Another night of great Euroleague action featured a real thrilling victory for debutant Khimki in overtime against Real Madrid. But there was more going on as the U.S. government is looking intensely at Greek powers Olympiacos and an update has been found on American 18-year-old Jeremy Tyler at Maccabi Haifa.
Euroleague fans got a bit more excitement in Thursday’s action than Wednesday’s night of blowouts, with an average winning margin of 6.8 points.
The biggest thriller came in Russia where Khimki needed overtime to knock off Real Madrid 84-81 in their Euroleague debut. Carlos Cabezas led Khimki with 20 points while the Lithuanian duo of Robertas Javtokas and Paulius Jankunas combined for 21 points and 19 rebounds. But it as the other Lithuanian in the game who grabbed the headlines despite the loss as Darjus Lavrinovic collected 32 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks for the amazing ranking of 49. He out-did his twin brother for the best ranking of the week as Ksistof Lavrinovic had a 34 ranking with 26 points and eight rebounds in Montepaschi Siena’s blasting of Cibona.
Khimki’s next game is at reigning champions Panathinaikos, who came back from a first half deficit to beat AJ Milano 75-67 thanks to 19 points and five assists by Vassilis Spanoulis. Unicaja roared back in the fourth quarter as Joel Freeland scored 19 points in their 72-64 win at Partizan. Lietuvos Rytas built a big lead and held on to win at home 77-70 against Efes Pilsen. And Lottomatica Roma used a 27-11 third quarter for a convincing 77-65 victory over Caja Laboral at home.
U.S. government looking into Olympiacos
Just as European basketball’s biggest club spectacle is tipping off its first week of the 2009-10 season, Greek powers Olympiacos management are watching anxiously the goings-on in the United States as U.S. congressman Peter King is looking into the past affairs of the European giants, including an official inquiry with the NBA.
Jeremy Tyler update
The Jerusalem Post came up with a nice write-up on Maccabi Haifa center Jeremy Tyler, the 18-year-old American who skipped his final year of high school to play professionally in Europe.
Calderon wants another shot at Team USA
Spanish point guard Jose Calderon was pretty frank in chat with fiba.com saying he hopes the United States sends the same group of players who beat Spain in the 2008 Olympic final to the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey. Calderon, who missed the Beijing final with an injury, also called for some more respect for the FIBA World Championship.
You cannot just play for the Olympics. I think that, if you want to be on the team, you’ve got to be in all the good tournaments, and that is a good tournament.
Argentina look to 2010 podium finish
Staying with the 2010 World Championship, Argentina forward Andres Nocioni said his team’s goal for Turkey is clear: “The aim is to reach the podium.”