Nik Stauskas led Baskonia to the road win over Zvezda

2019-12-12T21:04:18+00:00 2019-12-12T22:16:19+00:00.

Aris Barkas

12/Dec/19 21:04

The Canadian sharp-shooter registered a EuroLeague-best as he executed Zvezda in Belgrade.

By Eurohoops team/

Nik Stauskas had a rough start in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Still, this tune has changed in the 72-64 road win of KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz over Cverna Zvezda mts Belgrade.

After scoring just five points in the first half, which ended with Baskonia lead by one (32-21), Stauskas caught fire in the third quarter, he had 14 points in ten minutes and led Baskonia to a 56-43 lead.

“Every game counts in the EuroLeague and we need every win we can get right now, especially in a hostile environment on the road,” Stauskas said. “My teammates made an effort to get me the ball and I was feeling good. They got me a couple of open looks and once I saw the ball go in a couple of times, my confidence just continued to grow.”

Zvezda couldn’t get back in the game, trailing by 19 (64-45) with eight minutes left, and the guests got a crucial road win.

The home team did cut the lead to eight points (70-62) in the last two minutes, but couldn’t get any closer.

Stauskas finished the night with 22 points on 4/5 threes, while captain Toko Shengelia also did his duty with 19 points and eight rebounds.

Lorenzo Brown scored 2o points for the hosts. However, the Serbs couldn’t keep up with Baskonia when Stauskas found his offensive rhythm.  On the contrary, they shot just 5/21 threes at home, a disaster compared to 10/23 by the guests.

Back on track

The result was more than important for Baskonia, as coach Velimir Perasovic admitted: “I think it was an important game for us, especially after two tough losses against Panathinaikos and Efes which beat us easily. We came in very focused, knowing Zvezda is in a good rhythm. I think we reacted well, we stopped their offensive rebounding that created problems for us in the second quarter. We also limited our turnovers, which is always a key against Zvezda, which is a team full of energy and fight”.

For Perasovic, the key was defense: “I think we played well, we know Zvezda is very aggressive and it is hard to play against them and have good ball movement. We prepared a lot and our players did everything in a sprint. After a while, when you get closer to the end of your possessions, and that aggressiveness starts to wear off, it becomes tougher for Zvezda. I think we did well offensively tonight from that aspect.”

Photo credit: EuroLeague