Lavrio make European history; Kataja Basket, Istanbul BBSK, Cherkaski Mavpy off to victorious start
MUNICH (FIBA Europe Cup) – Doron Lamb and Vasilis Charalampopoulos got FIBA Europe Cup newcomers Lavrio Aegean Cargo off to a strong start in the Qualifiers, guiding the team from Greece to a historic victory against Dnipro in their eagerly anticipated continental debut.
The Christos Serelis-coached side overcame a poor shooting performance to inscribe an 82-73 victory in the first leg of Qualification Round 1 after reaching a breakthrough in the fourth quarter.
Lavrio managed to persevere despite going just 26-of-68 from the field, with Lamb collecting a team-high 16 points and Charalampopoulos adding 15 points of his own.
Vasilis Charalampopoulos made a couple of key baskets in the fourth quarter
"It was a great game in the city of Lavrio, because we played in Europe for the first time. It was a difficult game against a strong team and it's a good start for us," shared Zamal Nixon, who collected 10 points in the win. "Of course, nothing is over. We won today but we have a tough game next week. Tonight it was difficult, but I'm sure we will have to try even harder in their home."
Milan Milosevic had a strong 12-point and 7-rebound contribution off the bench for the hosts, while Dnipro guard Oleksandr Mishula finished as the game's leading scorer with 23 points after going 5-of-11 from three-point range.
Elsewhere, there were also wins for Kataja Basket, Istanbul BBSK and Cherkaski Mavpy, all of whom secured double-digit cushions for the return fixtures in a week's time.
A third-quarter collapse will make things difficult for Kongsberg Miners in Ukraine
Also making their European debut, Norwegian side Kongsberg Miners fell to an 83-63 defeat against Mavpy after ending up on the wrong side of a 26-0 run in the third quarter that swung the game in favor of the visitors.
Oleksandr Kobets paced the Ukrainian team with 19 points and 8 rebounds, Oleksandr Kolchenko scored 15 points and dished out 5 assists, while Igor Chumakov had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
For the hosts, Chris-Ebou Ndow scored 16 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, Robert Hubbs collected 14 points and 10 boards, while Juan Ferrales added 13 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Ryan Wright proved unstoppable for Rosa Radom in Joensuu
Meanwhile, a fantastic opening quarter of the season allowed Kataja Basket to treat the home fans in Joensuu to an easy 86-65 win against Rosa Radom, as Ryan Wright went 10-of-11 from the field for 20 points and 7 rebounds.
The hosts never looked in doubt after opening the contest with a 23-6 run that allowed the Finnish club to cruise through the night. Ilari Seppala collected 14 points in the victorious performance, while Rahlir Jefferson posted an all-around effort of 11 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
Cullen Neal and Obie Trotter were the only Radom players in double figures with 17 and 11 points, respectively.
Istanbul BBSK will have a 25-point advantage for the home leg in Turkey
Meanwhile, a new-look Istanbul BBSK showed the seriousness of their intentions to make the Regular Season with a 99-74 triumph against Dekstone Turi Svitavy on the road in Czech Republic.
Luka Babic went for 22 points and 11 rebounds in the win, Terrell Holloway orchestrated the proceedings with 21 points and 8 assists, while Shevon Thompson registered a big 10-point and 15-rebound double-double.
Facing a 25-point deficit before their trip to Turkey, Svitavy will be able to draw positives from a 13-point and 10-asisst double-double by Roman Marko but not much else.