2009-10Regular SeasonRound 1
October 21, 2009 CET: 18:45
Local time: 19:45 S.DARIUS AND S.GIRENAS SPORT CENTER
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
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Referees: DRABIKOVSKY, VOLODYMR (UKR), KOLAR, ROMAN (SLO), KALPAKAS, APOSTOLOS (SWE)
Attendance: 4500
By Quarter1234
Zalgiris20201318
Asvel Basket15121213
End of Quarter1234
Zalgiris20405371
Asvel Basket15273952
Zalgiris
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
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%
Head coach: KRAPIKAS, GINTARAS
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
Asvel Basket
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
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%
Head coach: COLLET, VINCENT

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."
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