In a night of celebration in Belgrade with the announcement of the EuroLeague Final Four will be heading to the Kombank Arena in 2018, the hometown Crvena Zvezda added to the party with a 76-65 win over Barcelona in front of a sell-out 18,150.
However, they started the game off slowly, falling behind 16-9 after the first quarter as Brad Oleson hit a contested three at the end of the opening period. But Red Star fought back in the following spell to take a 40-31 advantage at the half.
From there, it was one-way traffic as Barcelona seemed to be put off by the ferocious home support throughout. Crvena Zvezda quickly established a double-digit lead and from there, secured the win which improves them to 2-1, while Barca fall to 1-2 and with more injury concerns as Pau Ribas was taken off in the second quarter.
“It’ a big, big game for us, big win for the city, the crowd for everybody in Serbia,” said Marko Guduric, who shined with a career-high 21 points for the victors.
“After a bad first quarter, we picked up our defense and were able to score some easy baskets and at the end we won. That’s the most important thing.
Fenerbahce continue their unbeaten start to the new EuroLeague season with an impressive 82-68 win at home to Zalgiris.
Ekpe Udoh and Jan Vesely led the winners with 14 points each as the Turkish side go joint top of the table along with the only other undefeated side CSKA Moscow.
Leo Westermann led Zalgiris with 15 points as they fall to 1-2.
Xavi Pascual began life at Panathinaikos with a win, but he needed Nick Calathes to rescue him as his score with 3.5 seconds left gave the Greek side an 84-83 win over Brose Baskets.
Panathinaikos fought from a 10-point deficit in order to claim the victory with Calathes proving to be the saviour. He scored 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Greek giants, who move to 2-1, while Bamberg drop to 1-2.
“Heart. Never give up,” Calathes said. “That’s what this team’s about. We’ve been through a little bit early in the season. But we just battle back and fight back and we have a team that believes.”
Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv finally secured their first win of the EuroLeague season by beating Galatasaray 98-92, leaving the Turkish side still searching for their first taste of success in the campaign.
The loss though is harsh on Galatasaray, as they enjoyed the lead for large portions of the game and even broke their club record for three-pointers with 15, but it’s the final result that ultimately matters and Maccabi got the job done with Sonny Weems leading the way with 23 points.
“It was very important win, especially after everything going down this week,” said Weems. “We have been working hard since we got here, and I think we deserved the win.”