There were just the three games in the Euroleague Top 16 on Friday but there was plenty of quality on offer, even if there wasn’t the quantity that many people were hoping for.
All eyes fell on Fenerbahce to see if they could get back to winning ways after suffering defeat last time around.
Fenerbahce Istanbul 72 – Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 65
The hosts got back to winning ways in this game but it certainly wasn’t as easy as many people thought it was going to be. In fact, the hosts were trailing by a double digit margin in this one, but they managed to pull it back and in the end they grabbed a convincing win.
This was the fourth time that Fenerbahce grabbed a win over the Belgrade side this season and the hosts are now 8-1 in Group E. The away side dropped to a 5-4 record and they sit in the final qualification spot in the group. It could have been very different with the half-time score sitting at 25-34 and the lead being 26-36 early on in the third quarter.
Luigi Datome served up 27 points in the game, 22 in the second half while Bogan Bogdanovic provided 16 points in the win. Jan Vesely also broke into double figures, offering up 10 points in the triumph. Maik Zirbes of Crvena Zvezda provide 11 points in the loss and both Marko Simonovic and Tarence Kinsey provided 10 points in the loss.
There was more focus on the foot of Group F than the top on Friday night but there were some interesting moments and movements over the course of the evening.
Zalgiris Kaunas 75 – Brose Baskets Bamberg 73
The hosts may still be rooted to the foot of Group F after this game, but it was a big win for the Kaunas side on a historic night. Paulius Jankunas grabbed his 2,000 career point and he also moved into third place with respect to Euroleague rebounds. More importantly, it ended a run of four straight defeats, moving the Lithuanian side to a 2-7 record while the Germans fell to a 3-6 record.
The hosts took control early on but the German side remained on their heels and the game came down to the final minute. Bamberg missed chances in the last few seconds, allowing the hosts to win the game.
Jankunas grabbed a double-double on the night with 17 points and 13 rebounds while Ian Vougioukas offered up 13 points. Jerome Randle got off to a flying start with 12 points while Renaldas Seibutis provided 11 points. Nikos Zisis provided a personal best of 25 points for the away team who were also boosted by 14 points from Bradley Wanamaker and 10 points from Daniel Theis.
Olympiacos Piraeus 82 – Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz 68
The away team had been on a five game winning run but that came crumbling to a halt as the Greek side moved on to a 4-5 record in the Top 16, with the hosts moving to a 6-3 record. Olympiacos have won both games against Laboral so if there is a tie-break situation, they will come out on top. The away team started stronger but Georgios Printezis hauled his team back into in and then a 16-0 scoring run put the hosts in control. The Spaniards would rally late on but the Greeks were never in any doubt of losing out.
Printesiz provided 17 points, Vassilis Spanoulis grabbed 14 points while Ioannis Papapetrou provided 11 points. Ioannis Bourousis was fit to play and he served up 19 points in the loss, Davis Bertans grabbed 11 points and Jaka Blazic and Mike James both notched 10 points in defeat.