BELGRADE (Reuters) - Holders Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Red Star Belgrade 78-67 after an electrifying display and other basketball heavyweights also lived up to their billings in round two of the second group stage of the Euroleague on Thursday.
Real Madrid, winners of a record eight titles in Europe’s premier club competition, eased to a 93-78 home triumph against Galatasaray while CSKA Moscow stretched their perfect run to 12 victories by defeating Laboral Kutxa 99-90.
Olympiakos Piraeus, who clinched successive honors in 2012 and 2013, blew away Emporio Armani Milan 81-58.
An athletic Maccabi were held back by plucky Red Star for three quarters before they broke down the visitors in the final quarter, their high-tempo game producing an avalanche of fast breaks and second-chance points.
Forward Brian Randle and towering center Sofoklis Schortsanitis scored 31 points between them for Maccabi but it was livewire playmaker Jeremy Pargo who pulled the strings with his ball-handling skills and lethal long-range shooting.
“We struggled a bit in the third quarter but we dominated the boards and produced a lot of energy in the last 10 minutes,” coach Guy Goodes told Euroleague television.
Six-times champions CSKA had plenty left in the tank after overpowering Spaniards Laboral Kutxa who were undone by the depth of the home team’s roster.
Former NBA forward Sonny Weems claimed a game-high 22 points and eight rebounds, leading a pack of five players who finished with double-scoring digits for the Russian side.
Serbia playmaker Milos Teodosic had 18 points and France guard Nando De Colo chipped in with 17 and eight assists, drawing praise from CSKA’s Greek coach Dimitris Itoudis.
“I don’t count the number of consecutive wins we have because the important thing is that we played a good game most of the way and scored some easy points,” Itoudis said.
Real’s 34-year-old center Felipe Reyes continued to roll back the years with an impressive performance against Galatasaray, racking up 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Versatile guard Rudy Fernandez, once a Portland Trail Blazers starter, nailed 15 points and playmaker Sergio Rodriguez netted 13 as Real dominated.
Olympiakos were in the driving seat against Milan, hitting nine three-pointers with four of them coming from guard Oliver Lafayette.
Editing by Tony Jimenez