Thursday the 20th of November was a massive night in the 2014/15 Euroleague season. There was a total of 8 games being played across the continent and three teams managed to book their place in the knock-out round. There are still plenty of opportunities for other teams to join the sides that are already looking forward to next year, but time is starting to go against teams who are struggling to find form in this campaign.
FC Bayern Munich v FC Barcelona 77-99
It was a monumental night for Barcelona who claimed a 6-0 record, a place in the Top 16 and they also scored 60 points in the first half, beating a club record that has been in place since 2003. Three players (Juan Carlos Navarro, Bostjan Nachbar and Marcelino Huertas) all grabbed 15 points while DeShaun Thomas offered up 13 points and Tomas Satoransky provide 10 points. Nayern suffered their fourth defeat in a row had Nihad Djedovic grabbing 14 points while Robin Benzing provided 12 for the losing team.
Olympiacos Piraeus v Valencia Basket 77-76
If you are looking for excitement, how about the thrill of clinching a place in the Top 16 with a one point narrow win in a game where the lead changed hand five times in the final three and a half minutes. There were also three ties in this spell, and there was even a jump shot coming after the buzzer, which if it was a split-second or two earlier would have been enough to clinch the tie. In the end, the game clincher was scored by Vassilis Spanoulis who bagged a free throw with 11.5 seconds left on the clock. He was also the player who grabbed 15 points, to be the top scorer for Olympiacos. He was assisted by Bryant Dunston, who picked up 14 points and Tremmell Darden, who offered up 11 points. Paul Ribas, Bojan Dubljevic and Vladimir Lucic all grabbed 16 points each for Valencia, but the Spanish side moved onto a 1-5 record after 6 games.
CSKA Moscow v Alba Berlin 95-66
It was a comfortable night for the Russian side as they also booked their place in the TOP 16, maintaining their perfect start to the 2014/15 Euroleague campaign. Alba dropped to a 2-4 record and fourth place in the table. Aaron Jackson served up 18 points while Demetris Nichols provided 10 points. Reggie Redding was the top man for Alba with 16 points while Marko Banic offered up 12 points, all coming in the second half of the game.
Unics Kazan v Anadolu Efes Istanbul 67-64
As three teams qualified for the Top 16 team, the focus will inevitably fall on these triumphs but the Unics Kazan victory against Anadolu was a tremendous game. Kazan managed to bounce back from being 15 points, moving onto a 2-4 record, and giving themselves a chance of progressing from the tournament. They were boosted by the form of Keith Langford, who served up 19 points, with 12 in the final quarter, while D’or Fischer provided 16 points. Dario Saric was the main man for Efes with 12 points but there will definitely be a feeling of regret from the Turkish team. Langford held his nerve in the last two minutes, bagging 7 of 8 free throw opportunities to turn the tie in Kazan’s favour.
Neptunas Klaipeda v Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 80-79
This was another cliff-hanger of a game on a monumental night in the Euroleague as Klaipeda just about held on for victory in a game that was decided with 13 seconds left on the clock. Simas Galdikas was the player who got the winning point, moving his team on to a 3-3 record. Laboral were playing their first game under Ibon Navarro and they were so close to winning. At one point in the third quarter, Laboral were ahead by 18 points but this all changed when Thomas Heurtel came into his own, grabbing 12 points in 4 minutes. The top men for Neptunas were Mustafa Shakur and Donatas Zavackas with 16 points while Colton Iverson delivered 12 points.
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan v Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 74-80
This was a big win on the road which should be more than enough to give Fenerbahce confidence that they will be reaching the Top 16. Milan had a late rally but the result sees the away side moving on to a 4-2 record while the home team moves on to a 2-4 record. Ricky Hickman was the top man for the Turkish side, with 14 points while Semih Erden grabbed 12 points. Samardo Samuels, with 13 points, was the main man behind the Milan rally but it wasn’t enough in the end.
PGE Turow Zgorzelec v Panathinaikos Athens 69-79
The Greek side moved onto a 4-2 record by grabbing their first win on the road in this campaign. Loukas Mavrokefalidis made a big difference with 21 points for the winners but James Gist with 16 points and Nikos Pappas with 14 points also made a contribution to the Greek side moving into a 4-2 record. The Polish side slumped to a 1-5 record and they slump to the bottom of the Group C standings.
Limoges CSP v Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 73-79
The champions grabbed a solid victory on the road with a 73-79 win against Limoges. During the third quarter, it looked as though Maccabi would cruise to victory, they held an 18 point lead, but a spirited fight back made the scoreline a lot closer in the end. Jeremy Pargo popped up at the right time in the final quarter to ensure that Tel Aviv avoided a nervy finish.
Sylven Landesberg grabbed 22 points, which was a career high, while Yogev Ohayon played for 33 minutes, a career high for himself, which also delivering 11 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. He also offered up 8 steals, which is a Maccabi record and is also the highest number of steals in one Eurloeague game since 2008. Leo Westerman delivered 16 points for the hosts, 13 in the second half, while Nobel Boungou-Colo offered up 13 points.