Regular Season, Round 2: Group races begin heating up already
Week 2 of the 2008-09 Euroleague Basketball season will be remembered for a little bit of everything: Some incredible individual and team performances, a little history and some stunning upsets. After all the dust settled on 12 action-packed games over two nights, the competition is left with seven undefeated teams, four of whom will meet in head-to-head duels next week. In Group A, the fans in Piraeus, Greece enjoyed their team's home opener asOlympiacos bested Unicaja 83-72 thanks to a monster game from big man Ioannis Bourousis, who recorded 20 points and 13 rebounds. Josh Childress added 15 for the Reds, who are 2-0 and share the top spot in the group with their next opponent, Cibona, which held on to beat Le Mans 54-58 on the road in France. Earl Calloway paved the way for Cibona with 22 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Another point guard was the star in Tel Aviv, where Carlos Arroyo led Maccabi Electra past Air Avellino 90-83.Arroyo finished with 20 points and 8 assists for the hosts, who led by as many as 27 in the fourth quarter. In Group B,Regal FC Barcelona routed Panathinaikos 90-66 to establish its Final Four credentials. Juan Carlos Navarro paced the winners with 21 points as they handed the Greens their worst Euroleague loss in over five years. Barca is not the only undefeated team in Group B because Montepaschi Siena stormed Zalgiris 67-93 to also improve to 2-0. Zalgiris led by 3 at halftime, but the Italian champs dominated the second half behind Rimas Kaukenas's 27-point effort. Montepaschi hosts Barcelona in Week 3. A first win of the season went to Asseco Prokom as it blasted SLUC Nancy 91-62 with Daniel Ewing drilling 6 three-pointers en route to 32 points. The Spanish champs sit atop Group C after Tau Ceramica outlasted Union Olimpija 90-91 in a thriller. Olimpija came back from 21 down to take a late lead, but Mirza Teletovic won it for Tau on a floating layup with 2.7 seconds to go. Mirsad Turkcan recorded his highest-scoring game since January 2002 as Fenerbahce Ulker beat Alba Berlin 82-73. Turkcan finished with 25 points – including a career-high 4 three-pointers – and 9 rebounds. In the Italian capital, Lottomatica Roma bested DKV Joventut 85-71 on the strength of a 17-0 third-quarter run. Ibby Jaaber had 17 for Roma. One of the first big surprises of the young season took place when Partizan Belgrade topped visiting Real Madrid 81-77 in Group D. It was Partizan's first-ever win over Madrid after 12 previous tries. All five Partizan starters scored in double figures. They were led by Aleksandar Rasic with 18 points and Milenko Tepic with 16 points and 5 assists. The reigning Euroleague champs improved to 2-0 as CSKA Moscow routed Panionios On Telecoms 52-86. Erazem Lorbek paced the winners with 17 points as CSKA dominated inside all night. J.R. Holden joined an exclusive club by scoring his 2,000th career point in the win. And Efes Pilsen outlasted Armani Jeans Milano 71-81 on the road to join CSKA atop the Group D standings thanks to 19 and 17 points from Milos Vujanic and Bootsy Thornton.