Week 3 Roundup

21 November 2013

EUROCHALLENGE

12. Augustas Peciukevicius (Tartu Rock)
Augustas Peciukevicius was instrumental in taking Tartu Rock to their first win

Two teams, BK Ventspils in Group C and Triumph Lyubertsy in Group D, claimed their third win this week and march on unbeaten in the EuroChallenge Regular Season.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, BC Kyiv in Group D and ZZ Leiden in Group G suffered their third consecutive defeats and stand on the verge of premature elimination from the competition.

These are the hard facts that we can take out of Week 3, but we also had a variety of interesting sub-plots to the EuroChallenge this week, which we examine below.

Keep An Eye On:

Augustas Peciukevicius had said in the summer that the main reason he chose to continue his career in Estonia but make the switch from Pärnu to Tartu University Rock was because the 2012 league champions were going to play in the EuroChallenge.

The 22-year-old Lithuanian effectively made his debut in the competition on Tuesday, as he had previously only featured for a few seconds, and made sure to leave his mark.

The young point guard poured in 25 points on four-for-five shooting from three-point range, leading Tartu Rock to a 99-65 rout of the Sodertalje Kings in Group C action.

Peciukevicius' Tuesday performance shows that he can add execution ability to the repertoire he exhibited for years as a permanent member of Lithuanian national teams at youth level a repertoire that mainly consisted of strong organisation skills, excellent passing and hard-nosed defence.

 

Stat Of The Week:

It's not exactly an every day occurrence for even a sharp-shooting player to hit seven three-pointers in a single game, and when he only needs nine attempts to do so, the feat is really remarkable.

Estonian international Kristo Saage did just that on Wednesday night and collected a game-high 26 points to propel Rakvere Tarvas to a 77-75 win over Port of Antwerp Giants.

While it is still early days in the season, Saage has set the bar very high, considering that in last year's edition of the EuroChallenge, only two players made more than seven triples in a single game.

On a team level, JDA Dijon's extremely efficient showing on Tuesday has to earn a mention, as the French side stole the ball a season-high 15 times from SPM Shoeters Den Bosch and hit 22 of their 32 shots (68.8%) from two-point range in their 83-64 win.

 

Blast From The Past:

9. Zarko Rakocevic (Körmend)
 Zarko Rakocevic provided a blast from the past for Körmend this week

Inkognito Fashion Körmend's impressive 103-99 victory in overtime, which came after the Hungarian side recovered from an 18-point deficit in the third quarter, would not have happened were it not for the stellar performance of Zarko Rakocevic.

The Montenegrin center, who turns 30 in January, picked up a double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds, adding one steal and one assist for good measure, registering an efficiency rating of 32.

Rakocevic started his career at Buducnost Podgorica and won the first two domestic league titles in the history of his native Montenegro before moving on to Partizan and conquering the Serbian league and cup double with the Belgrade powerhouse in 2009.

That was also the year he made his only appearances with the senior national team, averaging 3.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in their Division B campaign.

The veteran hails from a country that produces quality big men by the truckload, so a return to the national team is not very likely, but it's nice to see that he can still turn in huge performances in Hungary.

Hitting The Headlines:

The EuroChallenge is a competition where upsets are on the daily agenda and Week 3 of the Regular Season had its fair share of surprise results, but CSM Oradea were the perpetrators of the most eye-catching victory.

The Romanian side had lost both of their first games in their maiden season in the EuroChallenge, while Royal Hali Gaziantep were riding a two-game winning streak which included a fantastic overtime win on the road against reigning champions Krasnye Krylia.

However, on Tuesday Oradea seemed to be completely oblivious of these facts as they travelled to Turkey and stunned their hosts 74-69, having dominated the Group B clash from start to finish, even leading by as many as 20 points in the third frame.

Center Sean Denison, who collected a double-double of 13 points and 13 boards, was key in Oradea's first success in the competition.

Quote Of The Week:

"This is an historical win for Samokov, the first in Europe and it has to be noted," said Rosen Barchovski, the head coach of Bulgarian club Rilski Sportist, after his team recorded their first ever victory in a European competition on Tuesday night, 70-68 over BC Mures of neighbouring Romania.

 


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