Turkish clubs make flawless start in Euroleague opener
Fenerbahçe Ülker passed the 100-points mark defeating Budivelnik Kiev 102-84 in Ukraine on Oct. 17. AFP photoFenerbahçe Ülker and Anadolu Efes sealed their Euroleague first games with convincing victories on Oct. 17, joining Galatasaray Liv Hospital for a perfect start to their European campaign.
Fenerbahçe Ülker passed the 100-points mark defeating Budivelnik Kiev 102-84 in Ukraine while Anadolu Efes crushed Emporio Armani Milan at home 87-67. A day earlier, Galatasaray dominated playoff favorites Montepaschi Siena in Italy with a neat 84-75 victory.
In group A, despite the misleadingly flamboyant final score, Fenerbahçe struggled for three-and-a-half periods in their first European test with coaching legend Zeljko Obradovic on the helm against Euroleague novices Kiev.
The Yellow Canaries were trailing 77-71 at the end of the third quarter against the Ukrainian side led by its veteran Lithuanian player Darjus Lavrinovic.
However, Fenerbahçe shifted up the gear in the last quarter with tallies from its own Lithuanian star Linas Kleiza and Croatian forward Bojan Bogdanovic to make a 31-7 run.
Emir Preldzic paced the visitors with 25 points, while Bogdaovic chipped 24 points and Kleiza clinched 16 points. Lavrinovic was the most scorer player for Kiev, tallying 24 points against his former team.
In group B, Anadolu Efes outperformed their Italian rivals on defense, allowing only three players to reach double-digit scoring. Serbian Dusko Savanovic resumed where he had left off, lifting Efes with 22 points. Scotty Hopson also added 22 points for the Blues, while Jamon Gordon and Kostas Vasileiadis clinched 16 points each.
Keith Langford with 20 points and Alessandro Gentile with 19 points led the Milan side.
Ergin Ataman spoils ex-club's start
Meanwhile, on the previous night’s game of group C, Coach Ergin Ataman guided Turkish champions Galatasaray to a valuable away win in ex-club Montepaschi Siena’s hardwood.
Playmaker Carlos Arroyo netted 21 points, followed by Jamont Gordon with 18. Daniel Hackett’s 26 points performance was not enough for the host who failed to seal a comeback after Galatasaray tallied an 18 points lead at the break.
Elsewhere last year’s finalists Barcelona defeated Partizan Belgrade 67-60, Russian powerhouse of CSKA Moscow edged a resilient JSF Nanterre 62-59, Lokomotiv Kuban beat Crvena Zvezda 97-84 and Lietuvos Rytas outlasted Panathinaikos 84-83 in overtime.