Friday night managed to serve up more excitement in the Euroleague and a few more teams confirmed their appearance in the Top 16. With two rounds still to go, there will be plenty to play for in the coming weeks but some teams can take things a bit easier knowing that they have plans for the New Year. There were some high scoring games and as usual, some players picked up personal bests in the course of the action.
Valencia Basket v Crvena Zveda Telekom Belgrade 68-77
Belgrade made history on Friday night by clinching a spot in the Top 16 for the first time. In grabbing a 5-3 record with their away win in Spain, the team booked their sot with two games to go. Boban Marjanovic offered up 18 points and 11 rebounds while Marcus Williams had 17 points while Nikola Kalinic offered up 11 points. Bojan Dubljevic grabbed 22 points for the hosts while Pau Ribas offered 15 points. Vladimir Lucic also provided 14 points for the home team but that aside, there wasn’t too much to cheer for the Spanish side.
Olympiacos Piraeus v Neptunas Klaipeda 89-79
The Greek side returned to winning ways, moving on to a 7-1 record thanks to this home win against Neptunas. Brent Petway offered up 20 points while Bryant Dunston provided 15 points. Vassilis Spanoulis provided 9 assists and 13 points while Oliver Lafayette grabbed 12 points. Neptunas are still in the hunt for a Top 16 spot but moved to a 3-5 record. They were boosted by Donatas Zavackas grabbing 15 points while both Keith Benson and Arnas Butkevicius grabbed 11 points.
Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul v Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 82-89
Vitoria grabbed their first win on the road this season, moving up to a 4-4 record while the hosts slumped to a 3-5 record. Fernando San Emeterio was at the fore for the winners, grabbing 25 points, which equalled his career best. Thomas Huertel was on form with 12 points and 9 assists while Davis Bertans and Kim Tillie both grabbed 11 points, with Tillie also grabbing 10 rebounds.
Carlos Arroyo provided 22 points for Galatasaray while Zoran Erceg provided 17 points. With two teams now booked their place to the Top 16 from Group D, the final two rounds are going to be very exciting for the three teams battling it out for the other places.
PGE Turow Zgorlec v FC Barcelona 65-104
FC Barcelona moved on to an 8-0 record with this convincing away win, while the hosts dropped down to a 1-7 record. Every Barca player in uniform got on the score-sheet with Boki Nachbar grabbing 17 points, Mario Hezonja picking up 15 points, Ante Tomic grabbing 12 and Alex Abrines and Maciej Lampe both picking up 10 points. Tony Taylor was the top man for Turow with 17 points and Michal Chylinksi grabbed 12 points.
CSKA Moscow v Cedevuta Zagreb 97-79
The Russian side now sit with an 8-0 record in Group B and they had six different players reaching double figures. Moscow have already booked their place in the Top 16 and while Zagreb are now on a 2-6 record, they still have hopes of making the knockout stages. Sonny Weems and Nando De Colo both grabbed 14 points, with Weems also grabbing 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Andrey Vorontsevich, Vitaly Fridzon and Sasha Kaun all offered 13 apiece, while Kyle Hines added 12 while Aaron Jackson amassed 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Fran Pilepic was the main player for Cedevita with 23 points while Tomislav Zubcic grabbed 14 points, Mario Delas scored 11 and Miro Bilan offered up 10 points.