2018-19Top 16Round 1
January 02, 2019 CET: 20:00
Local time: 20:00 ALEKSANDAR NIKOLIC HALL

Zvezda powers past Limoges

Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade made a winning start to the Top 16 by withstanding a spirited comeback from CSP Limoges to gain an 83-71 victory at a noisy Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in the capital of Serbia. Zvezda raced into a double-digit lead before the end of the first quarter and led the rest of the way, although Limoges kept on fighting and briefly trailed by just 2 points in both the third and fourth quarters. The Serbian champion was paced by 13 points and 4 assists from Billy Baron, while Filip Covic scored all 12 of his points in the final quarter to help seal the deal. Maik Zirbes and Borisa Simanic both scored 11 and Stratos Perperoglou added 10. Dwight Hardy led all scorers by netting 20 points for Limoges, while William Howard and Axel Bouteille added 11 in defeat.

Baron, Zirbes and Bouteille all scored twice as both teams made smooth starts on offense before Joe Ragland netted a couple of driving layups, a triple and a pair of free throws to give Zvezda a 17-11 edge. Hardy tried to keep his team in touch with 9 first-quarter points, but Baron and Zirbes scored again for a 25-16 lead at the end of the first quarter. Perperoglou netted a triple to start the second and Simanic extended the lead to 31-19 from close range. Howard answered from long range, but Simanic and Michael Ojo scored and Baron returned from the bench with a catch-and-shoot jumper as Limoges continued to struggle on offense. Bouteille and Hardy struck to fix the halftime score at 40-32. Howard and Isaiah Miles connected early in the second half as Limoges fought back to a 2-point gap, but Ojo and Simanic both scored twice to keep their team in front. A three-point play from Marko Keselj helped make it 58-53 at the end of the third, despite 4 quick points from Samardo Samuels. Jonathan Rousselle scored twice at the start of the final quarter to make it again a 2-point game, but Covic struck from deep, Zirbes from close-range and Keselj from downtown for a 68-58 edge. A three-point play and a triple from Covic retained a comfortable gap and Perperoglou's long-range strike dispelled any lingering doubts despite another pair of deep strikes from Hardy.

First-quarter offense sets Zvezda on the right path

Zvezda set the right tone by making a superb start on offense, racking up 25 points in the first quarter to establish a lead that Limoges was never able to overcome. During that highly-efficient opening stanza, the home side converted 8 of 10 attempts from two-point territory, made 2 of 5 from three-point range and 3 of 4 free throws, while dishing 7 assists and committing only 1 turnover.

On-the-rise Simanic continues to shine

The game saw another step forward from rising Zvezda star Borisa Simanic, who showcased an impressive array of talents by playing a key role in his team's victory. The 20-year-old finished the regular season with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals against Galatasaray and he was in a similar livewire mode on this occasion by doing a bit of everything, registering 11 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 3 blocked shots.

Hardy strong in defeat for Limoges

One Limoges player who did not deserve to lose was Dwight Hardy, the game's leading scorer with 20 points, including 4-of-6 three-pointers. He also made 3 of 4 from two-point range and dished 2 assists, spending nearly 32 minutes on the floor – more than any other player.

Next round

Limoges will play its first home game of the Top 16 with next week's visit of Valencia Basket and Zvezda will seek a second straight win with a tough trip to Unicaja Malaga.

Billy Baron - Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade (photo Zvezda) - EC18
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Eurocupbasketball.com
Referees: PERUGA, CARLOS; PAPAPETROU, PETROS; VYKLICKY, ROBERT
Attendance: 5897
By Quarter1234
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade25151825
Limoges CSP16162118
End of Quarter1234
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade25405883
Limoges CSP16325371
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 RAGLAND, JOE 23:06 9 2/6 1/2 2/2   1 1 5   3   1 2 1 5
3 COVIC, FILIP 16:46 12 1/1 3/7 1/1   1 1 6         2 3 16
4 KESELJ, MARKO 15:38 9 1/1 2/4 1/1 1 2 3   1 1     1 1 10
5 PERPEROGLOU, STRATOS 26:38 10 1/4 2/6 2/4 1 7 8 4         1 3 15
7 DAVIDOVAC, DEJAN 17:11     0/2 0/2 2 1 3 6   1     1 1 4
9 NENADIC, NEMANJA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 LAZIC, BRANKO 13:30     0/1         1         2   -2
12 BARON, BILLY 22:49 13 5/5 1/2     5 5 4           1 22
14 RISTIC, DUSAN 4:22   0/1                     1 1 -1
22 SIMANIC, BORISA 24:36 11 4/4 1/3   2 4 6 1 1 1 3   4 2 17
33 ZIRBES, MAIK 23:08 11 5/9   1/2 2 1 3 1   3 1 1 2 1 6
50 OJO, MICHAEL 12:16 8 3/3   2/6 2 1 3 1         2 4 10
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 83 22/34 10/27 9/18 11 25 36 29 2 9 4 2 18 18 105
        64.7% 37% 50%
Head coach: TOMIC, MILAN
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Limoges CSP
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 INGLIS, DAMIEN 15:09 1     1/2   3 3 1   2     3 1  
1 HARDY, DWIGHT 31:53 20 3/4 4/6 2/3   2 2 3 1 2     1 1 20
5 ROUSSELLE, JONATHAN 13:35 5 1/1 1/4     1 1 2   1     3 2 3
11 TAYLOR, JORDAN 26:25 5 1/5 1/4   1   1 7 1     1 3 1 4
13 BAZILLE, TIMOTHEE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 MILES, ISAIAH 22:30 8 2/5 1/5 1/2   2 2 1 1 3 1 1 1 2 2
16 BOUTSIELE, JERRY 20:08 3 1/4   1/1 2 6 8 1   1     1 2 9
24 SAMUELS, SAMARDO 19:52 7 2/6   3/4 2 2 4 1   2   1 2 5 7
42 HOWARD, WILLIAM 30:36 11 1/2 3/5   1 1 2 4 1       3 1 13
83 BOUTEILLE, AXEL 19:52 11 1/3 2/3 3/4   4 4 1     1 1 1 2 13
Team           2   2               2
Totals 200:00 71 12/30 12/27 11/16 8 21 29 21 4 11 2 4 18 17 73
        40% 44.4% 68.8%
Head coach: PERONNET, FRANCOIS

Head Coaches

TOMIC, MILAN
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
“It was very difficult for us to play this game, Limoges are a good team and you can’t relax even for two minutes. The players from the bench played good and changed the rhythm of the game, especially Covic. Congratulations to my team.”
PERONNET, FRANCOIS
Limoges CSP
"We knew and expect this type of game. We didn't start well, especially on defense. We took a lot of three-point shots, but that was what the Crvena Zvezda defense gave us. They move the ball very well, they are a very well balanced team at every position. This round is a very big learning experience for us. Congratulations to Crvena Zvezda."

Players

BARON, BILLY
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
“It wasn’t easy, but our guys came off the bench and really sparked us. Any win in the Top 16 is a good win, home or away. We need our fans every step of the way, against Valencia and Malaga here we’re going to need every one of them.”
OJO, MICHAEL
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
“I’m proud of our guys coming together, it was a tough one but we came through.”