|22 October 2012|
|Roel Moors and Antwerp Giants are off to a solid start in the Belgian Ethias League|
Port of Antwerp Giants, Belfius Mons-Hainaut and Okapi Aalstar have represented Belgium in the EuroChallenge in recent times and all three are back for 2012-13.
Antwerp improved to 2-1 in their top flight with a 94-81 victory over Viviers-Pepinster.
Bryan Hopkins finished with 28 points for Antwerp, who are once again led by Eddy Casteels, the man that holds the national team reins of Belgium.
Aalst prevailed 89-81 over Leuven.
Sweden boss Brad Dean, yet another national team coach at the helm of a EuroChallenge side, got 29 points from Ryan Thompson and steered Okapi to victory.
Mons are no longer guided by Israel national team tactician Arik Shivek but Yves Defraigne and his outfit lost to Liege, 74-71.
Karsiyaka Beat Reigning Champs Besiktas
The early signs are encouraging for Turkish basketball that once again, it will have a side contending for honors in the EuroChallenge.
Pinar Karsiyaka won for the second time in as many games in the Beko Basketbol Ligi, beating last year´s EuroChallenge winners Besiktas, 86-79.
Jon Diebler led a balanced Karsiyaka attack with 16 points.
Former Chalon star Alade Aminu, who represented Nigeria at the Olympics, weighed in with 15 points and eight rebounds while Robert Dixon also poured in 15 and handed out eight assists.
Besiktas are also the defending Basketbol Ligi champions and are playing in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague.
Tofas Bursa, meanwhile, made it through the Qualifying Round for the EuroChallenge and they are now 1-1 in Turkey after a 71-68 victory over Mersin.
Koch Brothers Meet On The Sidelines In Bonn
|Ronald Burrell and the EWE Baskets proudly sit on top of the table in Germany|
Telekom Baskets Bonn and EWE Baskets Oldenburg are flying the flag for Germany in the EuroChallenge and they had mixed results at the weekend.
Telekom Baskets were just two of 26 from behind the arc and suffered a 78-67 defeat to the Artland Dragons.
Only Chris Ensminger and Patrick Ewing Jr hit double digits in scoring for Bonn with 14 points and 12 points, respectively.
"We got off to a good start but Artland changed their defense often and we have not hit from the outside, even though there were many free throws (17 of 22) there," said Telekom Baskets coach Michael Koch, the brother of Artland boss Stefan Koch.
"This is a disaster for the self-confidence.
"Basketball is a game in which the ball must go through the basket, and if one does not succeed, it will be hard to win a game."
Julius Jenkins erupted for 25 points as EWE Baskets prevailed 72-64 over S.Oliver Baskets Wurzburg.
Jenkins was a one-man wrecking crew, drilling six of his eight shots from behind the arc.
"Julius Jenkins had the hot hand and he punished us," s.Oliver Baskets coach Marcel Schröder said.
"Our defense was decent in the second half, but against a team like Oldenburg, which has so many weapons, any error gets punished."
Winning coach Sebastian Machowski was all smiles following the contest.
His team adopted a more patient approach after half-time.
"In the second half, we always found the open shooter and the free man under the basket," he said.
"Before the break, we were too often about to crash through the wall."
The win propels Oldenburg to the top of the standings in the BBL after four wins in five games, Bonn are ninth with a 2-2 record.
Romanian EuroChallenge Squads With Little Luck
In Romania, BC Timisoara, Gaz Metan Medias, BCMU Pitesti and CSU Asesoft Ploiesti are in this season´s EuroChallenge and all four were in action on the domestic front over the weekend.
While Pitesti romped to a 108-46 triumph over Dynamo Bucharest with center Drasko Albijanic pouring in 20 points, the other three outfits lost.
BC Timisoara suffered a 90-89 defeat to Rovinari and Gaz Metan fell 79-64 to Targu Mures.
CSM Bucuresti were 93-80 victors over Ploiesti.
Three of the four French teams in the EuroChallenge - Dijon, Paris Llevallois and Gravelines-Dunkerque - fell to defeats while a fourth, SLUC Nancy, are in action on Monday evening at Chalon.
French EuroBasket 2013 hopeful Alexis Ajinca had 17 points as Strasbourg won 78-67 after overtime against Dijon.
Jérémy Leloup finished with 15 points in the setback.
Roanne, whose coach is Montenegro national team boss Luka Pavicevic, only led by four going into the last quarter but pulled away from Paris-Levallois and won, 74-65.
Jawad Williams had 20 points in defeat.
Limoges, now coached by former Greece national team boss Panagiotis Yannakis, prevailed 67-55 over Gravelines-Dunkerque.
It was the first defeat for Dunkerque in the third game, as they find themselves tied in the standings with seven other teams on a 2-1 record, including Paris.