We’re only two weeks into the 2019-20 regular season of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague but the action has already heated up. Round 2 was opened on Thursday with a few favorites taking to the hardwood, and no, they did not disappoint their fans.
Moscow was abuzz as their favorite basketball team, CSKA, displayed some top-tier level basketball as they downed FC Bayern Muenchen 79-68.
The story of the game was all about the 3-point shooting. CSKA kept on launching their long bombs throughout the game and somehow, they got the ball to find its mark, going 12-for-34 from beyond the arc. It was a difference-maker for them. Their success from long range forced their guests to spread out their defenses, which only opened up easy shots, both in transition and backdoor plays.
Will Clyburn paced a balanced attack from the Army Redmen with 15 points and eight rebounds. Their solid teamwork was enough to overcome an impressive 17-point, 10-rebound from former NBA big man Greg Monroe on the side of the German club.
CSKA is now 2-0, while Bayern falls to 1-1.
Another EuroLeague powerhouse, Real Madrid, had a much closer nail-biter against Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. Their game went down the wire and was settled literally in the final seconds of the game. Real Madrid’s Jaycee Caroll sank the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds remaining in regulation to lift his team to an 86-85 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv. Carroll ended the game with 14 points, but it was the last three of those 14 that mattered the most. Jordan Mickey was a force for Real Madrid, dropping 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
Serbian hoops fans are renowned/notorious for being one of the most loyal and rambunctious. Their rabid support and love for Crvena Zvezda MTS Beograd shown through in the team’s 68-56 win over Turkish Titan, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul. The Serbian League champions managed to keep Fenerbahce still without a point in the win column this season. The win allows Crvena Zvezda to improve to 1-1 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
Lorenzo Brown spearheaded Red Star’s offense with 13 points and six assists. Nando de Colo was the top performer for Fenerbahce as he exploded for a game-high 19 points and four assists.
Joining Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow among the teams that are still undefeated this season, is ASVEL. They completed an amazing comeback run late in the game to pull off a stunning upset over Panathinaikos Athens 79-78. The bitter loss hands the Green shirts their first loss of the season (1-1).
The game could have gone either way, with DeShaun Thomas and Jimmer Fredette pouring in 22 and 18 points, respectively for Panathinaikos. Unfortunately, their reserves could not join in the offense effectively. ASVEL’s reserves scored 22 points compared to just 14 by Panathinaikos’.
ASVEL’s win was powered by the 18 points of David Lighty and the strong double-double of Tonye Jekiri, who ended the game with 15 points and 12 boards.