Four games opened the 2014/2015 season in Croatia with a final fifth game to take place on Sunday. Kvarner 2010 Rijeka gunned down Jolly JBS 83-72 at home as they were paced by Dino Cinac who scored 22 points from the bench. Djuro Djakovic Brod also picked up a home win by defeating VROS Darda 74-64 on the back of a 46-33 first half.
The only road win of the evening came from Ribola Kastela as they crushed GKK Sibenik 86-102, taking big first (23-31) and fourth (16-26) quarters to bookend the thrashing. Damir Rancic scored 30 points and laid on 10 dimes in the success. Alkar Sinj won the first three quarters on their way to defeating KK Split 72-62 with home court advantage, holding off the visitors to cruise down the stretch.
The final game of Round 1 will take place on Sunday when KK Zagreb entertains KK Zabok in the Croatian capital.
Reigning Estonian KML champions Kalev/Cramo Tallinn overturned last season’s Regular Season winners Tartu Rock 68-57 in the curtain raiser. The hosts never looked troubled as they outpaced Tartu through three stanzas (20-12, 12-13, 16-13, 20-19) to record an opening success of the season. Frank Elegar paced the winning effort with 17 points, while he also took 9 off the glass.
Tomorrow the KML Round 1 will finish with TTU Tallinn vs. Tallinna Kalev, Parnu vs. Rapla, and Rakvere Tarvas vs. Valga Kalev.
Defending Dutch champions Groningen tipped off the 2014/2015 season by defeating Rotterdam 52-70 on the road in the opening contest. The champs cruised through the first three quarters including a massive 5-24 opening frame that set up the win. Rotterdam won the middle frames as the visitors eased off, but Groningen took the fourth to make the win comfortable.
Leiden thumped Leeuwarden 113-81 at home to get their campaign off to the perfect start. After a losing first quarter (19-20), the hosts won the second to lead 48-46 at halftime, while in the second half Leiden exploded with a 37-19 third period and a 28-16 closing stanza. Worthy De Jong had a blistering game with 35 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Zwolle host Den Helder on Sunday, while Amsterdam will welcome Den Bosch.
Irish Premier League
The first weekend of the new Irish Basketball season saw four games take place. There was only one home victory on the day as the visiting teams took most the glory, including a first win of the season for defending Premier League holders Killester Dublin.
Swords Thunder vs. Azzurri Dublin, 80-43
DCU Saints vs. Killester, 51-76
UCD Marian vs. Dublin Inter, 78-80
Neptune Cork vs. UCC Demons, 80-100
The Polish TBL actually tipped off on Friday evening when Twarde Torun defeated Anwil Wloclawek 85-74 at home. On Saturday two more games took place, including Trefl Sopot travelling to Dabrowa Gornicza and coming away with a 67-83 win built on a massive second half (8-17 in the third and 16-25 in the fourth).
Also in action on Saturday were Wikana Lublin vs. Stelmet Zielona Gora. After winning the first half comfortably, Gora had a wobble by losing the third 32-21, but recovered with a solid 18-28 run in the closing stint to win the game 73-86.
Round 1 will conclude on Sunday and Tuesday and will bring defending champions PGE Turow Zgorzelec into the mix.
Romanian Liga Nationala
A full schedule of games took place in the Romanian Liga Nationala on Saturday evening as the season got underway in full swing.
U-Banca TR vs. Ploiesti
Targu Mures vs. Gaz Metan, 89-68
Univ.Cluj vs. Oradea, 81-108
Rovinari vs. CSU Sibiu
Timba Timis vs. Pitesti, 75-85
BC Timisoara vs. Steaua CSM
The Slovakian Extraliga started this weekend with every club hitting the hardwood, including a 98-92 victory for current champions Inter Bratislava over Iskra Svit. The remainder of the games in the SBL played out as follows:
Levis vs. Prievidza, 65-64
Rieker Komarno vs. Banska Bystrica, 91-75
Nova Ves vs. Handlova, 76-95
Nitra 71-76 Karlovka, 71-76
Spanish Liga Endesa
The biggest league on the continent also sparked into action for the 2014/2015 on Saturday as the Spanish Liga Endesa tipped off. There were three games on the night with the rest of the schedule due for Sunday evening.
Barcelona vs. Laboral Kutxa Vitoria, 87-65
Barcelona got its new season off to a good start as the team embarks on another attempt at domestic and continental glory. The reigning Liga Endesa champions tore Vitoria apart through the first quarter, doubling their opponents score to finish the frame leading 24-12. The visitors responded well in the second period to win the frame 21-25, putting the scoreboard at 45-37 after 20 minutes. A low scoring third quarter followed as the buckets dried up, but Barca stole the stanza 13-12 to look good at 58-49 after half hour. The Catalan giant moved through the gears to claim the fourth quarter 29-16 on the way to success.
Rio Natura Santoago de Comp vs. La Bruixa D’or Manresa, 88-64
Rio Natura got off to a great start in this game and looked the more ready from the tip off, outpacing Manresa 26-13 through the opening 10 minutes. That double digit 13 point lead gave the hosts a good platform and they extended it in the second stanza, scoring 17 to 12 through the period to lead 43-25 at the long break. Another dominating performance arrived in the third as the home team poured in 26 and took just 16 points in reply, enough to lead convincingly at the final split (69-41). Manresa finally won a quarter in the closing frame, but the 19-23 winning margin was nowhere near enough to trouble the home team’s lead.
Baloncesto Sevilla vs. Iberostar Tenerife, 87-96
The closest game of the night saw Sevilla slip to defeat at home, with Tenerife opening the game by winning a high scoring first quarter 24-28. The visitors extended through an impressive second period, keeping their scoring consistent to lead 45-55 at the midway point. Sevilla responded in a hot third quarter, sending home 30 points on the way to cutting the lead to one point after 30 minutes (75-76). Tenerife reclaimed the momentum to outpace the hosts 12-20 in the final minutes, clinching the victory in the process.