2017-18Regular SeasonRound 1
October 13, 2017 CET: 19:00
Local time: 20:00 ZALGIRIO ARENA

Zalgiris survives a thriller against Zvezda

In a back-and-forth affair in which neither team had a lead bigger than 7 points, Zalgiris Kaunas held off Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 78-76 on Friday night at the packed Zalgirio Arena. A thrilling Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season opener for both teams went down to the last seconds, as Zvezda had a chance to tie it or win the game on the final possession, but Taylor Rochestie misfired on a three-point attempt. Zalgiris prevailed despite committing 21 turnovers, but making 17 of 18 free throws, which proved to be very valuable in the end. Paulius Jankunas scored 15 points, and had 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Kevin Pangos scored 14 points, Edgaras Ulanovas collected 11 points and 6 rebounds, while Aaron White and Brandon Davies scored 10 apiece in victory. Milko Bjelica paced Zvezda with 18 points, Pero Antic scored 17, while Taylor Rochestie finished with 10 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in the losing effort.

Davies scored 6 consecutive Zalgiris points to give the hosts an early 8-5 lead, but Zvezda replied with triples from veterans Antic and Branko Lazic to go up 12-13. A triple by White capped a low-scoring first quarter, making it 15-13, but the scoring quickly picked up in the second. Arturas Milaknis and James Feldeine traded triples, and Matthias Lessort helped Zvezda go up 20-24. However, Pangos scored his first basket and Ulanovas added a triple to put the hosts back in front. Stefan Jankovic and Feldeine hit from downtown for Zvezda, but Jankunas scored 6 points for Zalgiris to help it reach halftime with 41-38 advantage.

Zalgiris used driving basket from Pangos and a rim-rocking put-back from Davies to go up 7 points for the first time, 47-40, but Zvezda caught up with a triple from Nikola Radicevic and a driving dunk from Bjelica. Zalgiris still led 51-45 when Zvezda stepped it up defensively, not allowing Zalgiris a single field goal for the final 6 minutes of the quarter. Meanwhile, the visitors made 8 of 10 free throws before Ognjen Dobric stole and beat the buzzer with a fastbreak layup put them up 53-57 going into the fourth quarter. That's when Pangos put on a show despite playing with four personal fouls. He first hit a jumper over Lessort, then hit back-to-back threes to put the hosts in front 61-59, then dished an assist for a wide-open White for a corner triple at 64-60. A triple and free throws by Jankunas made it 69-62, but Zvezda answered with a three-point play from Rochestie and a triple by Antic at 70-68. Ulanovas made consecutive baskets for a six-point Zalgiris margin with 3 minutes to go, but triples from Antic and Bjelica kept the visitors in it. With 15 seconds left, Zvezda forced another turnover and got the final possession, but Rochestie's three-point attempt hit the rim.

