Jarrod Jones paced Atomerömü Paks with a game-high 19 points
Atomerömü Paks held off visiting side CSM Oradea on Tuesday night to kick-start their EuroChallenge Group B campaign with a hard-fought 78-77 home victory.
The Romanian side jumped to a 20-14 lead but Jarrod Jones, with his 10th point on the night, capped off a 12-0 Atomerömü run that gave the hosts the upper hand in the clash and a 26-20 advantage with 4:33 remaining to the half-time buzzer.
Oradea's superiority on the glass and their balanced offence (five Oradea players scored in double digits) enabled them to gradually balance proceedings, reduce the gap to just 31-30 at the interval and tie the scores at 41 midway through the third quarter.
Atomerömü however hit three of their seven three-pointers in the final stretch of the period to enter the final frame with a 61-53 lead.
The hosts held on to that comfy cushion until midway through the fourth quarter, but Radovan Markovic with a triple capped off an 8-2 Oradea burst that tied the scores at 68, with 2:52 remaining to the final buzzer.
Atomerömü point guard Deonta Vaughn however, who only had three points until that point in the game, scored four points on back-to-back possessions and brought the hosts ahead, 72-68.
Jones with a dunk 26 seconds from the final buzzer gave the hosts a 77-70 lead which proved enough to secure them the win despite some late heroics from Oradea that reduced the point differential to just one point at the end.
Jones went 9-for-11 from the floor and collected 19 points and seven rebounds, Gergely Körtélyesi was 3-for-4 from three-point range and finished with 13 points and Zsolt Szabó chipped in with 12 points and five boards for the winners.
For Oradea, Markovic finished with 14 points and Daniel Dillon had 13 points and four boards in defeat.