Five Euroleague games were played last night and things were interestingly shaken up a bit when the final buzzers sounded. Tonight’s slate looks even nicer, with Montepaschi Siena vs. FC Barcelona and possible instant classic Panathinaikos vs. CSKA Moscow. To get you up to date and ready – plus possibly take up a minutes of your time courtesy YouTube – BallinEurope has compiled a few notes for your perusal presented in time-honored bullet fashion, starring Furkan Aldemir, Bojan Bogdanovic and Juan Carlos Navarro, among others.
• EL newcomers Galatasaray notched a nice win – though hardly the upset of the night – at Union Olimpija, pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 79-70 win and led by unlikely hero Furkan Aldemir’s double-double in his Euroleague premiere. The big league’s official site notes the critical implications of the W for the Turkish side: “Galatasaray moved up to 2-2 and will at least tie for third place at the end of this round. Olimpija dropped to 1-3 and plays four of its next five games on the road.
“In his first-ever Euroleague start at age 20, Furkan Aldemir paced the winners with 18 points on 7-of-9 two-pointers and 11 rebounds. Josh Shipp added 17 points, Preston Shumpert got 11 and Darius Songaila had 10 for Galatasaray. Aleksandar Capin led Olimpija with 15 points. Ratko Varda added 14 while Deon Thompson had 11 for the hosts.”
• Unicaja defended home court in defeating KK Zagreb, 99-85. Would you like to know more?
• This may not be Asseco Prokom’s year; with the 72-68 home loss to Unics Kazan dropping the team to 0-4 in Euroleague play and 2-6 overall. Alonzo Gee’s hasty departure via text message surely won’t help matters – incidentally, Gee was no. 1 in rebounding and no. 2 in scoring in the VTB United League – and worst of all, at least one source claims this could be the Polish powerhouse’s *final* season in existence.
• The big individual story of last night had to be Bojan Bogdanovic. Finally breaking out of his season-long malaise, the prospective New Jersey Net was good for 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting plus four rebounds in 22 minutes of play in Fenerbahçe Ülker’s 73-70 win at Bizkaia Bilbao Basket. Aside from Curtis Jerrells, who was 5-of-7, Bogdanovic was the sole Fenerbahçe player who shot better than 50%, as the team went a sorry 37.1% on twos and managed an unbelievable 1-of-11 mark in the six-point second quarter.
• And then there was that upset, certainly the shocker of the Euroleague season thus far and a result that will live on in Cantù annals for some time: Bennet Cantù 64, Olympiacos 63.
• To get you ready for tonight’s games, here are the Euroleague Adventures guys talking b-ball courtside in Spain. (Damn, it’s still shorts weather there? Nice.)
• The league reminds us through Twitter about La Bomba’s chase of history against Montepaschi Siena tonight: “Stay tuned to Juan Carlos Navarro tonight. He’s just 33 points away from tying & 1 more from breaking the all-time Euroleague scoring record.”
• Finally, here’s a little taste of what Real Madrid will be facing in Hala Pionir tonight. Enjoy the games!