Round 1 of the 2014/15 Eurocup and Euroleague has now been completed, with mixed results for the Australian’s in action ahead of returning to their national leagues this weekend.
It was the Eurocup that got things started, so that is where our weekly recap will begin.
Veteran Australian Boomer David Andersen helped his French team ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne to a 70-64 Group B victory over German side Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck. Andersen was in fine form in racking up a 14 points and 10 rebound double double, connecting on 3/5 triples with 1 blocked shot. ASVEL established a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter and managed to withstand a late rally. It was a great way to bounce back for the French side after narrowly missing our on qualifying for Euroleague.
Another Australian Boomer in Brad Newley also enjoyed round 1 success as he helped Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas earn a convincing 101-81 home win over Foxtown Cantu. The Spanish team proved too strong and consistent for the Italian visitors, with Newley contributing a solid 9 points and 3 rebounds in 23 minutes. Gran Canaria now share first place in Group B with ASVEL.
In a thrilling 77-76 win over Paris Levallois, former Melbourne Tiger (now United) Chris Goulding’s CAI Zaragoza made it three straight wins for the Aussies on the opening day of Eurocup. Zaragoza managed to withstand a flood of seven 3-pointers in the final quarter before holding on to win by just 1 point. Goulding played arguably his best game in Europe to date, delivering 13 points (4/8 3PT), 3 rebounds, and 6 assists in 29 minutes. It was a performance that his Spanish team needed in overcoming a determined French outfit to get their campaign off to a winning start.
Former Adelaide 36er Daniel Johnson made his Eurocup debut with Stelmet Zielona Gora against reigning Eurocup Champions Lokomotiv Kuban in what proved to be a tough encounter. Playing at home, Zielona Gora’s undoing was a devastating 14-0 Lokomotiv run halfway through the first quarter. Despite a solid 11 points and 7 rebounds from Johnson, Zielona Gora were unable to overcome the early deficit to fall short 78-97 in Group F.
Rounding out the opening round of Eurocup for the Aussies was Ryan Broekhoff who was in action for Besiktas Integral Forex Instanbul. Despite playing at home, Besiktas found themselves trailing Union Olimpija Llubljana by many as 16 points in the second half. Broekhoff was one of three Besiktas players that helped spark a late Besiktas surge that saw them claw back the margin to just 1. Despite their late game run, Besiktas were not able to edge ahead and went down 68-70, with Broekhoff shining with 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals. They will look to regroup in Group B for their next game against Zenit St Petersburg.
After a pre-season tour that includes stops in Brazil and the USA, reigning champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv of Israel commenced their title defense with a resounding 92-76 result against Limoges CSP at home. Maccabi won every quarter on their home court as they look to build momentum with a new coach and a new-look line-up for the 2014/15 season. One of those new players is Australian Aleks Maric who played his role well in the opening round win, providing 6 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist in 22 minutes of action. Maric and Maccabi will look to build on their momentum on the road against Russian powerhouse CSKA Moscow.
For Turkish side Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul, they found the Serbian team Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade and their home crowd far too much to handle in being beaten 68-76. Galatasaray’s downfall ultimately came in the second quarter where Crvena Zvezda outscored the Turks 29-10. Australian World Cup representative Nathan Jawai came off the bench to provide some much needed scoring in both the second and third quarters, finishing with 7 points and 3 rebounds in only 11 minutes of action. Galatasaray returns to the comfort of home for their next game against Valencia Basket.
Euroleague Top 10 Plays of the Week
While there are no Aussie featured in the opening round’s plays of the week, there were many great plays worth watching!