By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Crvena Zvezda Meridianbet was impressive in launching the 2023 MagentaSport Cup. Blowing out ALBA Berlin, 74-56, in BMW Park set the pace in the preseason tournament on Saturday.
Despite multiple newcomers attracting attention, Luka Mitrovic, returning for another campaign with the Belgrade giant, emerged as the top scorer with 16 points to his name. He made 7/8 from the field and also grabbed six rebounds.
Adam Hanga followed with ten points. Nemanja Nedovic and Rokas Giedraitis chipped in eight points apiece. Milos Teodosic was limited to four points but dished out seven assists. Mike Tobey, Dejan Davidovac, and injured Stefan Lazarevic were not available for head coach Dusko Ivanovic.
Overcoming a slow start, the Serbian side gained momentum in the second quarter and built a double-digit advantage in the third quarter, behind solid defense. The lead peaked at 22 points midway in the fourth quarter.
On the opposite end, Tim Schneider recording 11 points was the lone double-digit scorer. Sterling Brown packed eight points to go with five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Justin Bean added eight more points for the team guided by Israel Gonzalez. Louis Olinde, Christ Koumadje, and Johannes Thiemann were out.
Serge Ibaka in the house
With the latest newcomer Serge Ibaka in attendance, tournament host FC Bayern Munich defeated Virtus Segafredo Bologna, 76-73, later Saturday.
After spilling a ten-point lead in the fourth quarter, recovering down the stretch to secured the victory. Explosive guard Carsen Edwards tallied a game-high 21 points, including a clutch bucket. Devin Booker put in 16 more points. Held to four points with 1/3 field goals, Leandro Bolmaro registered eight rebounds and seven assists.
Team captain Vladimir Lucic staying on the injury list and Ibaka sat out. Other players missing for the team coached by Pablo Laso were World Cup participants Sylvain Francisco, Niels Giffey, Isaac Bonga, and Andreas Obst.
For the Italian side, guided by Alberto Seravalli pending the arrival of new head coach Luca Banchi, Isaia Cordinier went for 17 points. A couple more double-digit scoring showings, Devontae Cook and Jaleen Smith had 15 and 14 points, respectively. Alessandro Pajola, Ognjen Dobric, Gabriel Iffe Lundberg, and Achille Polonara were sidelined.
Completing the two-day friendly tournament, the final and third-place games follow tomorrow, Sunday.
Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net