There may only have been three games on Friday night in the Euroleague but there was a great deal of excitement for fans of all teams and casual observers. There were shocks, qualifications and tight results, so no matter what you admire in basketball, you will have enjoyed the action on Friday night.
Panathinaikos Athens 85 – Real Madrid 69
While this was still a massive win for Panathinaikos, the fact that Real Madrid qualified for the playoffs last week may have played some part in the win for the Greek side. This was a game that the greens had to win and sometimes hunger and enthusiasm can go a long way in basketball.
This win, played out in front of over 17,000 fans, saw Panathinaikos moving on to a 6-5 record and Madrid now drop to a 9-2 record. This result saw the Spanish giant’s five game winning streak come to an end but they are still in a very strong position.
The top man for the winners was Nikos Pappas who grabbed 22 points while DeMarcus Nelson offered up 16 points. James Gist provided 13 points for the Greek side while Jaycee Carroll provided 16 points for the away side. Rudy Fernandez provided 12 points while Sergio Llull and Felipe Reyes offered up 11 points for Madrid. At one point in the second quarter, Madrid got back on to level terms but this was the only time when the home side were not in full control.
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 98 – EA7 Emporio Armani Milano 77
The Turkish side took control of this game and booked their place in the playoffs with a 9-2 record. This was actually their 9th win in a row, which is a tremendous record and they were well deserving of their win in this game, even if it was a close game for three quarters. Bogdan Bogdanovic was a key player in this one, grabbing 25 points over the course of the game.
Late on in the third quarter the score was 61-61 and Milan were only 6 points behind with 6 minutes left on the clock. However, at this point, Fenerbahce powered on to a 23-8 scoring run, putting the game out of reach of the away team. Jan Vesely served up 14 points while Nemana Bjelica offered up 13 points and 9 rebounds. There were also double figures from Ricky Hickman and Oguz Savas who grabbed 10 points each for the winners. MarShon Books was in great form for the Italian side with 21 points while Alessandro Gentile provided 19 points for the losing team.
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 74 – Olympiacos Piraeus 73
This tremendously close game kept Euroleague basketball betting fans on the edge of their seat until the buzzer and this result may have reignited the Spanish side’s hopes of progressing from the Euroleague Top 16.
There was never more than 7 points in the game at any time and the win moves the home team on to a 5-6 record and they now share fourth place with Efes from Istanbul. The key point in the game with 67 seconds left on the clock when Davis Bertans scored a long jump shot, which turned out to be the difference between the two teams. Mike James grabbed 17 points with 9 coming in the fourth quarter. Bertans helped himself to 15 points and Fabien Causeur offered up 13 points. The Greek side were hampered with the absence of Vassilis Spanoulis and they now sit in third place in the group with an 8-3 record. Gerogios Printezis offered up 15 points and 7 rebounds while Othello Hunter grabbed 14 points. Oliver Lafayette may have clinched the game with a triple late on but he missed, and he will have to settle for the 8 points.