CSKA Moscow is off to an amazing start in the 2019-20 season of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. The Russian powerhouse remains undefeated through the first three rounds of competition.
In Round 3 they defeated Khimki Moscow Region 99-86 in an All-Russian affair. CSKA Moscow is performing much better in the EuroLeague, compared to their home VTB United League where they’re 2-2. Ironically, Khimki is the King of the Hill there with their 4-0 slate.
CSKA would prove to be Lords of Megasport Arena in this derby game. They led from the opening whistle until the very end. It was pretty much the Mike James and Will Clyburn show for the Reds as the two Americans delivered in stellar fashion, dropping 28 and 21 points respectively. They provided a steady stream of offense that kept CSKA churning out numbers onto the box score.
Khimki was unsurprisingly led by the talented sharpshooter, Alexey Shved. He knocked down six of the team’s 12 3-pointers for the night, en route to his team-high 25 points.
How long will CSKA Moscow’s EuroLeague win streak last?
Not all EuroLeague powerhouses had as successful an outing as CSKA. Real Madrid suffered their first loss (2-1) of the season at the hands of an aggressive Zalgiris Kaunas, 86-73.
This was the first of the 2019-20 season for the green shirts and they sure chose one of the toughest teams in the league to announce their first entry in the win column. The first half was mostly controlled by Zalgiris, who stuck to their guns and continuously pounded the rock in the paint. They shot 49 percent on 24-of-49 shooting from 2-point range. Zach Leday led the hosts with a near-double-double, mustering 26 points and nine rebounds on the night.
The gunshy Real Madrid could not find their groove on offense, with usual scorer Facu Campazzo limited to scoring just nine points in this contest. The white shirts managed to mount a rally in the third quarter, but Zalgiris controlled the final frame and was able to seal the deal from there.
The other high-profile game of the night was between AX Armani Exchange Milano and Panathinaikos Athens. Armani would find themselves victorious, narrowly edging their hosts 78-79. Milan rained down a total of 14 3-pointers on their Greek hosts, but it was a solid performance from Vladimir Micov, who poured in 18 points and four rebounds that kept the team grounded especially in the crucial final minutes of the game.
Greek Legend Nick Calathes paced Panathinaikos with 23 points, but found difficulty in getting his other teammates involved in the action. Panathinaikos now takes their second loss of the season, while Milan moves up the rankings thanks to their 2-1 record.
The tables were turned in another game as FC Bayern Muenchen found their form and blasted off with a 104-63 blowout win over a visiting ASVEL club. Bayern and ASVEL are now at an even 2-1, showing that the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague is hands-down the most competitive basketball league in all of Europe.
Bayern started off strong and jetted to a 30-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. They did not look back nor relinquished control of the game. Maodo Lo was a perfect 4-for-4 from distance to lead his team with 19 points. Four other Bayern players recorded points in double figures with Nihad Dedovic chipping in 14 points of his own.
Amine Noua and Antoine Diot were the only ASVEL players to crack the nine-point mark, notching 16 and 13 points, respectively.
In other games, Fenerbahce Istanbul defeated Kirolbet Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 87-80 and Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv rolled through Crvena Zvezda with a win at home, 85-69.