Regular Season, Round 2: Only three teams stand at 2-0
Round 2 of the 7DAYS EuroCup saw half of the games decided by 5 points or less, and five teams win away from home. In a clash between the first two champions of the competition, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem became only the second team in EuroCup Regular Season history to come out victorious from Valencia.
In the Round 2 opener on Tuesday, Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas cruised past Nizhny Novgorod 80-106 on the road. It was Gran Canaria’s third-highest scoring game in the competition history, and second-highest on the road, which improved the team to 2-0 and in a share of first place in Group A. For Nizhny, this was the first game of this 7 DAYS EuroCup campaign. The visitors took control and opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter and went on to hold a 15-point margin at halftime. In the third quarter Gran Canaria’s lead twice broke the 20-point barrier, before a 2-18 fourth quarter run finished off the hosts. Kyle Kuric netted 20 points on 6-for-8 three-point shooting to pace six Gran Canaria scorers in double figures and Eulis Baez had 19 points in victory. On Wednesday, newcomer Lietkabelis Panevezys held off Cedevita Zagreb on the road 76-80, to join Gran Canaria atop of the group with 2-0 records. Lietkabelis led for most of the night and sealed the deal when Donatas Tarolis slammed home a put-back with 13 seconds to go. Cedevita dropped to 0-2. Zygimantas Skucas led the winners with 22 points, while Miro Bilan had 16 points for the hosts.
In a rematch of the 2009-10 EuroCup semifinals, ALBA Berlin improved to 2-0 by downing Dominion Bilbao Basket 77-85 on the road on Wednesday. ALBA remained undefeated due to its excellent three-point shooting percentage, hitting 12 of its 23 attempts from downtown. Dominique Johnson led the winners with 21 points, Elmedin Kikanovic added 15 and Peyton Siva had 14 points and 7 assists. The game was tied at 71-71 with four minutes left and a jump hook by Michael Eric gave the hosts the lead, 75-74, but Engin Atsur struck from downtown and Siva followed an acrobatic layup with free throws for a 77-81 lead with 18 seconds left to seal the outcome. Montakit Fuenlabrada grabbed its first win by edging Khimki Moscow Region 89-85 at home on Wednesday. It was Fuenlabrada's first EuroCup win since January 17, 2003 - the Spanish powerhouse played the competition's original season and did not return for 13 years. Two-time EuroCup champion Marko Popovic paced the winners with 22 points against his former team.
In its first-ever 7DAYS EuroCup game, Unicaja Malaga roared to a big 62-86 road win over Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 62-86 on Wednesday night. Unicaja took control in the first half, with Dejan Musli dominating inside, while Daniel Diez and Adam Waczynski combined to hit 5 three-pointers without a miss. The visitors built a 34-55 lead at halftime and led by as many as 30 points in the fourth quarter for an impressive start in the competition. Jamar Smith paced the winner with 19 points, and Musli scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half. Unicaja stands at 1-0 atop Group C together with Zenit St. Petersburg, which had a bye this week. Later Wednesday, FC Bayern Munich dominated newcomer UCAM Murcia 92-84. Bayern stormed out of the gate, hitting its first 6 three-point attempts in the game. The hosts made 12 of 16 triples before halftime, scored 32 points in the first and 30 points in the second quarter, and held a huge 62-35 lead at halftime. Murcia made a run late in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. Vladimir Lucic finished with 19 points on 4-for-4 shooting from long range for Bayern, while Facundo Campazzo had a double-double of 20 points and 12 assists for Murcia. Both Bayern and Murcia hold 1-1 records.
In a clash between this competition’s first two champions, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem held off Valencia Basket 77-81. The thriller had eight fourth-quarter lead changes after the visitors had led for nearly all of the first three quarters. Jerome Dyson came up with a clutch layup and later a free throw to ice the win. Curtis Jerrells led the winners with 18 points, Dyson finished with 17 and Amare Stoudemire tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds. Rafa Martinez scored 22 points for Valencia, which fell to 1-1. ratiopharm Ulm recorded its first win of the EuroCup season by beating Union Olimpija Ljubljana 87-82 at ratiopharm Arena. Ulm evened its record at 1-1, while Olimpija saw its record fall to 0-2. Raymar Morgan stood out with 15 points for the winners, who needed a 10-0 fourth-quarter run to pull away after Brandon Jefferson shot the visitors back into the game. Jefferson led Olimpija with 28 points and set a team record by with 8 three-pointers.
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