Dijon scoring from their own half; Sims' video game numbers send AEK to 0-2
MIES (Switzerland) - AEK played their first game in the new arena, but it was all about Nutribullet Treviso in Athens on Tuesday. The Italian squad climbed to 2-0 to start their first European season, while sending AEK to 0-2.
Nutribullet Treviso stormed through the Qualifying Rounds, and with the Italian League and the Italian SuperCup, this was already their 14th official game of the season. The busy schedule helped Massimiliano Menetti build a strong trust within the team already in October. It was that trust that got them over the line in the AEK Ano Liosia Arena.
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Treviso opened up a 14-point lead at the break while scoring 50 points on the road. AEK responded with a big third quarter that cut the gap to 65-60 with ten minutes to play, and the crowd exploded once Quino Colom knocked down his fourth triple of the day to make it -4 at 72-68.
Coach Menetti did the right thing then. His timeout slowed down the Queen, Treviso's elite passing got them back to double digits (80-70) in just over a minute, there was no coming back from that for the 2018 champions - it finished 92-77.
Henry Sims is officially running for MVP, the big guy went all-round for 31 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals, 4 blocks and 2 assists! His efficiency rating of 44 is the second highest of all time in the BCL, trailing only Steven Gray who had 47 for Peristeri against Rytas Vilnius last season.
Tomas Dimsa was right behind him with 16 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds, 20-year-old Giordano Bortolani scored 17 off the bench, DeWayne Russell helped with 14 points and 6 assists.
Ian Hummer had 22 in a losing effort for coach Stefanos Dedas. AEK are down to 0-2, Treviso enjoy the view from the top at 2-0.
Toni Katic, the new sheriff in town
JDA Dijon bounced back after losing to Lavrio Megabolt at the buzzer to start the season. Nizhny Novgorod opened up a 16-point lead to start the game, but then witnessed Toni Katic going crazy off the bench for coach Nenad Markovic.
Katic scored 16 points with 5 assists and the longest shot of the season so far. With him running the point, Dijon were a +21 team, a massive +/- considering the game finished 89-75.
Rashard Kelly led the scoring chart with 20 points and 11 boards for Dijon, Gavin Ware added 18 points in 19 minutes, Sek Henry and Charles Galliou combined for 21.
Nizhny Novgorod drop to 0-2, Rolands Freimanis scored a team-high 16 points.
Big game by RHJ
Besiktas Icrypex were probably worried once the schedule came out, because they had to start their season on the road in Burgos and Oldenburg. The first game in Spain already showed they are not going to be intimidated by anyone, and in Germany, they found a way towards a win after being down by 14 points early on.
EWE Baskets Oldenburg put up 52 points in the first half, but were held to just 13 in the third period due to Besiktas Icrypex's risky defense and aggressive switches, the kind of game where Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could prove he's on another level.
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The NBA veteran came through with a 21-point, 9-rebound performance that featured a number of highlight flights and dunks, sending Besiktas to an 83-81 win.
Jordan Bone had 18 points, Dedric Lawson 15, Trevon Blueitt 13 and Isaiah Whitehead counted to 12 - the rest of the team scored just four points, but it was enough on the day for coach Ahmet Kandemir.
Oldenburg came back to 81-82 from their point of view with 13.9 on the game clock, Whitehead knocked down one shot from the line, allowing Rickey Paulding one last shot for the win.
It rimmed out, Oldenburg drop to 1-1, the same record as Besiktas, with the difference that BJK played two on the road, while Oldenburg stayed home in both of their games so far.
Defending champs without a chance in Lithuania
Hereda San Pablo Burgos are the back-to-back champions of the Basketball Champions League. However, Rytas Vilnius wanted to send a message in front of their fans, and that's exactly what they did, defeating the title holders comfortably, 87-69.
It was already a 19-point game at the break thanks to a 27-13 second quarter, and Rytas did not look back the rest of the way. Croatian mountain Ivan Buva picked up 19 points and 9 rebounds to lead the way, Speedy Smith and Vaidas Kariniauskas had 14 each, Margiris Normantas scored 13, Arnas Butkevicius 11, Gytis Radzevicius 10.
Tyrus McGee scored 20 in 20 minutes for Burgos. Both teams are now at 1-1.