CSKA Moscow and Panathinaikos victorious in EuroLeague opener

CSKA Moscow decimated Barcelona and Panathinaikos edged Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the opening day of the EuroLeague.

The Muscovites outscored their opponents 30-12 in the second quarter to take a 22-point lead (51-29). Although the Catalans cut the deficit to 11 (69-58), CSKA responded and cruised to an easy victory over the “Blaugrana” (95-75).

Cory Higgins and Nando De Colo led the way for the winners, with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Will Clyburn contributed 13 points and nine rebounds. On the other hand, Kyle Kuric had 15 points for Barcelona.

In an exciting game in Athens, Panathinaikos played better in the fourth quarter and beat Maccabi Tel-Aviv (89-84).

The hosts made a great start to the game (13-2), but the Israelis turned things around and close the first quarter down by just two (26-24).

Things remained the same later (46-45, 70-67), but the “Greens” went on a 12-4 run and never looked back (82-71). Maccabi tried to come back again (87-82), but came up short and were defeated.

Matt Lojeski scored 20 points for the six-time EuroLeague champions and Keith Langford added 13. Nick Calathes had eight points, on just 3/13 shooting, yet he dished 14 assists.

Scottie Wilbekin made a great performance for the Israeli powerhouse, with 24 points and eight assists. Michael Roll contributed 15 points and Tarik Black 14 for the losing squad.