Euroleague - I Feel DevotionWe now have two teams qualified for the Euroleague playoffs after a busy night of Euroleague action. 5 games on Thursday may leave Friday evening slightly bereft of top action basketball but for fans that started their weekend early, the quick start was rewarded.

Group E

There was another Turkish derby in Group E and two teams who are very much in the hunt for a playoff spot clashed.

Fenerbahce Istanbul 77 – Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul 69

Fenerbahce may have qualified for the playoffs last week but there was no letting up as they grabbed a win that ensured they will enjoy home court advantage in the next round. By the end of the night they were also celebrating clinching first place so all in all, it was quite a night for the home team against their local rivals.

The hosts moved on to a 10-1 record in Group E and they are now on a winning streak of 18 games at home. The away team fell to a 3-8 record and they are now virtually out of the race for the playoffs. There were some bright moments for the away team, a 0-13 scoring run which spanned the first and second quarter gave Darussafaka hope but by half-time, the hosts were well clear at 45-39.

Ekpe Udoh grabbed 18 points in the win, Ricky Hickman picked up 12 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic provided 11 points. For the away team, Reggie Redding offered 12 points, Scottie Wilbekin grabbed 11 points and Mehmet Yagmur offered up 10 points in the loss.

Panathinaikos Athens 84 – Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 77

Euroleague - PanathinaikosThe Greeks took a big step to progressing to the Playoffs but at the same time, Lokomotiv were denied in their pursuit of further joy this season. Both teams are now sitting with a 7-4 record but the Greeks have an upwards trajectory while the away team have to bounce back after the loss. Mind you, they hold a points advantage over Panathinaikos so things are not completely bleak for Krasnodar.

Dimitris Diamantidis grabbed 15 points, Nick Calathes provided 12 points and 9 assists in the win. Lokomotiv grabbed 16 points through Matt Janning, Victor Claver provided 13 points, Anthony Randolph enjoyed a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Malcolm Delaney offered up 11 points.

Group F

There were three games in Group F and there was plenty of excitement and drama. We now have one team qualified to the playoffs and there was a massive game that lived up to its billing.

CSKA Moscow 90 – Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz 78

This win saw the Russian side take control of the group and before the night was over, CSKA became the first qualifier from Group F thanks to other results. The hosts are now on an 8-3 record while the away team falls to a 7-4 record, even though they are still in second place. At the ten minute mark, the hosts were 20-14 ahead and at half-time, the score line was 40-25. Laboral got within 7 points in the third quarter but after half an hour, the score was 68-56. There was a further push by the away team to bring things back to 76-69 but the hosts took control late on and even secured the tie-break against their Spanish opponents.

Nando De Colo provided 19 points, 16 of which came in the second half. Cory Higgins provided 18 points, Milos Teodosic and Andrey Vorontsevich provided 17 points and Joel Freeland provided 19 rebounds. Adam Hanga offered up 19 points for the away team, Fabien Causeur grabbed 11 points and both Darius Adams and Ioannis Bourousis provided 10 points each in the loss.

FC Barcelona Lassa 72 – Real Madrid 65

Euroleague - FC BarcelonaThe Catalan club took control of their game against Spanish giants Real Madrid early on and never looked like giving it up. Both teams now have 6-5 records in the group but given that Barcelona have defeated Madrid twice in the group, it is the Catalonian club that has the advantage.

The hosts shone from the start with a 16-0 run which saw the hosts 19-2 up from early on and then after 10 minutes, the score was 25-4. This was the lowest output for an opening quarter that Madrid have suffered this century. The lead was pushed to 31-6 before a 0-12 scoring run made it 40-28 at the break. Amazingly, Madrid hauled it back to 52-51 and then a three pointer from Jaycee Caroll put the reigning Euroleague champions ahead at 52-54. In the second last minute, Madrid were 63-64 ahead but with 54.4 seconds on the clock, Barcelona regained the lead and managed to power home before the end of the game.

Stratos Perperogolou was a big player late on as he grabbed 20 points, Tomas Satoransky provided 17 points while Justin Doellman provided 11 points in the win. Gustavo Ayon offered up 16 points for Madrid while Felipe Reyes grabbed 11 points but these were the only Madrid players to break into double figures.

Brose Baskets Bamberg 84 – Khimki Moscow Region 79

This home win sees both teams now sitting with 5-6 records and fifth place is currently being shared by the two teams. With just four minutes left on the clock, the German side had only been in the lead two times but then again, the Moscow side were never racing away with it, the biggest lead being 63-71, which occurred in the fourth quarter.

However, the game was to hinge on Bradley Wanamaker who grabbed 25 points over the course of the game, but most importantly, he grabbed 18 points in the final 5 minutes. This included the final 13 points for the hosts, with Wanamaker being hugely influential in the win.

Leon Raodosevic provided 18 points, Nikos Zisis grabbed 16 points and Nicolo Melli provided 13 rebounds and 7 points in the win. For the losing team, Paul Davis and James Augustine both grabbed 10 points while Tyrese Rice provided 11 assists and 9 points.