A 7DAYS EuroCup newcomer, do-it-all guard Troy Caupain of ratiopharm Ulm, celebrated his debut by leading a comeback victory and earning the MVP honor for Round 1 of the regular season. Caupain did a lot of everything to help Ulm rally from 14 points behind at halftime to defeat Mornar Bar 84-76. He scored 18 points while missing just 2 shots. He had a team-high 8 rebounds and his 6 assists tied for the best of the game. In the end, his 34 performance index rating was not only tops on a winning team in Round 1, but also tied for Ulm’s third-highest in eight EuroCup seasons. With that 34 PIR, Caupain had good company, none other than former EuroCup champ Jamar Smith, whose 25 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists were not enough to prevent UNICS Kazan from losing 85-78 at Umana Reyer Venice. Experienced forward Danilo Andjusic, with a PIR of 32, led JL Bourg En Bresse to a resounding 82-99 road win over Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul in the EuroCup debut for both clubs. An eight-season EuroCup veteran at age 26, Nikola Ivanovic of Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, came next with a 31 PIR based on his 24 points in a 93-81 home win over Germani Brescia. And the fifth-best performance of Round 1 saw big man Alvin Williams lead Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar to an 89-72 home win over Telenet Giants Antwerp with his 19 points and 9 rebounds, good for a PIR of 30.
Individual highlights: Alpha Kaba, Nanterre, 15 rebounds
The top scorer in Round 1 was Ian Miller of Promitheas Patras with 27 points in a 75-86 home loss to Herbalife Gran Canaria. Headlining the rebounders was Alpha Kaba, whose 15 boards helped Nanterre 92 edge Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana 80-76. The top passers, with 10 assists each were Gary Browne of Dolomiti Energia Trento in an 86-93 road win at Frutti Extra Bursaspor, and Kenneth “Speedy” Smith in Antwerp’s loss to Lokomotiv. John Petrucelli’s 4 steals for Ulm were the most swiped in Round 1, while in the same game, Taylor Smith of Mornar batted away 4 shots for the most blocks of the week.