Regular Season Round 2: Comeback and club records!
After the excitement of the second week of the competition, six teams remain undefeated, while one regular season group has all its teams tied at 1-1 record. Round 2 was an especially solid week for home teams, which snatched nine wins with five of them coming in come-from-behind fashion, with teams rallying from a double-digit deficits. We also saw two teams set club records in scoring!
All three winners in Group A overcame large deficits before triumphing. In a battle between EuroCup newcomers, Fiat Turin won its first home game by beating MoraBanc Andorra 92-86 at PalaRuffini on Tuesday. The victory kept Fiat atop Group A with a 2-0 record, while Andorra fell to 0-2. It was a back and forth game with Andorra leading by 14 in the second quarter before Fiat rallied to close the gap and then scored 33 in the third quarter to take control. Lamar Patterson paved the way with 19 points and Trevor Mbakwe posted 15 points and 11 rebounds for the winners. UNICS Kazan took charge in the second half to beat Levallois Metropolitans 76-68 on Wednesday at Basket Hall. UNICS retained a share of first place in Group A at 2-0, while Levallois dropped its second straight game. Jamar Smith produced 18 points and 4 steals to lead the hosts, Stephane Lasme scored 17, Melvin Ejim added 14 and Quino Colom recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 assists. UNICS took great care of the ball by dishing 23 assists and committing just 6 turnovers. Klemen Prepelic led Levallois with 21 points, but only 4 of those came in the second half as the visitors were limited to 22 points over the final 20 minutes. Darussafaka Istanbul edged visiting Cedevita Zagreb 85-83 to improve to 2-0, while Cedevita dropped to 0-2. The visitors opened a 13-point lead in the second quarter and still had an 11-point margin midway through the third, but Darussafaka erased the deficit early in the fourth quarter and then held on in a back-and-fourth thrilling finish. Scottie Wilbekin led the hosts with 23 points and 5 assists, while big man JaJuan Johnson had 20 points and 7 rebounds.
FC Bayern Munich used a 28-0 first half run to grab a comfortable 93-57 victory at home over Lietkabelis Panevezys and improve to 2-0. Nihad Dedovic led the way for the hosts with 15 points as one of five Bayern scorers in double figures. Zanis Peiners scored Lietkabelis’ first 11 points and ended up with 14 points as the Lithuanian club dropped to 1-1 in the group. In a hard-fought battle that went down to the wire, Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia registered its first win in Group B by downing Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul 74-71 at home on Wednesday. Reggio Emilia improved to 1-1, while Galatasaray, the 2015-16 7DAYS EuroCup champion, dropped to 0-2. Amedeo Della Valle led the winners with 27 points on 6-of-11 three-point shooting including a pair in the final minutes to seal the outcome. Jalen Reynolds added 23 points and 14 rebounds. Scotty Hoppson led Galatasaray with 18 points. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica outlasted Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem 81-86 in the Israeli capital on Tuesday in the first meeting ever between the longtime EuroCup sides. The win marked Buducnost’s first road win in the EuroCup since October 2014 and its best start to a EuroCup season ever. Nikola Ivanovic paced the Montenegrin champs with 19 points, Filip Barovic added 13 points and 9 rebounds and Nemanja Gordic recorded 13 points and 6 assists for the winners, who led by as many as 16 before Jerusalem rallied late.
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar stayed undefeated in Group C by downing ALBA Berlin 75-59 at home on Wednesday. Lokomotiv improved to 2-0 in Group C, while ALBA dropped to 1-1. Chris Babb led the winners with 20 points on 5-of-6 three-point shooting and Joe Ragland added 18 for Lokomotiv. Brian Clifford paced ALBA with 10 points. Lokomotiv trailed early, but Ragland and an outstanding Babb allowed the hosts to keep full control of the game throughout the second half for a well-deserved win. With seven players scoring in double figures, Limoges CSP spent almost all 40 minutes with the lead and eventually held off REATbet Bilbao Basket for a 91-98 road win on Wednesday. Limoges set the club’s single-game record for points scored in a EuroCup game as big man Mam Jaiteh paced the team with 17 points and 3 blocks. Loukas Mavrokefalidis and Jimmy Baron combined for all the points in a 0-11 run late in the fourth quarter that lifted Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius to an 80-91 come-from-behind victory over Partizan NIS Belgrade at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall. Rokas Giedraitis scored a career-high 28 points - 12 more than his previous best – on 5-of-8 three-point shooting to pace Rytas, which improved to 1-1 in the EuroCup this season, while sending Partizan to 0-2 and the Group C basement. Mavrokefalidis finished with 26 points. Patrick Miller led Partizan with 24 points.
History was made Tuesday in Group D as Tofas Bursa collected its first-ever EuroCup victory and ASVEL Villeurbanne smashed some club records. Tofas defeated Herbalife Gran Canaria 98-94 in front of its fans behind a big game from Yigit Arslan, who nailed 7 three-pointers for 21 points to lead five Tofas scorers in double figures. Josh Owens posted 16 points and 8 rebounds for the winners, who made 11 of 22 three-pointers (50%). ASVEL routed visiting ratiopharm Ulm 108-77 and shattered club records for scoring: 108 points, 10 more than its previous best; 17 three-pointers made, 5 more than ever before; and a performance index rating of 130, which was 8 better than before. John Roberson led six double-digit ASVEL scorers with 21 points and his buzzer-beaters at the end of the first two quarters pretty much summed up the evening. After a rough start, Zenit St Petersburg regrouped to defeat visiting Dolomiti Energia Trento 81-70 for its first win of the EuroCup season. Trento led by as many as 11 before Kyle Kuric drilled 3 three-pointers in as many minutes of the second quarter to make it a game. Trento was still within a point, 71-70, with 3:11 to play, but Zenit scored the next and last 10 to dodge the upset threat. Demonte Harper had 22 points and 6 assists to lead Zenit and Drew Gordon posted 16 points and 14 rebounds. All six teams in Group D have 1-1 records.
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