The four games on Thursday night leave us on the brink of the halfway stage of the Top 16 in the Euroleague. The Friday night action will see us hit the halfway mark but the Thursday night games provided a lot of talking points and some brilliant basketball moments.
Another game and another win for Fenerbahce with the rest of the teams trying hard to jostle for positions in their own mini-league behind the runaway leaders.
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 94 – Cedevita Zagreb 74
This was a game that the hosts led from start to finish and while the team from Zagreb will say that they had a depleted line-up, there is no getting away from the fact that this was as dominant a win as you are likely to see in the Euroleague.
The win moves the Belgrade side to a 4-3 record but the away team, who lost their third game in a row, have dropped to a 2-5 record. The Zvezdas were cheered on by tennis star Novak Djokovic but it was the basketball stars that were the real heroes for the home crowd. With a 12-0 scoring run behind them, Crvena moved to a 26-9 lead, and although Cedevita gathered themselves together, at half-time, the score was 43-32. The away team got within 6 points but the home team rallied once more and won comfortably in the end.
Quincy Miller grabbed 22 points in total, Vasilije Micic grabbed 14 points and 9 assists while Marko Guduric offered 13 points. Maik Zirbes provided 10 points and Vladimir Stimac offered up 13 rebounds and 6 points. Jacob Pullen offered 20 points for the losing team, James White grabbed 18 points and Miro Bilan offered up 17 points in the defeat.
Fenerbahce Istanbul 80 – Unicaja Malaga 59
It was a magnificent 7 for Fenerbahce in this game as they completed a 100% record at the half-way stage of the Euroleague Top 16. Ekpe Udoh was the star man and he grabbed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while he also managed to block 7 shots in the convincing win. Luigi Datome helped himself to 13 points, Ricky Hickman grabbed 12 points and the January MVP, Jan Vesely, provided 11 points, as did Bogdan Bogdanovic. De Marcus Nelson provided 11 points in the loss while Nemanja Nedovic offered up 9 points in the loss.
Group F moved towards the halfway stage with a couple of decent wins and there was once again a clash between the two teams that currently hold the main European silverware.
Khimki Moscow Region 82 – Real Madrid 93
The Euroleague holders finally got one over on the Eurocup holders at the third time of asking this season and this was Real Madrid’s first win on the road in the Top 16. This result sees both teams sitting with a 4-3 record at the halfway stage of Group F. The key man for Real was Gustavo Ayon, who offered up 24 points and 13 rebounds. Sergio Llull provided 17 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds while Jonas Maciulis and Trey Thompkins both grabbed 11 points. KC Rivers offered up 10 points in the win.
The hosts were boosted by James Augustine who offered up 20 points, Alexey Shved provided 17 points, Sergey Monya offered 14 points and Tyrese Rice provided 12 points and 9 assists in the defeat. The hosts were 50-43 ahead at half-time and stretched this to a 55-45 lead but a 1-16 scoring run saw the away team take control of the game.
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz 90 – Brose Baskets Bamberg 64
This was a huge win for the Spanish side who have now clocked up 4 wins in a row in the group and they move on to a 5-2 record in Group F. The away side fall to a 3-4 record and they were never really in contention, being 26-13 behind after just 10 minutes. The half-time score was 49-30 and even when Bamberg got within 12 points at 52-40, the hosts pushed on again.
Ioannis Bourousis grabbed 18 points and 11 rebounds in 18 minutes, Mike James nabbed 16 points, Davis Bertans offered up 12 points and Darius Adams grabbed 11 points in the win. For Brose Baskets, Bradley Wanamaker provided 11 points and Daniel Theis grabbed 10 points in the loss.