After a tight opening week saw eight of 12 games decided by single digits, the 2014-15 Turkish Airlines Euroleague regular season promises more emotions in Round 2. Only three teams - CSKA Moscow, Unicaja Malaga and Olympiacos Piraeus - were able to win away from home last week, proving that road triumphs will be hard to get - and very valuable. Three teams - PGE Turow Zgorzelec, Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari and Neptunas Klaipeda - make their Euroleague home debuts this week, and another - former Euroleague champion Limoges CSP - plays before its own fans in the continent's top competition for the first time since 1998. Six games will be played on Thursday, followed by six more on Friday.
Qualifying rounds survivor Unics Kazan (0-1) takes on back-to-back Euroleague finalist and eight-time continental champion Real Madrid (1-0) in a big showdown. The teams face each other for the first time since the 2006-07 ULEB Cup semifinals, which Madrid won on points differential and on its way to the titlte and the club's last continental trophy to date. Unics has a 2-0 home record historically against Los Blancos and its center, D'or Fischer, played the 2011 Final Four with Madrid. Host Zalgiris Kaunas (0-1) plays Nizhny Novgorod (1-0) for the first Euroleague game between them. Nizhny head coach Ainars Bagatskis played for and coached Zalgiris last decade. In a never-seen-before showdown, Dinamo Banco di Sargena Sassari (0-1) will be looking for a historic first win as it welcomes Anadolu Efes Istanbul (1-0) for the first Euroleague game in Sardinia. All three games will be played on Friday.
Revenge for a late loss in last season's semifinals was sweet on Thursday as CSKA Moscow blew out visiting champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 99-80
to stay undefeated. The expected showdown turned into a runaway as CSKA could do no wrong in a 32-13 third quarter and protected big leads the rest of the way. Andrey Vorontsevich was the catalyst early for CSKA and finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, leading CSKA's devastating 45-25 advantage on the boards. Sonny Weems led all scorers with 18 points. On Friday, Limoges CSP (0-1) takes on Cedevita Zagreb (0-1) as both teams look for their first win. The Euroleague returns for the first time since February 11, 1988 to Limoges, whose fans had to wait for 6,100 days to see the best European basketball in the city, but the time is now. Also on Friday, Unicaja Malaga (1-0) hosts ALBA Berlin (0-1) in what promises to be a big battle. Unicaja is 5-1 against Alba, whose only win came in Malaga (55-68) last season.
In the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Game of the Week, FC Bayern Munich outlasted Panathinaikos Athens 81-75
in the first ever official game ever between the two teams on Thursday at Audi Dome. The hosts took charge in the fourth quarter, and Dusko Savanovic hit 5 three-pointers, including a pair in the final 2 minutes, to lift Bayern to victory. Savanovic finished with 20 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting, Djedovic followed with 14 points while Esteban Batista led the Greens with 18 points plus 7 rebounds. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul downed PGE Turow Zgorzelec 76-91
in Lubin, Poland, improving to 2-0 behind Andrew Goudelock’s 27 points. Fenerbahce opened the game with 0-13 run, and never relinquished the lead. A three-pointer by Damian Kulig brought Turow within 73-78 with three minutes left, but Goudelock and Jan Vesely stepped up in crunch time for Fenerbahce victory. Kulig had 23 points with 8 rebounds for the hosts. FC Barcelona took care of EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 63-78
on the road to remain unbeaten. Behind Alex Abrines outside and Tibor Pleiss inside, Barcelona opened an 18-point lead in the second quarter and never looked back. Abrines netted 5 of 5 triples for 21 points and Pleiss scored 16 without missing a single shot, and grabbed 6 boards.
Thursday was a day to remember in basketball-crazy Lithuania. Valdas Vasylius banked in a shot with 3.2 seconds left as Neptunas Klaipeda edged Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 83-81
for its first-ever Turkish Airlines Euroleague victory. Neptunas took a double digit lead with an outside shooting clinic in the first half, but Zvezda rallied to come back and set up the dramatic finish. Deividas Gailius netted 14 of his 19 points in the first half, and also grabbed 7 rebounds for the winners. Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul held on late to beat Valencia Basket 71-64
after leading by as many as 28 points in the first half on Thursday at Abdi Ipekci Arena. The hosts took over with a 23-2 tear that bridged the first and second quarters en route to a lead that peaked at 45-17, but the second half was a different story. Luke Harangody hit a few key baskets and eventually drew the visitors within 5 with a minute and a half remaining. However Galatasaray managed to hang on. Carlos Arroyo led Galatasaray with 16 points and 5 assists. Two Euroleague classics face off in Greece as Olympiacos Piraeus (1-0) welcomes Laboral Kutxa Vitoria (1-0) on Friday, in what will be their 25th Euroleague meeting. Olympiacos leads the all-time series 13-11 and won 6 of their last 7 matchups.
Follow all the action as it happens live on the Euroleague's official twitter account, @Euroleague, on LiveBasketball.tv, on many other television networks around the world and, of course, right here on Euroleague.net!