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Brown condemns Champions League holders AEK to opening defeat

October 10 2018 11:18 PM

AEK Athens got their FIBA Champions League defence off to a losing start as they gave up a big lead to go down at home to Hapoel Jerusalem.

Triumphant with a 100-94 victory over Monaco in last season's final, AEK suffered a shock on Wednesday as the visitors prevailed 79-75 in Group C.

Hapoel - who have former NBA star Amar'e Stoudemire in their ranks - trailed by 13 points towards the end of the second quarter but gradually turned the tide in their favour and led by a dozen midway through the last.

Although the champions threatened a late comeback of their own, Hapoel held on and were grateful to the contribution of former AEK man J'Covan Brown, who scored 21 points and added eight assists for good measure.

Murcia, who finished third in 2017-18, opened their new campaign with a 74-62 home win over Le Mans while Ludwigsburg, the team they beat in that third-place play-off five months ago, were defeated 89-76 at Banvit.

Fuenlabrada edged out Bamberg 89-88 thanks to Francisco Cruz's buzzer-beating three-pointer while there were also opening wins for Anwil, Opava, UNET Holon, Promitheas Patras and Virtus Bologna - the latter seeing off Neptunas 83-78 after overtime.

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