Group C: Vienna Too Hot To Handle

30 October 2013
Predrag Miletic, Zepter Vienna
Predrag Miletic and Zepter Vienna are certainly on a high just a week before their first EuroChallenge encounter

With less than a week remaining to the opening night of the EuroChallenge Regular Season, débutantes BC Zepter Vienna still ignore the taste of defeat this year.

The Viennese outfit picked up their sixth win in as many games in the Austrian Admiral Bundesliga on Tuesday night, as they cruised to an 89-69 success over Allianz Swans Gmunden at home.

Vienna are now one victory away from equalising their record seven-game winning streak from last season, which was interestingly snapped by the Swans approximately a year ago.

On Tuesday though, it became apparent early on in the clash that the guests had very little chance of repeating that feat.

Arnas Labuckas drilled two back-to-back triples and Vienna took their first double-digit lead, 20-10, on a Nenad Sulovic lay-up with 3:25 still remaining in the opening period.

The hosts were content to hold a 48-36 lead at the half-time break but once the Swans scored the first two baskets in the second half and reduced the gap to eight points, Nikola Pavlicevic replied with three consecutive three-pointers to restore order.

A tip-in dunk from Florian Trmal capped off a 15-2 burst that saw Vienna pull ahead 63-42 with 4:23 remaining in the third and effectively put the result beyond doubt, as the hosts led by as many as 25 points midway through the final frame.

Pavlicevic, who is Vienna's leading scorer in the Bundesliga, once again paved his team's way to victory with a game-high 28 points on 6-for-12 from three-point range.

In addition to the Montenegrin guard, four more Vienna players scored in double digits, with Labuckas collecting 14 points and four rebounds.

In their maiden game in the EuroChallenge on Tuesday 5 November, Vienna are facing another as yet undefeated team this season, in Södertälje Kings.

The Kings are on a seven-game winning streak in the Swedish Basketligan but are facing a tough test on Wednesday night as they travel to fellow league leaders Boras Basket.


30. Ronalds Zakis (BK Ventspils)
Ronalds Zakis could not prevent Ventspils from crashing to defeat despite 17 points by the big man

BK Ventspils was the third team of those drawn in EuroChallenge Group C that could boast of an unbeaten start to the season, but the Latvians lost their bragging rights on Tuesday night.

Upon their return to BBL (Baltic League) action, the defending champions of the competition succumbed to an 84-68 defeat to Lithuanian side Siauliai on the road.

Ventspils grabbed a 30-21 lead shortly after the start of the second quarter but Siauliai levelled proceedings and tied the scores at 41 just before the half-time interval.

The hosts then used a 14-3 burst early in the third frame to seize control of the game, never looking back.

Ronalds Zakis went 8-for-14 from the floor and was the only Ventspils player to score in double digits as he finished with 17 points and added three rebounds.

Ventspils are playing host to Tartu University Rock on the opening night of the EuroChallenge Regular Season and the Estonian outfit suffered a similar fate in their BBL fixture on Tuesday, as they also lost in Lithuania.

Tartu let slip a six-point third-quarter advantage as they scored only 11 points in the clutch and fell 86-74 at TonyBet Prienai.

The Estonian side got off to a poor start and found themselves trailing by 14 points already midway through the opening period.

Tartu gradually bounced back on the back of their solid long-range shooting (12-of-24 from beyond the arc), reduced to 42-41 at half-time and claimed the lead in the third frame before the collapse on the offensive end in the fourth forced them to leave empty-handed.

Joosep Toome collected 19 points and six rebounds and Janar Talts finished with 16 points and five boards for Tartu in losing efforts.



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