Regular Season Round 1 - October 21, 2009 CET: 18:45 Local time: 19:45 - S.DARIUS AND S.GIRENAS SPORT CENTER

Records

Ave.   Ave.
0-0 Final Four 0-0
0-0 Playoffs 0-0
0-0 Top 16 0-0
0-0 Regular Season 0-0
0-0 Overall 0-0

Referees

Crew Chief
DRABIKOVSKY, VOLODYMR, Ukraine
Referee
KOLAR, ROMAN, Slovenia
Umpire
KALPAKAS, APOSTOLOS, Sweden

Team Stats

Ave.   Ave.
0 Points 0
0 Rebounds 0
0 O. Rebounds 0
0 D. Rebounds 0
0 Assists 0
0 Steals 0
0 Blocks 0
0 Turnovers 0
0 2PT 0
0 3PT 0
0 FT 0
0 Index 0

Player Stats

Ave.   Ave.
0 Points 0
0 Rebounds 0
0 OR 0
0 DR 0
0 Assists 0
0 Steals 0
0 Blocks 0
0 Turnovers 0
0 2PT 0
0 3PT 0
0 FT 0
0 Index 0

THE TAKE

A new Euroleague seasons starts for two classic clubs when Zalgiris hosts Asvel Basket in Kaunas, Lithuania, in Group A on Wednesday night. Zalgiris is ready to bounce back from a rare title-free 2008-09 season in which the club missed the Top 16. Meanwhile, Asvel is back in the Euroleague for the first time since 2005 and looks for its first Top 16 appearance in seven years. Asvel may miss shooting guard Laurent Foirest, who has not played in the French League so far and is questionable for this game. Two-time Eurocup champion Mindaugas Lukauskis, scorer Ben Dewar and up-and-coming talent Bangaly Fofana should see most of the minutes at the wings for Asvel. Lukauskis will have the tough mission to guard Marcus Brown, the Euroleague's all-time top scorer, back at Zalgiris after a season with Maccabi Electra. Dewar is set to play against Dainius Salenga and Arturas Milaknis. Meanwhile, Martynas Pocius could be the hosts' X-factor in this game due to his athleticism and shooting ability. Zalgiris now features Mantas Kalnietis as its starting point guard. It could be a breakout year for Kalnietis, who has a rare combination of shooting range, court vision and athleticism. He will share the point guard duties with youngsters Sarunas Vasilauskas and Zygimantas Janavicius. Kalnietis has a difficult test against Bobby Dixon, a very quick point guard who provides great court vision and on-the-ball defense. Veteran playmaker Aymeric Jeanneau will see minutes off the bench. The battle in the paint is equally interesting, as Asvel features dominant center Curtis Borchardt. When Borchardt is injury-free, he is virtually unstoppable at both ends of the floor. Borchardt leads a deep frontcourt that also offers versatile forward Kristjan Kangur, blue-collar big man Eric Campbell and Ali Traore, an old-school low post player. Borchardt will not have it easy against 2.20-meter center Mirza Begic, who is complimented by rebounding stud Travis Watson. Aggressive power forward Tadas Klimavicius and big men Povilas Cukinas and Povilas Butkevicius round out Zalgiris's frontcourt. Asvel will try to play uptempo whenever Borchardt rests and to get him involved in the halfcourt attack the rest of the time to maximize its strengths. Zalgiris must run the court and play aggressive with Watson and Begic together on court as often as possible. This game shapes up as a balanced battle that could be a crucial result down the road.

