AEK bring out the big guns on premiere night - Gameday 1, Wednesday Roundup
MIES (Switzerland) - AEK became the first team to hit the century mark in the 2019-20 edition of the Basketball Champions League, in an 102-82 home win over EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez in the Group B premiere for both teams.
Meanwhile Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem were the only side to earn a win on the road on Wednesday, although both Lietkabelis and Polski Cukier Torun gave their respective hosts a mighty scare.
Let’s have a closer look at the Wednesday night action:
Dinamo Sassari 79-78 Lietkabelis (Group A)
Dyshawn Pierre capped off an amazing individual performance on Wednesday by sinking two free-throws with 2.9 seconds left on the clock that gifted Sassari a hard-earned 79-78 victory over Lietkabelis in a thrilling clash.
The two teams traded blows for 40 minutes and neither side had led by a significant margin at any stage, but Lietkabelis appeared to gain the upper hand in the nail-biting finale when Ken Brown came up with a huge steal and passed to Vytenis Lipkevicius who knocked down a triple with just 11 seconds on the clock, pushing the visitors ahead 78-77.
The Italian side called a time-out and once play resumed they passed the ball to the best player on the night. Pierre was duly fouled before he could get to the basket but kept his calm at the line and made both this free-throws, while a Lietkabelis desperation shot at the buzzer bounced out.
Pierre finished with a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Dwayne Evans added 14 points, 4 boards and 4 assists. For Lietkabelis, Zeljko Sakic also had a double-double, of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
BAXI Manresa 85-81 Polski Cukier Torun (Group A)
Veteran Ryan Toolson hit some big shots in the dying minutes to enable Manresa to prevail 85-81 over Torun in a highly entertaining contest that featured 21 lead changes.
With the scores tied at 75-all and 1:35 left on the clock, Toolson nailed a jumper to out the hosts ahead and, after Torun misfired on the other end, he sunk another to give them a 4-point cushion going into the final minute.
The sharp-shooter went to the bench to catch a short breather but returned to the floor with 44 seconds left to score Manresa’s six final points, including 4 free-throws.
The Polish side out-rebounded their host 41 to 34 but ultimately got little help from their bench, as Manresa’s second unit scored 53 points, compared to Torun’s 8 points.
Toolson finished with 21 points in 18 minutes of play and Manresa captain Pere Tomas had 16 points. Polish International Damian Kulig collected a game-high 22 points in a losing effort for Torun.
Hapoel used an excellent third-quarter stretch to gain some breathing space over Bandirma and held off the hosts late to claim a potentially crucial 73-69 victory in Turkey.
Suleiman Braimoh drove to the Bandirma basket with just 3 seconds left in the third period and scored with a lay-up to cap an 18-8 burst for the visitors, earning Hapoel a 60-49 lead going into the final frame.
Bandirma threw everything at the Israeli side in the fourth and cut the deficit to 4, 73-69, with 42 seconds remaining on the clock, but Hapoel run down the clock and the Turkish team misfired twice on their last possession.
J’Covan Brown came off the bench to pave the way for Hapoel, scoring a joint game-high 19 points on 4 of 5 from three-point range, while TaShawn Thomas finished juts one rebound short of a double-double as he collected 16 points and 8 boards. For the hosts, Omar Prewitt had 19 points and Sehmus Hazer added 17 points and 5 rebounds.
AEK 102-82 EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez (Group B)
The Athens side scored a century for the third time in their highly decorated Basketball Champions League history on Wednesday, as they cruised to an 102-82 win over EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez at home.
AEK hit 10 of their 17 attempts from three-point range in the first half to build a comfy cushion and finished the game with 23 assists and 62 percent shooting from the field.
The hosts pulled off decisively midway through the second frame as a Jonas Maciulis lay-up 2:23 from the half-time buzzer capped off a 20-3 burst to put AEK ahead 53-32.
