19 September, 2017
06 May, 2018
0 Kendrick Ray (CZE)
Game Report
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Nymburk, Ludwigsburg, Bayreuth and Tenerife all victorious in opening legs

MIES, Switzerland (Basketball Champions League) - Home court advantage proved to be less of a factor than many expected in the opening leg of the Round of 16 on Wednesday, with a number of road teams picking up huge wins.

AEK vs CEZ Nymburk
CEZ Nymburk continued their stellar road record this year with a 98-88 road win over AEK in Greece.

Kendrick Ray was unstoppable on his way to 30 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, Alex Davis had 20, and Eugene Lawrence 14 points and 8 assists.

Nymburk registered 22 assists on the game, recovering an early deficit in the opening period to take a lead at the end of the first that they would not give up the rest of the way.

The Czech side led by as many as 19 on their way to victory, holding a 16-point halftime lead and having an answer for every run that AEK attempted in the second half.

For AEK, Manny Harris had 25 points , 6 rebounds and 6 assists, Kevin Punter had 18 points, Delroy James 15 and Mike Green 9 assists to go with his 14 points.

"I want to congratulate my guys," Nymburk Head Coach Oren Amiel said. "We had a very good defensive first half, we will need to keep the guys focused this coming week and continue what we started tonight.

"We know AEK is a very good offensive team, we knew this - that's why they're so dangerous and it's why this series is far from being over."

Meanwhile AEK's Punter was left frustrated.

"It was a game we should have won," he said. "You've got to credit those guys for running their offence and plating good defence. Defensively I felt like we missed communication but despite all that we got the lead down to 6 or 7 and still could have pulled it out."

EWE Baskets Oldenburg vs MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg
MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg dominated at the defensive end for an 88-63 win over EWE Baskets Oldenburg on the road in the opening leg.

Ludwigsburg exerted controlled defensive pressure the whole game, scoring 16 points off turnovers, and got contributions from across the roster with no less than seven players scoring over 8 points to seal the win.

Justin Sears had his best Basketball Champions League outing with 21 points in just sixteen minutes, Elgin Cook had 20 of his own, whilst Adika Peter-McNeilly joined them in double figures with 10 and Thomas Walkup had a near triple double with 9 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

"They're a great team, well coached with a bunch of great players," Elgin Cook said. "Our game plan never changes, we want to be aggressive, play hard as we can and press and we did a good job today."

Rickey Paulding was the only player in double figures for Oldenburg, finishing with 15 points after a slow first half.

Ludwigsburg dominated the first quarter to take a 26-12 first quarter lead as they set the tone defensively in the first half, holding Oldenburg to just 34% shooting to take a 43-30 advantage into the halftime break.

It was cruise control from there on out, as Ludwigsburg sealed the outcome with a dominant final period, as the lead ballooned to 20 with a little under four minutes to play following a Peter-McNeilly triple.

medi Bayreuth vs Besiktas Sompo Japan
medi Bayreuth led from start to finish for a 81-76 win over Besiktas Sompo Japan in the opening leg in Bayreuth.

Gabe York knocked down five three-pointers to collect a game-high 20 points, De'Mon Brooks and Assem Marei added 15-a-piece, whilst Nate Linhart had 14 for the victors.

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D.J. Strawberry had 18 points for Besiktas, who were without sharp-shooter Jon Diebler, Josh Adams finished with 15 and Erkan Veyseloglu scored 14.

"I think we couldn't do the things we talked about all week," Besiktas' Kenan Sipahi said.

"medi Bayreuth played with a lot of energy and fast basketball. Missing Jon Diebler affected us today a lot, especially three-point shots. One more 40-minutes and we know now how they play and what we should do."

Bayreuth were up 34-29 at halftime, having held an 11-point lead in the first half. They poured in 30 points in the third period to extend their lead back to double digits heading into the final quarter.

Besiktas fought back in the fourth; a Clark three with a little over a minute remaining brought the lead back to three, 79-76, but Linhart would knock down a couple of free throws to ensure the win. 

"There's a saying 'if made of the right stuff, a hard fall will result into a high bounce' and I think there's no question this team is made of the right stuff," Bayreuth Head Coach Raoul Korner said.

"It was a tough game we came from, and there was only one way to react to it and that was to leave it all on the floor. Besiktas are a great team, they're loaded, third in one of the best leagues in Europe and we gave them a great battle.

"At the end of the day it's a five point halftime lead, is it going to be enough? I don't know but it's also a win that is historical for our organisation and no-one can take it away from us."

UCAM Murcia vs Iberostar Tenerife
Iberostar Tenerife collect their first win in Murcia since May 2014, taking down UCAM Murcia 71-66 for a five point advantage heading into the second led.

With the score tied at 36 after the opening half, the visitors focused on regaining control on the glass in the second half and it paid off.

Vitor Benite had two three-pointers in the final minute of the game to reduce the deficit heading into the second leg. His 11 points led Murcia.

Tim Abromaitis had 13 points to lead Tenerife, Ferran Bassas had 12, Javier Beiran scored 11, and Mike Tobey went 5-of-5 from the field for his 10 points before fouling out.

"I think we did a good job during the whole game, especially in the second half," Tenerife's Bassas said. "We did a good job on defence, they were punishing us on the offensive rebound but when we started controlling this we could take the rhythm of the game." 

Tenerife Head Coach Fotis Katsikaris also felt the offensive glass was the key to the game.

"That was the first half in the series," he said. "The team did a very good job. We had patience. We know UCAM Murcia are very very aggressive on the offensive rebound, it's one of the qualities of this team. We were playing good defence but they had second chances which hurt us a lot. We made a bigger effort in the second half, we controlled the zone and by controlling the rebound we had better opportunity to balance our offence, inside and outside."