Any basketball fan that is keen to get their weekend off to a flying start as early as possible has to check out the Euroleague on a Thursday night. The Round 5 fixtures showed that once again this is the ideal way to gear yourself up for a brilliant weekend of sporting entertainment and basketball action.
Unics Kazan v Nizhny Novgorod 73-79
A big win on the road in the battle of the two Russian sides saw Nizhny Novgorod win their first ever Euroleague. This saw Nizhny move to a 2-3 record while Kazan slumped to a 1-4 record. The top scorer for the victors was Taylor Rochestie with 24 points although Art Parakhouski can be very proud of the 19 points and 9 rebounds he picked up. Nizhny were also boosted by the fact that Trey Thomkins and Tarence Kinsey both offered up 12 points.
The top man for Unics was Nikos Zisis with 15 points and Keith Langford provided 10 points. The visiting side raced into a 4-12 lead and while Unics got close at 14-16, Nizhny moved away from here, eventually holding a 34-39 lead at half-time. With 8 minutes left on the clock, Unics had a three pointer from Curtis Jerrels to thank for snatching a 55-54 lead but this was the impetus that Rochestie needed, grabbing 10 points in the final five minutes to ensure the away side grabbed a comfortable win in the end.
Unicaja Malaga v Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 66-70
It hasn’t been easy for the reigning Euroleague champions but this was a massive win for the Israeli side in a thrilling match that could have been won by either side. Maccabi started the strongest, controlling the match early on but Malaga staged a big comeback and held a 58-57 lead but two technical fouls and the ejection of coach Joan Plaza, helped to turn the game for the visiting side late on. This sees Maccabi grab a 3-2 record in Group B while Malaga move to a 2-3 record. Devin Smith was the star man with a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds while Bryan Randle managed to grab 12 points. Ryan Toolson and Will Thomas both picked up 16 points for the home side.
FC Bayern Munich v Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 86-93
Istanbul grabbed their first win in three games with a big win in Munich. Andrew Goudelock grabbed 10 three point efforts amongst his 34 points, and that was a Euroleague record. The previous record of 9 three-point efforts was first set back in 2001 by Saulius Stombergas but it has been equalled by Thomas Kelati and Mirza Teletovic over the years.
Goudelock also managed to tie for the Istabul club scoring record when it comes to Euroleague games, levelling with Harun Erdeney, who has also held his record since 2001. Bogdan Bogdanovic also grabbed 18 points for the Turkish champions but it was the third loss in a row for Bayern, even though Nihad Djedovic and Vasilije Micic both delivered 16 points and Heiko Schaffartzik served up 15 points.
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan v PGE Turow Zgorzelec 90-71
The final quarter was crucial in this match as the Milan side grabbed their first home win of the campaign and moved on to a 2-3 record in Group C, with the result placing Turow onto a 1-4 reord. Alessandro Gentile led the way with 19 points with Samardo Samuels offering up 15 points and a total of 8 rebounds. There was also 12 points from David Moss and Marshon Brooks picked up 10 points. For the visiting side, Tony Taylor performed well with 15 points while Nemanja Jaramaz offered up 14 points. There was also 12 points from Chris Wright and Damian Kulig for the losing team.
Neptunas Klaipeda v Valencia Basket 94-87
This was a game that the home team led from start to finish and this win moved the hosts to a 2-3 record in Group D while the Spanish side slipped to a 1-4 record. The 13-3 lead that Klaipeda set up was never in any doubt and by halftime, there was a 53-42 lead for the hosts. Deividas Gailius picked up 19 points, Donatas Zavackas offered up 15 points and Arnas Butkevicius provided 14 points for the winners. Valencia were well served by Pau Ribas, who provided 22 points and Bojan Dubljevic who grabbed 18 points but in the end, the home side were worthy winners.
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria v Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 66-86
This was the first win on the road for Belgrade and it was a strong showing in the middle quarters that made all the difference. Luka Mitrovic grabbed 17 points for the winners with Maik Zirbes offering up 15 points from the bench. Other top players for the winners were Marcus Williams with 14 points and Boban Marjanovic with 12 points. Toko Shengelia was the top scorer in the game with 20 for the home team but he was the only Vitoria player to reach double figures.
Olympiacos Piraeus v Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul 93-66
The Greek side made it 5-0 for the season and this was the 22nd regular season game win in a row for Olympiacos, which is clearly a fantastic record for any team. The Greek side was superbly led by Vassilis Spanoulis who offered up 16 points and 7 assists, Vangelis Mantzaris provided 15 in a case of perfect shooting, and Dimitris Agravanis provided 10 points for the hosts. Carlos Arroyo was the main player for Galatasaray with 14 points and Ender Arslan provided 10 points for the losing side on a night that was all about the home team.