Back in Europe’s premier club basketball competition after making an early exit with a 2-8 record on their debut in the 2012-13 season, Cedevita celebrated their first win after three successive defeats this term.
Five of their players finished with double scoring digits in Tel Aviv, led by former Toronto Raptors shooting guard Roko Leni Ukic who netted 17 points and dished out six assists.
Bosnian playmaker Nemanja Gordic scored 16 points and Fran Pilepic chipped in with 14 to cancel out a fine individual display by Maccabi’s Jeremy Pargo, the game’s top performer with 24 points and five assists.
“This is maybe the biggest thing in our history especially as it came against the champions of Europe,” Cedevita coach Jasmin Repesa told 深圳桑拿网,euroleague深圳桑拿网,.
“It’s very important for the future because my players saw today that if they can play against Maccabi they can play this way against any other team in our group.”
The tough section also includes six-times champions CSKA Moscow, Spaniards Unicaja Malaga, Alba Berlin and French side Limoges.
Barcelona came out on top in a rip-roaring contest in Istanbul after Fenerbahce forward Emir Preldzic missed a difficult, off-balance shot that prompted an angry reaction from his Serb coach Zeljko Obradovic.
The lead changed hands several times in a first half garnished by a barrage of long-range shots, fast breaks and spectacular dunks before Marcelinho Huertas tied the score at 41-41 with a three-pointer on the buzzer which almost defied the laws of physics.
The blow seemed to swing the contest Barcelona’s way as they built an eight-point lead in the second half before the home team’s late rally nearly produced one final twist.
American Brad Oleson led the winners with 16 points, including four three-pointers from as many attempts, with Justin Doellman and Croatia centre Ante Tomic amassing 12 each.
“The end of the game was a bit strange but I think we deserved to win,” said Barcelona’s talismanic guard Juan Carlos Navarro who is in his 17th season with the club.
“They played better in the first half but we managed to get control of the game midway through the third quarter.”
Elsewhere, Polish side Turow beat Bayern Munich 89-78, Zalgiris Kaunas overpowered Unics Kazan 77-71 on the back of 27 points from James Anderson and Anadolu Efes Istanbul enjoyed a 76-66 win at Russian debutants Nizhny Novgorod.
The pick of Friday’s matches is a mouth-watering clash between Red Star Belgrade and Greek powerhouse Olympiakos Piraeus in the Serbian capital’s sold-out Kombank Arena.
(Editing by Tony Jimenez)