The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, the premier professional league in all of Europe, tipped off the 2019-20 season on October 3rd with four games.
Khimki Moscow Region officially recorded the first win of the season with an 89-83 victory over an energized Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv. Khimki was in control for most of the game, but a massive rally in the fourth quarter by Maccabi Tel Aviv culled a 17-point lead down to just four points.
Thankfully for Khimki, Alexey Shved was in regular-season form and paced them with 22 points and six assists.
Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos Athens played host to one of Serbia’s finest in Crvena Zvezda mts Beograd. Red Star came into this one bursting with some electric energy to start, but the hosts finally got into the zone in a high-scoring third quarter. Nick Calathes paved the way for Panathinaikos with 21 points and seven dimes. DeShaun Thomas also stood out with an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double as he took care of business in the paint.
FC Bayern Munich protected their home court and emerged victorious over a visiting AX Armani Exchange Milano, 78-64. They found the right timing to amp up their defense and managed to stem a Milanese run in the fourth quarter to keep control of the game. Vladimir Lucic was the top-scorer for Bayern, registering 18 points for the night.
Recently signed veteran big man, Luis Scola was the top performer for Milan with 17 points and six boards to his name.
Last but not least, the game-to-watch of the evening was between Real Madrid and Fenerbahce Istanbul. The two league Titans locked horns in what could be a random playoff preview.
Jeffrey Taylor was almost automatic from the floor, missing just one shot en route to his team-high 19 points. Facundo Campazzo was the main man in the backcourt as he scored 14 points and dished out eight dimes.
Another All-Star guard, Nando De Colo spearheaded Fenerbahce’s offense with a game-high 22 points. He was instrumental in keeping the game close for the visitors and close it was. But Taylor came through for Real Madrid in the dying minutes of the game to lift his team to victory.
It was a successful and exciting opening for the 2019-20 EuroLegue season. There are more games to come and a lot more fantastic basketball action to enjoy.