Union Olimpija Ljubljana shocked Mapooro Cantu with an 84-71 road win at the Pala Desio as the Euroleague season got underway.
Dylan Page led Union Olimpija with 17 points as the Slovenian side broke free in the third quarter to take a 59-53 lead, heading in to the fourth period. From there, the visitors extended their advantage as the Italian side grew fatigued.
Aron Baynes supported Page with 16 points for Union Olimpija.
Fan favourite Pietro Aradori led the charge for Cantu with 16 points.
Reigning Euroleague champions Olympiacos started with a win by seeing-off Caja Laboral 85-81 at home.
Georgios Printezis led the Greeks with 17 points, including three triples as Olympiacos recovered from a poor first quarter to lead 48-37 at the half after restricting the Spaniards to 14 points in the second while scoring 30 points themselves.
Olympiacos’ Joey Dorsey, who managed seven points in 10 minutes on court while being in constant foul trouble said: “We won at the end of the day, this is the most important thing. We had a good and effective transition game, but I committed two fouls in the beginning of the game and that affected my playing time and performance.”
Caja Laboral were led by Polish international Maciej Lampe’s 18 points.
Last season’s beaten finalists CSKA Moscow edged Lietuvos Rytas 75-73 but were made to work hard for the win.
CSKA have Sonny Weems to thank for the victory as he scored six points and blocked a shot in the final 1:09 of the game. Renaldas Seibutis still had a chance to win it for Lietuvos Rytas, but his three at the end was off.
Former Zalgiris man Weems led CSKA Moscow with 14 points while Seibutis led all scorers for the Vilnius outfit with 19.
“Obviously it was a very difficult game,” CSKA coach Ettore Messina said. “We can say that the opponents were close to the win due to their team effort and we won the game because of key individual performance. If you look at the stats, you can see that we had five players score 10 points and more and one other player who scored nine. Usually that says something about a good team game.”
Fenerbahce began their Euroleague campaign with a comfortable 92-80 win over BC Khimki in Istanbul, thanks largely in part to 21-11 second quarter, which ballooned the Turkish side’s lead at the half to 46-36.
Emir Preldzic led Fenerbahce with 20 points, supported by Bo McCalebb’s 17. Khimki were led by Zoran Planinic’s 17 points.
16 points from Ricky Hickman and vital contributions from Lior Eliiyahu, who hit 15 and David Logan, who got 14 were enough to earn Maccabi Electra an 85-80 win away at Unicaja Malaga.
Earl Calloway led all scorers in vain for the Liga Endesa side with 25 points.
French side Elan Chalon beat Asseco Prokom 81-74 thanks to 17 points each from Ilian Evtimov and Brion Rush while the Polish giants were fronted by Lukasz Koszarek’s 14 points and seven rebounds.
Zalgiris opened up their Euroleague play with a convincing 90-62 win over Cedevita Zagreb. Paulis Jankunas led the Lithuanians with 20 points.