With each team now having played three games in the Euroleague Top 16, things are starting to shape up in both groups. There was a great deal of action on Friday night and anyone placing bets on the big games or just kicking back and watching the entertainment would likely have had a great night.
Real Madrid, who won on Thursday night, are out on their own at the top of the table with a 3-0 status, but Panathinaikos are snapping at their heels with a 2-1 record. Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade are the only team still to grab a win in this group.
Panathinaikos Athens 77 – Zalgiris Kaunas 58
A very strong defensive showing ensured that Panathinaikos Athens maintained their perfect run of form at home and the Greek side now sit second in their league. This win was their ninth home win in a row against Kaunas, with the away team slipping to a 1-2 record in Group. Nikos Pappas grabbed 14 points for the winners while James Gist offered up 13 points. Panathinaikos were boosted by three players grabbing 11 points, AJ Slaughter, Vlantimir Giankovits and Esteban Batista. Will Cherry grabbed 13 points for the losing side with Edgaras Ulanovas offering 10 points. The significance of the defensive game shown by the Greek side can be seen with the fact that James Anderson could only muster up 5 points.
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 65 – Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul 74
This was the third time these teams have clashed this campaign and the game allowed Galatasaray to grab their first win on the road. The result sees the Turkish side move on to a 2-1 record in Group E while the home side sit with a 0-3 record.
Vladimir Micov grabbed 12 points for the Turkish side while both Carlos Arroyp and Martynas Pocius provided 11 points for the away team. Justin Carter provided 10 points but all of these 10 points came in the final five minutes of the game. Belgrade were boosted by Boban Marjanovic providing 18 points and 7 rebounds while Marcus Williams offered 12 points, 9 of them coming in the last quarter of the game. Nikola Kalinic provided 9 points while Maik Zirbes also offered 9 points while adding 7 rebounds as well.
Two teams hold a perfect record in Group F in the Top 16 and this looks like being a group that could go to the wire.
Fenerbache Ulker Istanbul 68 – Olympiacos Piraeus 74
This was a tremendous game that went to the wire and at the end, Olympiacos Piraeus remain unbeaten in Group F. This means the Greek side are joint top of the group with CSKA Moscow as both teams hold a 3-0 record. This defeat saw the Turkish side slip to 18 points.
As you would expect, Vassilis Spanoulis was amongst the points for Olympiakos, grabbing 16 points but it was Matt Lojeski who was the top man for the winning side, picking up 18 points. Andrew Goudelock was the shining light for Fenerbache, providing 23 points to the losing team. The hosts were also ably supported by Jan Vesely grabbing 13 points while Bogdan Bogdanovic picked up 10 points.
With less than two minutes on the clock, a Bogdanovic shot gave the home side a three point lead at 68-65 but Spanoulis then went on a run of 6 points which were unanswered, giving the away side the impetus and the advantage which proved crucial.
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 81 – Nizhny Novgorod 74
Things weren’t looking good late on in the fourth quarter as the home side trailed by five points. However, a big turnaround late on in the game gave Vitoria their first win in the Top 16, and both teams now sit with a 1-2 record after three games.
Novgorod will be left feeling punch drunk at the end of this one and they held a 65-70 lead with just over three minutes left on the clock. However, David Bertans and Mike James stepped up to the plate to put the game out of reach for the visitors.
James was the top points grabber for the home team with 14 points while Tornike Shengelia provided 12 points and Mirza Begic offered up 11. There was also a double-double for Colton Iverson, who grabbed 10 points and 10 rebounds. Taylor Rochestie was the top man for the away side, providing 24 points while Trey Thompkins offered 14 points and Artsiom Parakhouski provided a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Unicaja Malaga 77 – EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 84
The Italian side grabbed their first Top 16 win with a close win in Spain. This result moved the away side on to a 1-2 record while Unicaja moved on to a 0-3 record and the team has now lost 9 of their last 10 Euroleague games. With that in mind you have to say well done for them even getting to this stage but it is clear that things have not been quite right with Malaga for quite a while, at least at this level of basketball.
Alessandro Gentile provided 20 points for the winners while Linas Kleiza offered up 15 points, including back to back three pointers late on. Daniel Hackett was able to provide 11 points for the away side while Joe Ragland was also on hand to offer 10 points and 9 assists.
Unicaja had two players on 13 points, Ryan Toolson and Jayson Granger, while Franz Vasquez offered up 11 points and Vladimir Golubovic grabbed 10 points. At one point near the end of the fourth quarter, Unicaja narrowed the gap to 69-70 but this was when Kleiza took control of the game and put the Italians on the path to victory.