With the new campaign on the horizon, clubs around the world are gearing up for another tough year of hoops with pre-season friendly contests. With the 2014/2015 term just weeks away, the friendlies are getting ever more competitive and here are some of the key games from around Europe on Thursday.
Anadolu Efes vs. Trabzonspor, 91-75
This all-Turkish clash saw TBL rivals Anadolu Efes (Euroleague) and Trabzonspor (Eurochallenge) square off on the hardwood, with the Efes team emerging victorious with a 91-75 win.
The hosts Euroleague preparations continued with a comfortable victory here, built by a strong first quarter showing in which Efes won the frame 25-11. That 14 point deficit was maintained throughout the second stanza as Trabzonspor found it hard to break down their opponents. At the halftime buzzer the home team held a commanding 49-25 lead. Anadolu Efes lost the third frame 24-25 to a renewed effort from the away team, but nevertheless the hosts still led by 23 points after 30 minutes on court (73-50). The fourth quarter was a formality as Efes strolled to a pre-season friendly win.
The winners spread the buckets out, with Stephane Lasme securing 12 points, Stratos Perperoglou also hitting 12, with Furkan Korkmaz grabbing Cedi Osman 10 points apiece.
Gani Lawal set a scoring tone in the game, collecting a game high 22 points on the night for Trabzonspor. Jerome Randle followed Lawal’s lead with 15 points of his own.
Limoges vs. Cholet, 81-77
Limoges (Euroleague) downed Cholet to give their French ProA preparations a boost. This all-French clash saw a close game throughout, although Limoges managed to outpace their opponents through the opening 20 minutes to take a 43-39 lead in at the long break. The second half followed the pattern as Cholet could not cut the deficit, a toing and froing game ended with Limoges still holding a four point lead. Nobel Boungou-Colo paced the winners with 15 points, while Leo Westermann and Joao Paulo Batista both nailed 14 points in the win. Nick Minnerath hit 15 points in the losing effort, while Jonathan Rousselle was good for 13 points.
Le Mans vs. Nanterre, 80-78
Another all France match up saw ProA rivals Le Mans (Eurochallenge) and Nanterre (Eurochallenge) square off, with Le Mans emerging victorious after regulation and overtime. These two clubs will be in the ProA mix together this season and will likely fight for similar positions in the league. However, on the floor during this pre-season friendly, Le Mans looked the better outfit in the opening exchanges. By halftime the team had built a formidable lead and looked good at 44-30. However, Nanterre responded with a hot run in the third and fourth that made the game interesting down the stretch, sending the game to overtime.
Michal Ignerski led the Le Mans charge with 20 points, while Kevin Mendy and Romero Osby both secured 13 points.
Johan Passave-Ducteil put on a big 25 point display to put Nanterre back into the game.
Umana Reyer Venezia vs. Olympiacos, 63-93
Last season was not the best for Olympiacos (Greece, Euroleague) as the team was dethroned as double Euroleague champions and lost out for the second year straight to arch rivals Panathinaikos in the league title series. The club will look to the 2014/2015 campaign with fresh focus, and demolished Umana Reyer Venezia (Italy) in this pre-season friendly.
The game was never in doubt as Olympiacos looked stronger throughout, taking a comfortable lead into the second quarter and eventually pushing to a 50-36 lead at the midway buzzer. Fresh from the locker room, the Greek giant continued to sweep their Italian opponents aside, easing to victory through comfortable third and fourth quarters.
Olympiacos had five players in double figures, with Matt Lojeski topping the team with 15 points, followed by Othello Hunter with 10, Tremmell Darden 10, and Oliver Lafayette 10.
Cameron Moore took a game high 16 points for the downed team, while Hrvoje Peric scored 12 points.