REFEREES: Volodymyr Drabikovsky, Roman Kolar, Apostolos Kalpakas


GAME NOTES

Zalgiris
  • Scoring king Marcus Brown has spent two seasons playing in France in the past. He won the 1998 French League title with EB Pau-Orthez in 1998, where he was a teammate of current Asvel Basket player Laurent Foirest. Brown also helped Limoges win the French Cup in 2000.
  • Dainius Salenga needs just 5 more three-pointers to reach 100 for his Euroleague career.
  • Martynas Pocius, Vytenis Cizauskas, Adas Juskevicius and Povilas Butkevicius will make their Euroleague debuts this season.
Asvel Villeurbanne
  • Ben Dewar, Kristjan Kangur, Curtis Borchardt and Bobby Dixon will make their respective Euroleague debuts Week 1 at Zalgiris Kaunas.
  • Big man Ali Traore makes his Euroleague return after more than seven years. His only previous appearance was for one minute as a teenager for Asvel in a February 2002 win over Cibona.
  • Forward Eric Campbell has scored in double figures in each of his last six Euroleague appearances.
  • Mindaugas Lukauskis was a teammate of Zalgiris player Mantas Kalnietis on the Lithuanian national team at EuroBasket 2009 this summer. He also played in the past with Zalgiris big man Povilas Cukinas at Lietuvos Rytas.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Euroleague.net

Quotes Head Coaches

KRAPIKAS, GINTARAS
Zalgiris
"Asvel is a team that likes to play up-tempo basketball and shoot a lot of threes. I saw couple of their games and noticed that they rely on scoring from downtown. They also have a tall and strong center in Curtis Borchardt, and their forwards are also at the Euroleague level. And they are led by French national team head coach, which means a lot. They left the impression of a well-disciplined team. They are coming back to the Euroleague, so they will be hungry for victories. However, they are one of our main opponents to reach the next round, so we will do everything to start the season at home with the win. We had plenty of games to prepare for Euroleague season. It showed, even playing against weaker opponents, that our team has some depth, but players coming from the bench have to keep the same stability every game. Our main players cannot win games by themselves, so how our bench will come to play will be the most important thing on Wednesday."
COLLET, VINCENT
Asvel Basket
"We are beginning a very high-level competition this Wednesday with all the determination that goes along with that. I have no doubt that the players show a lot of motivation for this first Euroleague game. I think it's key for the rest of the competition. Compared to Barcelona or Siena, we can beat Cibona and Zalgiris, which doesn't take away any of the value of these two teams, because our chances of qualification to the Top 16 should be against one of them. Zalgiris is showing all the toughness and commitment necessary for the Euroleague and has physical players at all positions. This team is stronger than last year's and its starting five is of a top European level, particularly Marcus Brown and Travis Watson. It has an army of shooters, and can definitely shoot from the outside."

Players

KALNIETIS, MANTAS
Zalgiris
"Our coaches have prepared us very thoroughly with scouting material of the opposing team, so we know what Asvel is capable of. However, it is only the start of the season and all the teams are still finding their best game. The first game is very important, especially since we will start at home this year. If you want to get to the Top 16, you have to win your home games. We surely will try to do that starting from the first game."
LUKAUSKIS, MINDAUGAS
Asvel Basket
“Our team is more confident now that we won last Saturday against Strasbourg. It is important for us to win this first Euroleague game. Personally, I am happy to go back to Lithuania, even though this game is a new game with a new team. French teams are all about the same level and each team can beat the other every weekend. In Lithuania, only two teams rule the League, Lietuvos Rytas and Kaunas. The games between these two are always very intense. I played Kaunas six times when I was in Rytas and I am expecting some ‘special treatment’ on Wednesday.”
Martynas Pocius - ZalgirisNew-look Zalgiris gave the fans in Kaunas, Lithuania plenty to like and took an important step in Group A by running away to a 71-52 victory over visiting Asvel Basket of France on Wednesday in the Euroleague regular season opener for both teams. Zalgiris impressed as much with its defense as with the mix of newcomers and old standbys who led the victory. Mantas Kalnietis led the winners in scoring with 17 points, including late back-to-back triples that might come in handy later in the season if tie-breaker points are needed. The rest of the game, Marcus Brown and Martynas Pocius paced Zalgiris with 16 points each, while Travis Watson controlled the boards to the tune of 14 rebounds. Five Zalgiris players had 2 or more assists. For Asvel, two players put up most of the numbers. Big man Curtis Borchardt had a game-high 20 points and 7 rebounds in his Euroleague debut, while Bobby Dixon followed with 10 points and 9 rebounds. The Zalgiris fans will likely remember this as the debut of Pocius, whose 3 three-pointers in 5 minutes after making his entrance in the first quarter secured leads that the home team protected well the rest of the game.