Edgaras Ulanovas - Zalgiris Kaunas - EB17
Friday, October 13, 2017
Euroleague.net
Referees: KOROMILAS, ELIAS (GRE), BOLTAUZER, MATEJ (SLO), PANTHER, ANNE (GER)
Attendance: 11456
By Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas15281025
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade13271719
End of Quarter1234
Zalgiris Kaunas15435378
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade13405776
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 DAVIES, BRANDON 14:28 10 4/4   2/2 3 2 5 1 1 3     5 1 10
3 PANGOS, KEVIN 20:52 14 4/6 2/5         3   3     4 3 8
6 TOUPANE, AXEL 12:49 2 1/2       2 2     2     1    
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 26:16 15 3/4 1/2 6/6   5 5 3 2       2 7 28
20 MASIULIS, GYTIS 0:06                              
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS 21:23 3   1/2         1 1 1     2   1
22 MICIC, VASILIJE 18:27 7 2/3 0/3 3/4 1 2 3 4 2 3   1 5 3 5
24 ARLAUSKAS, MARTYNAS 0:06                         1   -1
30 WHITE, AARON 23:13 10 2/4 2/2   1 4 5 2   1 1   3 2 14
44 KAVALIAUSKAS, ANTANAS 14:52 6 1/2   4/4 1 2 3           3 2 7
66 VALINSKAS, PAULIUS 13:55   0/2     1 1 2 2   2          
92 ULANOVAS, EDGARAS 33:33 11 3/6 1/2 2/2 2 4 6 1 1 6 1   1 6 15
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 78 20/33 7/16 17/18 9 23 32 17 7 21 2 1 27 24 88
        60.6% 43.8% 94.4%
Head coach: JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 RADICEVIC, NIKOLA 16:43 3 0/2 1/2     2 2 2 1 1     3 3 4
6 DANGUBIC, NEMANJA DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 LAZIC, BRANKO 25:43 5 0/1 1/4 2/2 1   1 1 1       2 2 4
11 LAZAREVIC, STEFAN 4:37   0/1     1   1     1     1   -2
12 ANTIC, PERO 20:19 17 2/5 3/5 4/6 2 1 3   3     1 4 3 14
13 DOBRIC, OGNJEN 20:09 4 1/1 0/2 2/2   1 1   2 1       3 7
14 FELDEINE, JAMES 30:05 8 0/2 2/5 2/2   2 2 4 1 3   1 1 1 6
16 JANKOVIC, STEFAN 9:02 5 1/2 1/1                   4    
22 ROCHESTIE, TAYLOR 22:47 10 3/5 0/3 4/5 1 2 3 7 3 4 1   3 5 16
26 LESSORT, MATHIAS 19:34 6 2/4   2/5 4 1 5     1     3 4 6
32 JOVANOVIC, NIKOLA 0:46                              
51 BJELICA, MILKO 30:15 18 3/5 2/5 6/6 1 1 2 1   2     3 6 17
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 76 12/28 10/27 22/28 11 12 23 15 11 13 1 2 24 27 75
        42.9% 37% 78.6%
Head coach: ALIMPIJEVIC, DUSAN

Head Coaches

JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
Zalgiris Kaunas
“I asked my players to win by one, and they won by two. So they overdid it. It is unbelievable. It seemed like we were controlling the game, but we had many mistakes. OK, we are a young team, you have to understand that, too. Maybe I am asking of too much of them, but I think they are capable. It was an amazing atmosphere. Too bad that as a head coach you don’t really enjoy it more because there are 2,000 things going through your head. I wish I can enjoy more because it is crazy.”
ALIMPIJEVIC, DUSAN
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
“We were very brave tonight in some moments, we played very good in some moments. But that is not enough to win a game in this arena, with such good atmosphere, against such a good team like Zalgiris. Small things proved to be very important in this game. Small things like boxing out; we had a lot of problems with boxing out in the first half. But I am very glad we played the way we did. We have five players with no EuroLeague experience, and in the end we had a shot to win the game. That’s basketball, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Congratulations to Zalgiris and Coach Jasikevicius.”

Players

DAVIES, BRANDON
Zalgiris Kaunas
“It was really exciting to win our first EuroLeague game. It was hard-fought win, we had to battle all game long, and it is really special to win close games like that against good teams. The atmosphere was electric, to see so much support we had and how loud they got, you really feel it. The fans showed they got our backs and give you that extra push that you need. The fans were great, they were with us the whole game, and really helped us out.”
PANGOS, KEVIN
Zalgiris Kaunas
“I feel great about the game. We got the win, that's what matters. It was not pretty all the way, but we got the job done. We always feed off the home crowd, especially when we go on a run and try to get an important stop. These fans are always great and we used their energy today, for sure. “
JANKUNAS, PAULIUS
Zalgiris Kaunas
“It was a tough match, and the most important thing is that we won. We are not playing our best basketball, but I think many teams are not playing their best basketball now. We are still searching for our best game, and I think we are going to improve fast and we are going to play as good as we can. It is always very important to start EuroLeague season with a win, and we are happy with that.”
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