Qualification Round 1, Gameday 1 - Round Up
MIES (Basketball Champions League) - Basketball Champions League action officially returned on Thursday as Gameday 1 of the Qualification Rounds took place all across Europe.
As you would expect, the night was not short of drama and action, setting up a highly anticipated Round 2 on Saturday.
AEK Larnaca vs Telenet Giants Antwerp
Telenet Giants Antwerp took the lead in the third quarter and didn't look back as they rolled to a 83-74 win over AEK Larnaca in Round 1.
In a game that featured 15 lead changes in the first half, Antwerp dominated on the glass led by Jae'Sean Tate's 10 boards along with his 21 points, as Paris Lee added 13.
Tyrell Biggs had 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting to lead four players in double figures for AEK
Dinamo Tbilisi vs Aris
Aris led by as many as 31 points on their way to a 90-64 rout of Dinamo Tbilisi in Round 1 on Thursday afternoon in Georgia.
The Greek side led from start to finish, dominating behind 18 points from Lefteris Bochoridis and 12 from Boris Dallo. Four players had nine points for Tbilisi, who have their work cut out for Gameday 2.
"It was the first official game for us," Evangelos Angelou, Head Coach of Aris commented.
"We had 38 days for preparation. In this period, we had 7 friendly games. I know we can do more. As for Dinamo, they had no time for preparation. In the whole, the game was up-and-down. Both of teams were nervous. We felt the game rhythm in the second half. We won this game, but we did not play good."
Karhu Basket vs CSM CSU Oradea
Karhu Basket take a three point lead into Gameday 2 after a hard-fought 87-84 victory over CSM CSU Oradea in Finland.
Trailing early in the fourth, Karhu pulled away before holding off a late rally from the Romanian side.
Rene Rougeau had 19 points for Karhu, whilst Bojan Sarcevic had 12 assists. Kristopher Richard had a game-high 20 for Oradea, and Vaidas Kariniauskas finished with 18.
Polski Cukier Torun vs Tsmoki-Minsk
Torun protected home court with an 87-61 win over Tsmoki-Minsk, behind a dominant performance from Aaron Cel in Poland.
A dominant 29-4 opening period set the tone, as the home side never looked back to put themselves in a strong position heading into Gameday 2.
Cel missed just one shot on his way to 27 points, Rob Lowery added 10 assists, and Cheikh Mbodj finished with 15 points.
Zisis Sarikopoulos led Minsk with 10 points in 14 minutes before fouling out.
Norrkoping Dolphins vs Movistar Estudiantes
Spanish side Movistar Estudiantes take a 14-point advantage forward after a 74-62 win over Norrkoping Dolphins on Gameday 1.
FINAL@DolphinsBasket 62-74 @movistar_es Estudiantes— Movistar Estudiantes (@ClubEstudiantes) September 20, 2018
Tocó sufrir, pero logramos 12 puntos de ventaja para defender este sábado (19h) en Torrejón. ¡Te esperamos!#DolphinsMovistarEstu #BasketballCL
📊 Estadísticas: https://t.co/7dxNc1vcaU pic.twitter.com/ihHaAkwW7M
Norrkoping will be frustrated with themselves after letting a 14 point lead slip in the first half, as Estudiantes dominated the third and fourth quarters to pull out the win.
Victor Arteaga had 12 points to lead five players in double figures for Estudiantes, whilst Mikael Lindquist led the Dolphins with a 20-point outing.
BC Siauliai vs Lukoil Levski
Lukoil Levski finished the game on a 16-4 run to take a 91-79 win over BC Siauliai to steal home court advantage in Gameday 1.
Up until that point, it was a back and forth affair, featuring 15 lead changes but ultimately Lukoil Levski took advantage of converting 28 points from turnovers.
Deyan Toshkov Ivanov and Bozhidar Avramov led the victors with 25 and 23 points respectively, whilst Karolis Lukosiunas and Ignas Vaitkus had 14 points-a-piece for BC Siauliai.
Z Mobile Prishtina vs Donar Groningen
Prishtina took control in the second quarter as they grabbed a 84-64 win over Donar Groningen to protect home court.
The side from Kosovo scored 28 points on the break, as A.J. Davis had 25 points and 9 rebounds on 9-for-13 shooting and Demario Aquan Mayfield 14 points and 8 rebounds. Shane Hammink had 11 points to lead Groningen.
Leicester Riders vs Bakken Bears
Bakken Bears played spoiler to Leicester Riders with a 90-77 win on Thursday evening in England for Gameday 1.
Riders are the first British team to compete in European competition in 12 years, but struggled to contain the Danish champions. Hayden Dalton had 17 points to lead Bakken, with Michel Diouf and Ryan Evans adding 16 each.
Riders were led by recent signing DeAndre Burnett with 24 points.
Fribourg Olympic vs Avtodor Saratov
It will be all to play for on Gameday 2 as Fribourg Olympic and Avtodor Saratov finished in the only tie of Gameday 1, square at 89-a-piece.
Fribourg opened the game on a 20-4 run before the visitors fought back to set up a thrilling finish.
A dominant 23-point, 12-rebound and 4-assist outing from Babacar Toure and another 24 points from Dusan Mladjan led Fribourg Olympic, whilst Jackie Carmichael had 18 points to lead five players in double figures for Avtodor Saratov.
FC Porto vs Nizhny Novgorod
Maxim Grigoryev hit a jumper with 7 seconds remaining to give visitors Nizhny Novgorod an 86-85 win over FC Porto in Portugal for Gameday 1.