Free throws by Borchardt and Brown got their respective teams on the scoreboard to start the game and the season. However, it was Dixon who was the early protagonist, hitting 2 triples in the first 5 minutes to send Asvel ahead by 8-10. That's when Pocius stepped off the bench to blast his first shot, from downtown, after which Zalgiris didn't give up the lead again all night. Pocius fired again from the arc at 16-11. Borchardt worked inside to get 2 points back for Asvel, but Pocius got to the line for a free throw to put the hosts up 17-13. He wasn't done, though. On the last shot before the buzzer, one of the best first-quarter debuts in Euroleague history saw Pocius fire up a his third triple in less than 5 minutes to give Zalgiris a 20-15 lead.

Curtis Borchardt - Asvel VilleurbanneBrown, Mirza Begic and Tadas Klimavicius picked up the scoring early in the second quarter as Zalgiris lengthened its lead to 19-27. Asvel had its own spark in Kristian Kangur, with 4 quick points, but the Zalgiris defense stopped the visitors cold after that. Meanwhile, Mantas Kalnietis hit a driving layup to push the difference into double digits. Kangur stopped the slide with a triple, but Klimavicius kept up his end of the scoring with a jump-hook and dunk inside sandwiched around a pair of free throws from Pocius, now back in action. With those two youngsters pacing them, Zalgiris strode into halftime looking strong with a 40-27 advantage.

Zalgiris threatened to run away after halftime as Kalnietis buried a shot from downtown and Dainius Salenga dunked to make it 45-27, but Asvel went inside to recover. Borchardt scored twice in a row there and Ali Traore followed him to cut the difference to 45-33 and force a Zalgiris timeout. The hosts not only locked down their interior defense after that, but fed the ball inside to Watson, whose 4 points in a row followed by free throws from Brown restored a big lead, 51-35. Pocius came back to show off his driving skills, while Asvel stuck with Borchardt and Traore - who would score all their team's points in the quarter - to stay within 53-39 after 30 minutes.

