Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka, Zalgiris.lt, ZUMAPRESS - Scanpix/BasketNews illustration
Credit BasketNews/D.Repečka, Zalgiris.lt, ZUMAPRESS - Scanpix/BasketNews illustration

BasketNews continues the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague beat edition. Here, you’ll be able to find all the info you need about what happened in the latest EuroLeague round.

Tornike Shengelia’s career-high, ASVEL’s monumental comeback win, Mudiay’s struggles, Oriola’s free throws, first wins, and the winless – all of that and many things more – in EuroLeague’s Round 3 beat.

EuroLeague’s beat Round 3

FIRST TASTE OF VICTORY. UNICS Kazan achieved their first victory this season in the EuroLeague, beating FC Bayern Munich 73-70. UNICS were led by an incredible second half effort by Isaiah Canaan, who finished with 21 points, hitting five 3-pointers.

TURNOVERS. UNICS committed 12 turnovers in the first half, only scoring 26 points against Bayern. However, the Russian team took care of the ball much better in the second half, finishing the game with 17 turnovers.

WINLESS. Bayern remain one of three EuroLeague teams that have not tasted victory this season. Their coach Andrea Trinchieri felt positive about his team’s performance against FC Barcelona last week, but he was not as cheerful after another loss this week. Bayern had a 16-point lead in the third quarter but squandered it and lost.

“We didn’t look like a team,” Trinchieri said post-game. “This is, by far, our worst game. We cannot throw opportunities in the garbage like this. For the first time, I am concerned about the mentality of my team. I need to do something fast. Because if you’re not ready to fight, you’re wearing the wrong jersey.”

CAREER-HIGH. After winning the MVP honors of EuroLeague Round 2, Tornike Shengelia managed to be even better this week. He exceeded his 31-point career-high game from 2019 by scoring 33 points (10/16 2PT, 2/4 3PT, 7/11 FT), 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 1 turnover. He also tied his most efficient EuroLeague performance with 37 PIR.

“If we don’t win, the numbers don’t mean anything,” Shengelia said after the game. “So I’m happy for my team. I think that we played great defensively and offensively. We moved the ball offensively and defensively we had a couple of minutes of struggle, but we came back. We never gave up, and I’m glad, thank God, we won the game.”

OUT OF RHYTHM. While Tornike Shengelia and CSKA Moscow were rolling, their opponents, Zenit St. Petersburg, struggled. The visitors committed 16 turnovers against CSKA’s 8 and missed 9 of 19 free throws, losing the game by 10.

“We didn’t find the rhythm generally on offense, Zenit’s coach Xavi Pascual noted. “Maybe because of free throws that all game we were [missing]. From the other side, especially in the first half, we had opportunities to score under the basket, we didn’t do it. Also, we couldn’t stop Shengelia all night. This is why we couldn’t win.”

COMEBACK OF THE SEASON. LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne were down by 19 in the third quarter (37-56) against the reigning EuroLeague champions, Anadolu Efes Istanbul. However, the French champions never gave up, made a magnificent comeback, and won the game by two after Alex Antetokounmpo’s put-back game-winner. They are now 3-0 in the EuroLeague.

HEART. “After minus 19, what is it? It’s heart,” ASVEL’s coach TJ Parker said. “The team showed a lot of heart. We got a stop after stop, after stop. We got some key buckets down the line, and congratulations to the guys. It’s a great win. You always have to believe you can win the game. You have to show your team they can win the game. You can’t do otherwise.”

MINI-BASKETBALL TEAM. Despite being called one of the favorites to return to the final this season, Efes have been struggling to start the year. They have dropped their third straight EuroLeague contest to the disgust of coach Ergin Ataman.

“Of course, it’s not easy to talk after this kind of a loss,” he said post-game. “I believe in the last 12, 13 minutes, of the second half, we played like a mini-basket team. The mistakes we made were like that. Congratulations to Villeurbanne. They put great effort into the last quarter, and they changed the game.”

BERLIN BIG 3. ALBA Berlin welcomed Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, beating the Turkish powerhouse by 14. Three ALBA players led the team to victory: Oscar da Silva, Maodo Lo, and Luke Sikma combined for 56 points and 73 PIR.

INEXPLICABLE SECOND HALF. Fenerbahce held an 8-point lead at halftime (35-27) but got outscored 35-57 in the second, disappointing coach Sasha Obradovic.

“I cannot explain the second half after how we played in the first half,” he noted post-game. “As soon as things were difficult, we put our heads down, our hands down, our character down. This is no way to play basketball. I’m very surprised by the second half.”

REGAINING CONFIDENCE. After dropping four of six games in the EuroLeague and Spanish Liga ACB, Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz managed to bounce back with a last-second victory over Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. Baskonia’s most efficient guy, Tadas Sedekerskis, emphasized the importance of this victory as a confidence booster.

