 inside the Abdi Ipecki with a comfortable 109-84 win to open their season with a victory.
The Muscovites raced out to an early 28-17 lead after the first quarter thanks to the deadly duo of Nando De Colo and Milos Teodosic, and despite the Turkish side cutting the gap to five points late on in the third quarter, CSKA simply responded with a 9-0 run to start the final period to seal the win.
De Colo led the way with 22 points, while Teodosic impressed with a 20-point, 11-assist double-double.
Sinan Guler led the way for Galatasaray with 16 points.
Darussafaka Dogus led for just two minutes, but that was all that they needed to edge Crvena Zvezda 73-70 in an intense showdown in Belgrade.
The hosts, who led by as many as 16 points will see this as an opportunity missed, even if this is the first game. Darussafaka are considered one of the EuroLeague’s stronger teams and beating them would have been a huge result this early in the competition.
Will Clyburn, had a stellar debut in the competition by scoring 13 of his game-high 19 points in the second half.
A relived Darussafaka Dogus’ Dairis Bertans, after his side’s narrow win in Belgrade.
The first one is in the books! Glad we got that win in one of the toughest courts in europe!! #Euroleague
— Dairis Bertāns (@DairisBertans) October 13, 2016
From a fan’s standpoint, GSHoops summed up Galatasaray’s defensive performance against champions CSKA Moscow with this brilliant tweet. (A joy to follow on Twitter, by the way)
Something that EuroLeague Adventures writer Rob Scott agreed with (He did correct himself later. De Colo: 22 points)
24 for Nando and does he even need to shower? Galatasaray won't have to play CSKA every week but will have to play defense at some point
— Rob Scott (@robscott33) October 13, 2016
New look, new logo and new kit for EA7 Milano. But there is someone that isn’t feeling it.
For a team sponsored by a Armani, Milano sure do have some ugly kit.
— george. (@georgerowland) October 13, 2016