The Zalgiris defense made sure that difference would hold up in the fourth quarter by allowing little more than Borchardt's trips to the free throw line as Kalnietis, Brown and Begic upped the lead to 60-41. Brown downed a triple at 63-43 before Asvel's backcourt scored its first points of the entire half on fastbreak layups by Eric Campbell and Dixon. Out of a Zalgiris timeout, Campbell answered a Watson dunk with a shot from arc, but then Kalnietis sentenced the outcome for good - no doubt with an eye on future tie-breakers in the group. His back-to-back triples surged the difference to 71-50 and sent the Kaunas fans home happy at the start of the Euroleague season.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Euroleague.net
Referees: DRABIKOVSKY, VOLODYMR (UKR), KOLAR, ROMAN (SLO), KALPAKAS, APOSTOLOS (SWE)
Attendance: 4500
By Quarter1234
Zalgiris20201318
Asvel Basket15121213
End of Quarter1234
Zalgiris20405371
Asvel Basket15273952
Head coach: KRAPIKAS, GINTARAS
Zalgiris
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
5 BROWN, MARCUS 30:43 16 2/6 2/6 6/6 1 1 2   2 1     1 4 14
7 POCIUS, MARTYNAS 23:43 16 1/4 3/6 5/6 3   3 3 2 2   1 1 3 16
8 JUSKEVICIUS, ADAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 KALNIETIS, MANTAS 36:27 17 4/4 3/11     3 3 2   5 2       11
10 JANAVICIUS, ZYGIMANTAS 5:03               2 1 1         2
12 KLIMAVICIUS, TADAS 11:11 7 2/3 1/2   1 1 2               7
14 BUTKEVICIUS, POVILAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 BEGIC, MIRZA 25:50 3 0/1   3/6 1 5 6 1 1 1     4 4 6
20 SALENGA, DAINIUS 24:04 3 1/4 0/2 1/4 1 2 3 2 2 1       3 4
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
32 CUKINAS, POVILAS 12:16 1 0/2   1/2 1 2 3 1       1 5 1 -3
35 WATSON, TRAVIS 30:43 8 3/5 0/1 2/2 2 12 14 3 1 2   1 3 1 18
Team           1   1               1
Totals 200:00 71 13/29 9/28 18/26 11 26 37 14 9 13 2 3 14 16 76
44.8% 32.1% 69.2%
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
Head coach: COLLET, VINCENT
Asvel Basket
# Player Min Pts 2FG
M-A
3FG
M-A
FT
M-A
Rebounds As St To Bl Fouls PIR
O D T Fv Ag Cm Rv
5 LUKAUSKIS, MINDAUGAS 31:01 2 1/2 0/5     1 1 3 3 1 1   2   1
6 LACOMBE, PAUL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
7 FOIREST, LAURENT 11:17   0/2 0/1                   1   -4
8 BORCHARDT, CURTIS 32:25 20 7/10 0/1 6/11 3 4 7 2   2 2   2 10 28
9 JEANNEAU, AYMERIC 9:50     0/1     2 2     1          
10 DEWAR, BEN 20:52     0/3           2       3   -4
12 TRAORE, ALI 19:27 6 2/9   2/2 1 3 4   1 2       1 3
13 CAMPBELL, ERIC 22:30 7 2/2 1/3     3 3 1 1       4 1 7
14 KANGUR, KRISTJAN 19:14 7 1/4 1/1 2/2 1 4 5   1 2     4 1 5
16 FOFANA, BANGALY DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 DIXON, BOBBY 33:24 10 2/8 2/5   3 6 9 1 1 3   2   1 8
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 52 15/37 4/20 10/15 8 24 32 7 9 11 3 2 16 14 45
40.5% 20% 66.7%
This game is not yet played

Head Coaches

KRAPIKAS, GINTARAS
Zalgiris
"I would like to congratulate all my players for our good start in the Euroleague. My players were a bit tense before the game, because the weight of responsibility playing before our homes fans. But we played good defense, just like we are supposed to. I would like to thank our fans, who created a great atmosphere and contributed to our win. We had our problems: we struggled against their zone defense, shot too many three-pointers, and our big guys didn’t get enough touches. But we did a good job limiting their scoring opportunities. We all played like a fist in defense, so it doesn‘t matter who scored points."
COLLET, VINCENT
Asvel Basket
"I think Zalgiris deserved this win. We were only in the game during the first quarter. Tthey dominated the rest of the game and broke open in second quarter, when they ran increased their lead from seven to 13 points. Give them credit- they took good shots and they were aggressive."

Players

POCIUS, MARTYNAS
Zalgiris
"I’m very happy with the win. We played great, especially on defense. The whole team made a big step forward today. It wasn’t an easy game, but all the guys gave one-hundred and ten percent and that’s why we won. Today we played hard and as a team on the defensive end. I think this is an important win for us emotionally and psychologically. Now it will be easier to go forward."
LUKAUSKIS, MINDAUGAS
Asvel Basket
"We played very poorly. We didn’t attack well and committed a lot of turnovers. Maybe we were too excited just to start playing in the Euroleague. It goes without saying that it’s a pity we lost by such a big margin, but it was only the first game. There are lost of new faces in Zalgiris, but they are showing they already play well together. I missed a lot of my long shots today, but sometimes you make them, sometimes you don’t."
No pictures yet
There is no video yet
Lithuania: VIASAT BALTIC
Finland: VIASAT
Denmark: VIASAT
Greece: NOVASPORTS 4
Latvia: VIASAT BALTIC
Internet: EUROLEAGUE.TV
Estonia: VIASAT BALTIC