CSKA Moscow won the first ever all-Russian Euroleague showdown with Lokomotiv Kuban 84-77 but needed a session of overtime to get the victory.
Milos Teodosic led the winners with 16 points as CSKA start Group F of the top 16 with a win, but they were made to work for it by the Eurocup champions. Vitaly Fridzon and Victor Khryapa each added 15 in the victory.
“It was a showdown of two very strong Russian teams,” Khryapa said afterwards. “The difference between us is that we’re proving our status for many years already while Lokomotiv is playing it’s first season in the Euroleague.”
Lokomotiv though nearly got one over on their Russian counterparts, for so long CSKA has been the king of Russian basketball and they were so close to getting the win. After leveling it up at 71-71 to force overtime, the momentum was indeed on the hosts’ side. Unfortunately, Teodosic was on form and was not letting this game slip away from the domestic league champions.
Derrick Brown led Lokomotiv Kuban with 13 points.
The other game in Group F saw Bayern Munich hit ten three-pointers on their way to a comfortable 84-66 win over Zalgiris in Kaunas.
Malcolm Delaney led Bayern with 14 points, yet he didn’t register a single triple on the night. German international Heiko Schaffartzik added 12, as he drained four three-pointers. As a team, the visitors shot 47 percent from outside.
Afterwards, Bayern Munich coach Svetislav Pesic was pleased with how the team handled Zalgiris’ main scoring threat Justin Dentmon, who led the Lithuanian side with 12 points, but was made to work for all his buckets. Dentmon was the only player in double figures for the hosts.
“I am happy to win here in Lithuania, in basketball country,” Pesic said. “Today we were very motivated and concentrated. We made good decisions. We managed to slow down Dentmon, who is a very good player and a great shooter. Today he only made his first three-point shot, but later we defended him well.
“Also our team defence was great tonight. Especially for 25 minutes and it allowed us to gain confidence. It is our first victory in the Top 16, but I hope not the last.”
In the night’s only Group E game, Vassilis Spanoulis was in inspired form as he led Euroleague holders Olympiacos to a 95-82 win over Fenerbahce in Greece.
Spanoulis led all scorers with 28 points and dished out 9 assists in what was the performance of the first round of Top 16 encounters. With this win, the Reds stay unbeaten in the competition this season.
“The game was very attractive for the fans and I think that everybody enjoyed it,” Olympiacos coach Georgios Bartzokas said. “Watching the statistics I would like to underline that we had only 4 turnovers and we dished 20 assists, which is an impressive combination and proves the concentration and the altruism of our players.
“I think that we read very well the defensive tactics of Mr. Obradovic and we played a very aggressive game. In such a competition and with consecutive games you have to forget as soon as possible the previous game and get prepared for the next one.”
Emir Preldzic led the Turks with 17 points.