Week 1 resume of all the 14 games played in this Wednesday night.
Bilbao Arena was the place for the game of the week (Group B) in this Eurocup Week 1, where the hosts beat the Montenegrin champions Buducnost, 85-78. Lamont Hamilton was the MVP of the game with a double double (20 points and 10 boards) well seconded by the Greek players Nikos Zisis and Kostas Vasiliadis who both scored in double digits.
On the Buducnost side, the American with Swedish passport Gerald Lee was the main guy with 17 points and 5 rebounds for a 21 PIR.
The Spanish tem trailed by 15 points early in the third quarter but made a huge comeback to tie the game at 71-71 leading to an overtime thriller where the more experienced team grabbed the win.
In the other game of this group, the perennial Bulgarian champions got an easy win at home against Belgacom Spirou Basket by 18 points (93-75).
The host team had 5 players scoring in double digits with Darryl Watkins being named the MVP of the match while Derrick Allen was the offensive power in the Belgian side with 17 points. The game was well controlled by Lukoil Academia Sofia putting an impressive display especially on the offensive end.
Going to Group A, BC Prienai and CEZ Nymbruk grabbed their first wins of the season against Hapoel Jerusalem and BC Kiev respectively, at home.
Prienai hosted the Israeli team and beat 85-72 with young forward Gediminas Orelik putting an incredible stat sheet with 26 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists for the home team.
In Czech Republic, the home team got their first win 91-78 with a 30-8 run between both second and third quarters to create the gap that gave them a comfortable lead that was controlled until the end of the game. Petr Benda with 5-5 from 3 point territory was the player of the game scoring 17 points for Nymburk.
In group C, VEF Riga with a crucial road win against Artland Dragons 72-82 while BC Triumph got the same luck playing in France against Le Mans, winning 71-76.
With an enthusiastic German crowd, Artland din’t start well the game giving the lead to VEF Riga since the first minute something that motivated the Latvian team to start well their campaign. Bertans, the older brother was the most interesting player in the game with 18 points (4-7 from 3 point range).
At Antares, the Russians BC Triumph started their Eurocup caimpaign with a road win against Le Mans where the visitors had a 17 point lead that was cut to only 2 in the third quarter after a 15-0 run by the French team. But after that the Moscow team went again in a run to win the game and claim the first win. In his Eurocup debut Sergey Karasev was the MVP of the game with 27 points and 6 rebounds (6 of 7 from 3 point).
Going to Group E, powerhouse Galatasary Medical Park trashed Trefl Sopot 65-94 making a statement in a tough group where Lokomotiv Kuban had a tremendous win on the road beating BC Donetsk 75-78.
Trefl is trying new levels getting a new experience at European top levels while Galatasary is a pure contender to the title this year. With that said, the Turkish team had an easy game veteran Boniface N’Dong being the man of the match scoring 14 points and 6 rebounds.
In Ukraine, two of the best teams of this year battled for their first win in Eurocup. Lokomotiv has a lot of well-known players like Jasaitis, Calathes, Kalniets and Maric and bested a very strong Donetsk team with Lithuanian point guard Mantas Kalnietis getting the MVP scoring 17 points and dishing 8 assists. On the losing side, Ramel Curry had 23 and 5.
Group F is the next, where Telenet Oostende put some impressive numbers against Panionis Athens in their opener in an 84-65 win while Unics Kazan stole their first road win 67-74 against Stelmet Zielona Gora.
The Belgian team never trailed in their first game of this year competition and beat a well-recognized Greek team with Matt Lojesky leading the way for Oostende 22 points and 7 rebounds.
Kazan’s last run in Eurocup was tremendous and they are going strong this year again and what a better start to have to win on the road in a tough match. Kostas Kaimakoglu had 19 points and 5 rebounds and 17 points and 6 steals for the Russians.
In Group G, Spartak St. Petersburg became the first team to get a win on the road downing KK Cibona Zagreb 56-64. The other game of the group saw Ratiopharm Ulm “murdering” Chole Basket on the road with a 22 point win (71-93)
The Russians from St. Petersburg beat a Cibona team in full reconstruction, where Zach Wright and Josh Carter led the winners both with 13 points.
On their Eurocup debut, Ratiopharm put on a fantastic display on the offensive end against last year’s Euroleague team Chole Basket where Allan Ray scored 25 points in only 23 minutes for the Germans.
To end this Week 1 Round Up in Eurocup we got Group H where Crvena Zvezda Belgrade won easily against New Orleans at home 93-73 while Banco Di Sardgena beat Cajasol Sevilla in possibly one of the top games in this first round of the competition.
At Hala Pionir, Crvena Zvezda Belgrade had Mike Scott and Boris Savovic as their best players recording an index rating of 26 while Caleb Green with 17 and 7 was the only player in good form for the French team.
In Italy, Sardegna had Bootsy Thornton in an incredible form single beating the Spaniards with 26 points and 4 rebounds. On the losing side Cajasol had 4 players in double digits but it wasn’t enough.