“We lost both the first games, so we needed the win at home, especially to gain that confidence and keep winning games. It was super-important for us to win at home, get that confidence, so we have a game on Thursday against ALBA, and we’ll be looking for the win.”

OFF THE MARK. Ioannis Papapetrou had a chance to win the game for his team at the buzzer, but his 3-pointer was short, and Panathinaikos suffered their second loss. Regardless, Papapetrou has been the leader for PAO this season. After finishing with 24 points against Baskonia, he is averaging 17.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 19 PIR.

COMPLETE CONTROL. AX Armani Exchange Milan grabbed their visitors Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv by the neck right from the start, gaining a double-digit lead in the first quarter and never looking back. They had a commanding 52-30 lead at halftime, winning the match by 11.

TRUE LEADERSHIP. Scottie Wilbekin gathered all Maccabi players on the free-throw line of Mediolanum Forum two minutes before the start of the second half and made a speech.

“Yes, yes,” coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos admitted the importance of Wilbekin’s move before the second half. “Look, we have players with personality and players that can step up. It’s a matter of time. We’ll find our game rhythm and play much better. But this leadership will guide us to the right way.”

DEFENSIVE JUGGERNAUTS. Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade locked down another team on defense, taking down Zalgiris Kaunas 73-61. The Serbian squad is allowing just 61.7 points during the first three EuroLeague games this season.

NO TRUST. Zalgiris Kaunas dropped their third straight game in the EuroLeague, joining Bayern and Anadolu Efes as the only three teams in the league without a victory. After the game, Martin Schiller’s replacement, Jure Zdovc, said that he cannot trust Emmanuel Mudiay, who was expected to be the leader for Zalgiris this year.

“Everybody, including me, want more from him. He is a great guy, a very good player, but I cannot still trust him.”

Mudiay played 16 minutes against Zvezda, ending with 0 points (0/3 2PT, 0/1 3PT), 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, and -2 PIR. He is averaging 5.3 points (29% FG), 2.3 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 2.7 turnovers, and 3.0 PIR.

THE ONLY BRIGHT SPOT. One of the only positives for Zalgiris is the play from Josh Nebo, who was promoted to the starting center role after Joffrey Lauvergne went down with an injury. Nebo finished with 14 points (6/8 FG, 2/2 FT), 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover, and 24 PIR.

INCONSISTENT. Real Madrid kicked their game against AS Monaco off by dominating the first period 30-12. However, they allowed the visitors to come back and gain a lead down the stretch. While Real managed to win the game by eight, their inconsistency worries coach Pablo Laso.

“I think it was very important how we started the game, we got a big lead, but we were not able to play consistently, neither defensively nor offensively, and they came back. We were very solid in the last 4-5 minutes, and that made the difference in the end.”

BACK IN THE GROOVE. Mike James had his best game in the EuroLeague with a Monaco jersey against Real. He ended with a double-double: 24 points (1/4 2PT, 6/10 3PT, 4/4 FT), 10 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 turnovers, and 34 PIR trailing only to Tornike Shengelia in efficiency.

OLYMPIACOS ARE BACK. Those were Sarunas Jasikevicius’ words before FC Barcelona faced off against Olympiacos Piraeus. It seems like he was right, as the match was decided by a single possession, with Olympiacos being extremely close to stealing a victory at the Palau Blaugrana in overtime.

PRACTISE YOUR FREE THROWS. After Brandon Davies fouled out, Pierre Oriola came in to finish the game at center. He grabbed an offensive rebound on the last possession and got fouled to go to the free throw line. Oriola is a career 64.3% free throws shooter and said he was nervous before making the two shots.

“I was very nervous before taking those free throws. I’m not the greatest shooter on the team. But we won, we’ll take it. It was a good fight, but the best thing is to win the game.”

“I was upset with Oriola because he was not grabbing any offensive rebound... and he won the game with one,” Jasikevicius said post-game. “He has been working this morning on free throws. I knew he would score them. I’m happy for him.” 

TOP Plays of Round 3

Records of Round 3

PIR
Tornike  Shengelia
Tornike Shengelia

Tornike Shengelia (37)

Points
Tornike  Shengelia
Tornike Shengelia

Tornike Shengelia (33)

Rebounds
Nick  Calathes
Nick Calathes

 

 

 

Nick Calathes (13)

 

 

 

Assists
Elie  Okobo
Elie Okobo

Elie Okobo

Mike James (10 each)

Steals
Elie  Okobo
Elie Okobo

 

 

 

Elie Okobo (4)

 

 

 

Blocks
Konstantinos  Mitoglou
Konstantinos Mitoglou

Konstantinos Mitoglou

Jarrell Brantley (2 each)

3-pointers made
Mike  James
Mike James
Mike James (6)

Results of Round 3

73-70
77-67
91-87
75-73
81-79
83-72
73-61
94-86
79-78
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