Apoel stormed to an 86-59 victory over ETHA Encomi after a big second half in a Nicosia EuroChallenge derby.
Zvonko Buljan, a 23-year-old forward from Croatia, led the rampage on Tuesday night with 24 points for Apoel, who won eight of their 16 games in the competition last season.
Apoel only led 46-43 at half-time but hit the visitors with a quick fire 8-0 run to start the third quarter and ETHA Encomi never recovered.
Apoel's Jeremiah Davis scored on two consecutive drives, drawing a foul on the second which he turned into a three-point play.
Buljan then followed with a three-point play that made it 52-43.
Buljan, who had a game-high 16 rebounds, went on to score 10 points in the quarter as Apoel opened up a lead of 14 and they never looked back.
Davis added 19 points and Arthur Lee 14.
For the losers, who were out-rebounded 40-30 on the night, Anthony King scored 17 points.
"Congratulations to my players. We had a rhythm problem in the 1st half but after that we played good defence, good fast breaks and we managed to win at the end."
APOEL Player George Neofytou:
"Etha is a difficult opponent but through our defence we achieved to win. We will continue to work hard."
Etha Head Coach Antonis Constantinides:
"Congratulations to APOEL. They deserved to win and especially in the 3rd quarter they proved to be with a cleared mind. APOEL played well the fast break they had very high percentage in the field goals. We have to realise that European competitions are different than domestic league games."
Etha Player George Anastasiades:
"APOEL deserved to win especially after they played very well in the 3rd quarter. Etha is a good team and we will get better in the next game."