Keith Langford put on an masterful scoring display and led the way for AEK with 27 points on 11 of 13 shooting, Maciulis finished with 17 points while Linos Chrysikopoulos and Howard Sant-Roos had 15 points each, the latter also dishing out 6 assists. Matt Mobley collected 25 points on 4 of 7 three-point shooting in a losing effort.
ERA Nymburk 91-71 Brose Bamberg (Group B)
Nymburk came out firing on all cylinders and led from start to finish against a Bamberg side that shot a catastrophic 24 percent from two-point range, as the Czech champions celebrated a 91-71 victory at home in the Group B premiere.
The hosts raced to a 16-0 lead within less than four minutes behind 9 fast points by Jaromir Bohacik and led by as many as 25 points, 36-11, shortly after the start of the second quarter.
Bamberg attempted a comeback in the third frame and reduced the deficit to single digits for the first time, 65-57 just before the end of the period.
Nymburk however poured in 8 quick points in the first minute of the final stanza and rebuilt a 16-point cushion, 73-57, on a Ivan Almeida lay-up 8:58 from time.
Bohacik finished with a game-high 24 points, Deishuan Booker had 18 points and Hayden Dalton collected a near double-double of 14 points and 9 boards. For Bamberg, Bryce Taylor had 16 points in a losing effort off the bench.
Burgos overturned an 11-point deficit in the final stretch of their home game against Telenet Giants Antwerp to start their maiden campaign in a European competition on an 90-76 over the Belgians.
With Antwerp leading 57-46 midway through the third quarter, Earl Clark sunk a mid-range jumper and Bruno Fitipaldo followed up with a triple to instigate a reaction by the Spanish side, and Burgos pushed ahead 69-66 at the end of the period.
The Giants reduced to 72-70 shortly after the start of the final frame but with their powder running dry it was impossible to keep up with Burgos - the Belgian side hit only 6 of their 25 shots from beyond the arc while they also missed 9 of their 17 free-throws.
Big man Goran Huskic had a game-high 19 points to lead Burgos, while Clark finished with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Young Belgian international Vincent Kesteloot had a team-high 16 points for Antwerp.
Bonn used an 18-5 stretch bridging the final two quarters to hold off a Zaragoza charge and kick off their 2019-20 campaign on an 85-71 home victory over the Spanish side.
The German side built a 10-point lead just before the end of the opening period and maintained a comfy double-digit lead for most of the second frame, but Zaragoza had not yet given up the fight.
When the Spaniards reduced the deficit to just two points, 54-52 with 3:08 remaining in the third stanza, Bonn decided it was time to tighten their grip, got some defensive stops and Benjamin Lischka scored with a lay-up 7:03 from the final buzzer to make it 72-57 for the hosts.
Bonn made 11 of their 25 attempts from behind the arc, while Zaragoza went only 7 of 30 from downtown.
Branden Frazier led all Bonn scorers with 15 points and added 5 assists and 4 rebounds while Stephen Zimmerman had 13 points and 6 boards. For Zaragoza, German international Robin Benzing finished with a game-high 17 points in a losing effort.
JDA Dijon 87-68 Falco Szombathely (Group D)
Dijon showed no intention of offering a warm welcome to Basketball Champions League debutants Falco and inflicted an 87-68 defeat on the Hungarian side.
Falco scored the first points of the clash but the rest of the way proved an uphill struggle for the visitors as Dijon responded with a 14-1 run to grab control of proceedings.
The French hosts led by 8 points at half-time but pulled away decisively in the third frame as a Rasheed Sulaimon jumper with 4:14 left to play in the period stretched the gap to 17 points, 57-40.
Falco had no gas in the tank to attempt a comeback and Dijon led by as many as 26 points in the fourth. Sulaimon finished with a game-high 23 points on an outstanding 9 of 11 from the floor, while Richard Solomon only just missed out on double-double as he had 17 points and 9 rebounds. Marko Filipovity and Juvonte Reddic collected 22 points apiece in losing efforts.