Half of the teams involved in the 2014/15 Euroleague campaign have finished their work for this part of the season, while the remaining half will conclude their business on Friday night. There were a couple of big issues at stake on Thursday and you can guarantee that there are a few headaches this morning. Some caused by celebrating long into the night, some because of the pain that comes from blowing a chance of success but with more games to enjoy tonight, the joy and anguish of basketball won’t be long in coming around again.
Real Madrid v Anadolu Efes Istanbul 90-70
While both teams had qualified from Group A, top spot was still up for grabs in this battle, and in the end, it was the home team that triumphed with a bit to spare. This moved Madrid on to a 8-2 record while their Turkish rivals dropped to a 6-4 record. Madrid’s dominance was shown by having six players in double digits, with the display of Ioannis Bourousis with 19 points and 10 rebounds being particularly effective. Rudy Fernandez grabbed 17 points, Felipe Reyes offers up 12 points while Jaycee Carroll, Gustavo Ayon and KC Rivers all hit 10 points.
As usual, Dario Saric was the main man for Efes, grabbing 11 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists. Stratos Perperoglou picked up 11 points while Deniz Kilicli and Matt Janning provided 10 points each for the visiting team, who never really looked close to providing a shock result in Spain.
CSKA Moscow v Limoges CSP 88-56
CSKA Moscow concluded a perfect group stage, going 10-0 in this big win while their opponents concluded with a 2-8 record. There wasn’t much at stake in the game but the Russian side played with enough verve and excitement to easily take care of their opponents, even without Milos Teodosic or Sonny Weems.
Vitaly Fridzon grabbed 19 points, Andrey Vorontsevich picked up 12 points while both Manuchar Markoishvili and Demetris Nichols provided 10 points each. Limoges were boosted by Jamar Smith grabbing 12 points and the 11 points from Ramel Curry.
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv v Unicaja Malaga 81-73
Both teams were already assured of a place in the Top 16 but Malaga knew that there was a difference between third and fourth if they were able to grab a win in Israel. This was denied by a strong performance from the home side, but there is still a chance the Spanish side can end up in third place if Alba Berlin lose in Zagreb.
Devin Smith was the forefront for Maccabi, grabbing 22 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists while Jeremy Pargo provided 16 points. Brian Randle also offered up 10 points for the reigning champions who concluded with a 7-3 status and second place in the group. Unicaja are now on a 4-6 record, a disappointing state of affairs after a strong beginning to the group, and their best players on show on Thursday night were Jayson Granger with 11 points and Caleb Green, with 10 points.
PGE Turow Zgorzelec v EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 96-101
The Italian side finished in fourth place in Group C and with a 5-5 record after this big win in Poland. The home side finished bottom of their group with a 1-9 record and they will have to settle for a spot in the Eurocup Last 32. The top man for Milan was Linas Kleiza who grabbed a career high of 29 points in this win while Marshon Brooks offered up 14 points and Alessandro Gentile provided 11 points. Nemanja Jaramaz provided 12 points, as did Filip Dyelwicz, while Vlad Moldoveanu grabbed 11 points in the loss.
Valencia Basket v Neptunas Klaipeda 103-63
Neptunas knew that a win would have sent through to the Top 16, but this crushing win for Valencia means that Neptunas miss out and Galatasaray go marching on. Valencia finished bottom of their group, with a 3-7 record, but they dealt a hammer blow to Neptunas, ensuring they finish fifth with a 4-6 record, and both of these teams will continue in the Eurocup Last 32.
Luke Harogandy grabbed 20 points and 8 rebounds, Bojan Dubljevic provided 19 points and Kreso Loncar provided 15 points. The top scorer for Neptunas was Deividas Gailius with 15 points while Donatas Zavackas provided 11 points.
Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul v Olympiacos Piraeus 79-74
This game went all the way and the home team knew that they had to win while hoping Neptunas Klaipeda slipped up in Valencia. This was what happened and with both teams on a 4-6 record, it came down to a tie-break to split the teams, with Galatasaray holding the advantage. Olympiacos slipped to an 8-2 record but they had clinched first place last week, meaning this game didn’t hold too much need or demand for them.
Carlos Arroyo was on top form with 24 points while Patric Young offered up 13 and 13 rebounds, and Vladimir Micov also provided 13 points. Martynas Pocius provided 11, while Sinan Guler grabbed 10 points for Galatasaray, in a game where the Turkish side only used 7 players.
Vassilis Spanoulis provided 11 points for the losing team while Othello Hunter provided 10 points in a game where the Greek side kept on chasing, but without the same level of intensity as they have shown for most of the campaign.