ULEB Cup favorite found out just how hard the competition can be when EiffelTowers provided one of the biggest surprises in the history of the competition by beating Real Madrid 84-77 in overtime in Den Bosch, Netherlands, to open Group D with a big home win. EiffelTowers join Crvena Zvezda and Unics Kazan atop the Group D standings at 1-0, while Real Madrid dropped to 0-1. Travis Young paced the winners with 25 points, including 13 in the final period to help force overtime. Leon Rodgers added 16 points and 7 steals, while Kees Akerboom and Ray Weathers each had 10 points for the winners. Axel Hervelle led Real Madrid with 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting. Louis Bullock had 17 points, while Ratko Varda added 10 for the visitors. Madrid looked ready to roll after a 0-10 start, but the hosts came right back and led 38-31 late in the first half. Madrid seemed to have sealed the outcome when Bullock fired in a triple for a 63-68 edge, but Young answered from downtown and Rodgers added a driving layup to force overtime, 68-68. Once in the extra period, Marcel Aarts stepped up with a put-back layup while Young and Akerboom hit two free throws apiece in the final 18 seconds to seal one of the biggest wins in club history.
Varda paced Real Madrid in the early going with consecutive baskets while Marko Tomas scored twice in penetration to force an EiffelTowers timeout at 0-8. Varda scored again, as the hosts missed their opening nine shots and went scoreless for five minutes until James Nelson scored around the basket. Akerboom and Weathers fired in triples to get EiffelTowers going, 8-11, after 7 minutes. Nelson continues to shine with a layup and even when Tomas scored in the paint, Weather fired in his second three-pointer and Rodgers followed with a dunk to give the hosts their first lead, 15-13. Nelson capped a 16-3 EiffelTowers run with a free throw, but an alley-oop layup by Nedzad Sinanovic brought Madrid within 16-15 at the end of the first quarter. Bullock opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, which Rodgers erased with a layup-plus-foul. Madrid tried to slow down the tempo, but EiffelTowers kept its momentum going. Young scored off a steal for a 21-18 lead. Bullock scored in transition, but Young fired in a triple and Nelson hit free throws to give the hosts a 26-21 edge. Madrid could not find the way to the basket, while Robert Owens fired in a jumper which forced the visitors to call timeout at 28-21. Bullock hit free throws, igniting an 0-10 run, in which Hervelle followed a dunk with a fast break layup. Bullock hit a short jumper for a 28-31 Madrid edge as both teams headed to the locker rooms.
Hervelle scored twice around the basket for a 28-35 Madrid lead after the break. Once again, EiffelTowers went scoreless for several minutes while Hervelle dunked it to make it a 9-point game, 28-37. Sharone Wright stepped up with a tip-in, but Varda followed a tough jump hook with a three-point play to keep Madrid ahead, 34-45. Samuel Jones came to the rescue with 5 points in a 10-0 run, which Marcel Aarts capped with free throws to get EiffelTowers within 1, but Tomas beat the buzzer with a triple for a 44-48 Madrid lead after three quarters. Felipe Reyes shined with 6 unanswered points early in the final period to give Madrid a 47-52 lead. Young was not done, however, as he had 5 points in a 8-0 run, in which Rodgers hit from downtown for a 55-52 EiffelTowers lead with under seven minutes to go. Hervelle and Bullock hit free throws for Madrid, and even when Young scored again, Alex Mumbru answered from downtown for a 57-58 Madrid edge. Hervelle scored on a third-chance Madrid offense, but a red hot Young nailed a corner triple for a 60-60 tie. Mumbru hit a running layup at the four-minute mark, but once again Young buried a bomb from downtown, good for a 63-62 EiffelTowers edge. Real Madrid scored 6 straight, including a big Bullock triple to put Madrid in charge, 63-68. Young buried another three-pointer while Rodgers shined with a driving layup to tie it again at 68-68 with 38 seconds to go. Madrid committed a backcourt turnover with 22 seconds remaining but Rodgers missed the final shot in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Venson Hamilton opened the extra period with a short jumper, but Rodgers bettered him with a corner triple, 71-70. Young drew a foul and calmly made free throws, as did Kerem Tunceri did the same to bring Madrid within 73-72. Bullock soon returned to the foul line and give Madrid a 73-74 edge. Akerboom buried a three-pointer from the top of the key and Weathers scored in penetration to give EiffelTowers a 78-74 lead in the final two minutes. Bullock fired in a critical triple before Aarts stepped up with a a tip-in to force Madrid to call timeout at 80-77 with 1:32 to go. Mumbru shot an airball and Bullock committed a turnover, while Young and Akerboom hit free throws, which sealed an incredible EiffelTowers win.