There were only four games in the Euroleague on Friday night but this doesn’t mean that there was any shortage of exciting action. With one game going right to the wire and another game requiring two periods of overtime to separate the teams, Friday night had everything that basketball fans could hope or ask for.
Zalgiris Kaunas v Real Madrid 66-68
Real Madrid returned to winning ways in Group A in the Euroleague but this was a pulsating match that was contested until the final shot of the game. 15,000 fans were in Lithuania to see this clash, a game that saw Real Madrid move on to a 5-1 record while the hosts slumped down to a 3-3 record. Madrid were paced by Sergio Rodriguez, who was their top scorer with 14 points. This is all the more remarkable given that this was the first start in the Euroleague since 2012/13.
Madrid were boosted by Sergio Llull and Andres Nocioni, who both bagged 11 points. The top man for Kaunas was James Anderson, who picked up 21 points while Paulius Jankunas offered up 17 points. Sadly for Kaunas though, Anderson had a shot at the buzzer which if he scored would have sent the game to OT but he missed, allowing the Spanish side to grab the win.
Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul v Crvena Zveda Telekom Belgrade 110-103
In a game that went to two periods of overtime, Galatasaray were eventually able to see off their opponents by a score of 110-113. In the first OT, the lead changed hand five times and while Carlos Arroyo levelled the game with 12 seconds to go of the first OT, there was a missed opportunity at the buzzer with Marcus Williams failing to get his shot away. In the second OT, Arroyo stepped up and grabbed three big three pointers to bring the tie to a conclusion and grab the points for the home team.
Zoran Erceg managed to deliver 32 points in the game while Arroyo, who was in the thick of things at all the big moments, managed to offer up 26 points and 6 assists. Luka Mitrovic had a strong game for Belgrade, delivering 30 points and Boban Marjanovic provided 23 points and 17 results on a stunning night of basketball in Turkey.
Unicaja Malaga v Cedevita Zagreb 82-73
Malaga had lost their previous two games but this win moved them onto a 4-2 record, edging them closer to a Top 16 spot, while Zagreb fell to a 1-5 record, and their qualification chances are starting to look slim. Malaga were helped to victory by Ryan Toolson, who provided 19 points while coming from the bench but Mindaugas Kuzminkas, Vladimir Golubovic and Kostas Vasileiadis all reached double figures for the home team. Miro Bilan led the way for Cedevita with 21 points while Roko Ukic provided 15 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists.
Cedevita pulled to within one point early on in the fourth quarter but sensing the game was potentially slipping away from them, Malaga tightened up on their defence and with Kuzminskas offering a great outlet; they managed to see the victory out in style.
Dinamo Banco Di Sardegna Sassari v Nizhny Novgorod 82-89
Novgorod grabbed their second win on the road in a row by holding off a spirited challenge from Sassari on Friday evening. Taylor Rochestie was in excellent form, picking up 29 points and the 0-14 run in the fourth quarter was what finally gave the away side a lead that they could hold on to, moving them onto a 3-3 record in the group. Sassari also had spells where they dominated, with a 12-0 run in the start of the third quarter raising the hopes of the hosts.
Novgorod were boosted by Art Parakhouski, who grabbed 12 points and Evgeny Baburin who offered up 11. This defeat saw the hosts slip to 1-5 record and Rakim Sanders, with 17 points, was the most impressive player for Dinamo.