Aris start strong in FIBA Champions League
A strong first quarter performance propelled Aris to an opening day win against Stelmet Zielona Gora in the FIBA Champions League…
Aris’ European campaign is off to a good start after the Thessaloniki outfit defeated Stelmet Zielona Gora 70-64 at the Nick Galis Hall on Matchday 1 in the FIBA Basketball Champions League.
After a bag of mixed results in domestic play over the past few days, Panagiotis Giannakis steered his side back to the win column as Aris look to make a deep run in the competition starting with a strong showing in the group stage.
Kyle Weaver played a leading role in the win for Aris as the American led all scorers with 16 points, while the Greek duo of Panagiotis Vasilopoulos and Giannis Athinaiou each added 13.
Aris made their intentions known early on Tuesday night as the Autokratoras stormed out to an impressive 11-0 run in just over two minutes. The visitors wouldn’t score their first basket of the game until the 7:26 mark in the first frame, but by then Aris were well on their way to a 24-10 run in the first quarter.
A slightly more defensive approach by Zielona Gora kept Aris at bay in the second quarter, but the Greeks were solid defensively in their own right – holding their 14-point advantage (37-23) at halftime.
It was more of the same after the interval; however, both sides were in more of a scoring mood as both sides put up 21 points apiece – Zielona Gora’s Thomas Kelati, who finished the night with 15 points, the main concern for Aris.
The Polish outfit would be slight more resilient in the final quarter, scoring the first five points of the fourth quarter to cut the Aris lead down to single digits. Zielona Gora would cut the lead down to just six heading into the final two minutes, but a dagger three-pointer from Vasilopoulos ensured Aris wouldn’t be derailed from the win.
Other results in Group D on Matchday 1 saw Nanterre 92 defeat CEZ Nymburk, while Oostende dispatched Telekom Baskets Bonn on Tuesday night. In the late game on Wednesday night, Sidigas Avellino stunned Besiktas with a late comeback for a dramatic win in Turkey.
On Matchday 2, Aris travel to the Czech Republic to Nymburk while Zielona Gora open up their home schedule against Telekom Baskets Bonn.
by Peter Katsiris