|23 January 2012|
|32-year-old Polish forward Michal Ignerski led all scorers in BC NN's win over Zalgiris in the VTB League |
BC Nizhny Novgorod are off to an 0-2 start in the EuroChallenge Last 16 but there is cause for hope of staying alive in the competition after their impressive showing over the weekend in the VTB United League.
Michal Ignerski scored 27 points and Artem Yakovenko 22 as BC NN clinched an 85-79 victory over Zalgiris Kaunas.
The Russian outfit, which suffered a heart-breaking defeat at Fuenlabrada in their Last 16 opener and then crashed to a heavy home defeat to Besiktas Milangaz last week, looked like a completely different team against Zalgiris.
"This is a beautiful and interesting victory for the fans and it's important to us, especially after the defeat to Triumph Lyubertsy (Russian PBL) and Besiktas (EuroChallenge)," BC NN coach Zoran Lukic said.
"Zalgiris lost in their last home game, and this probably also affected the mood of our guests.
"Of course, not everything went smoothly, and sometimes Zalgiris got too close to us because of our own mistakes, but everything ended well and we beat the Lithuanian team for the second time."
BC NN are fourth in the VTB United League Group A with a 6-5 record while Zalgiris are sixth.
BC NN take on BK Pardubice in the EuroChallenge on Wednesday.
Pardubice will go into their game on the back of an 85-63 home defeat to Nymburk in the Czech Republic.
Triumph, who are also 0-2 in the EuroChallenge Last 16, won 92-82 over Spartak-Primorye.
Jerry Jefferson had 36 points and Sergey Karasev 25 for Triumph.
"Overall, I am pleased with our game today," said Vasily Karasev, the acting head coach of Triumph.
"It was a victory over a very serious competitor that doesn't give up until the last minute.
"I am very pleased with the play of Jefferson and Karasev, and (Artem) Kuzyakin, (Dmitry) Kulagin and (Tywain) McKee."
|Christopher Copeland exploded for 30 points in Okapi Aalstar's emphatic win over fellow EuroChallenge side Antwerp Giants in the Belgian league|
Triumph play at Antwerp Giants on Tuesday in a battle of 0-2 teams in the EuroChallenge Last 16.
Roanne Basket, who are 2-0 in Group I of the EuroChallenge and host Ventspils on Tuesday, fell 78-71 at Nanterre.
Philippe Braud had 14 points in the defeat for Roanne.
Elan Chalon followed up their narrow defeat at Telekom Baskets in EuroChallenge Group J with an 81-80 loss at Le Havre.
Malcolm Delaney had a game-high 21 points in defeat.
Ventspils bounced back from a big home collapse to ZZ Leiden in Group I and posted an 86-80 over fellow Latvians Liepaja in the Baltic League.
Leiden, who had trailed Ventspils by 23 points before winning that contest, rode the momentum to an 88-65 victory over Leeuwarden.
Spain's EuroChallenge Last 16 team, Fuenlabrada, punched their ticket to the Copa del Rey with a 65-54 triumph over Blancos de Rueda Valladolid.
The Spaniards, who host Besiktas Milangaz in the EuroChallenge game of the week, got 18 points from Saul Blanco while Leo Mainoldi returned to the squad after missing time with a knee problem.
Mike Hall also added 10 points and nine rebounds for Fuenlabrada.
Okapi Aalstar won decisively against Antwerp, 94-76, in the Belgian league.
Okapi were coming off a 112-76 drubbing by Hungarians Szolnoki Olaj in EuroChallenge Group J while Antwerp had fallen in their game at Pinar Karsiyaka, 70-51.
Christopher Copeland scored 30 points for Okapi in their victory.
Szolnoki Olaj scraped an 84-81 victory over Kaposvari in the Hungarian top flight.
Marton Bader led Szolnoki with 19 points and 17 boards.