After a mini start at the tail-end of 2014, the Euroleague Top 16 is now fully underway and every team has played their opening game. There were some big scores and the odd surprise or two which means that basketball fans have already had a lot to enjoy in the opening days of 2015.
Two Group E games took place on Tuesday the 30th of December with the remaining two Group E games and the four Group F games taking place on Friday the 2nd of January 2015.
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 72 – Real Madrid 79
The Spanish giants got their Top 16 campaign off to a fantastic start with a 72-79 win in the Serbian capital on Friday night. Rudy Fernandez was the main man, grabbing 15 points and 6 rebounds while Felipe Reyes offered 13 points while Sergio Rodriguez provided 12 points. The top player for Zvezda was Maik Zirbes who provided 13 points while Nikola Kalinic provided 10 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Apart from a brief spell in the first half, and a quick section after the break, Madrid were in the lead and in control for the whole of this match and were very comfortable in seeing out the end of the game.
- Q1: 12-15
- Q2: 31-34
- Q3: 45-58
- Q4: 72-79
Alba Berlin 80 – FC Barcelona 70
In a shock result, Alba Berlin grabbed a brilliant win against the Catalan side, a win that owed much to the dominance shown by the German side in the middle quarters. Three different players grabbed 16 points for the German side with Leon Radosevic, Jamel McLean and Reggie Redding delivering the goods. The Barca team took control early on and pushed hard late on in the game but it was the strong showing in the middle of the game that gave the Germans the win.
Marcelinho Huertas offered 23 points and 7 assists while Maciej Lampe provided 11 points and Justin Dollman offered up 10 points in the loss.
- Q1: 16-23
- Q2: 39-40
- Q3: 61-48
- Q4: 80-70
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 81 – CSKA Moscow 84
This was a close one in Turkey as CSKA Moscow continued their winning run in Euroleague competition this season but only after Sonny Weekms popped up to send the match into overtime.
This was a match where the lead changed hand on plenty of times and the game swung back and forth before it was decided by Nando De Colo who offered up free throws and a big steal in the dying seconds of the game. Weems grabbed 13 points in the game for the winners, as did Kyle Hines, while Milos Teodosic provided 12 points. Three players offered up 10 points for the Russian side with De Colo and Sasha Kaun shining while Andrey Vorontsevich added 10 rebounds to his 10 points to clinch a double-double in this game.
The top scorer in the game was in Fenerbahce colours with Andrew Goudelock offering 19 points while Bogdan Bogdanovic provided 16 points. Nemanja Bjelica provided a double0double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.
- Q1: 25-28
- Q2: 42-45
- Q3: 59-61
- Q4: 74-74
- OT: 81-84
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 67 – Anadolu Efes Istanbul 72
The away team edged a win in this match that was in the mix until the last few seconds. The top player for the Istanbul side was Stratos Perperoglou who grabbed 15 points while Stephane Lasme provided 13 points for the winners. The home team were boosted by Mirza Begic, who grabbed 16 points while Mike James provided 12 points for the losing side.
- Q1: 24-16
- Q2: 41-35
- Q3: 58-55
- Q4: 67-72
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 59 – Nizhny Novgorod 79
It may have been the first Top 16 match played by Novgorod by this was an excellent away win in Milan which will give some added belief that they can go further in the tournament. Trey Thompkins offered up 19 points and 15 rebounds while Taylor Rochestie provided 19 points and 8 assists. They were assisted by Artisom Parakhouski, who offered 18 points and Tarence Kinsey, who provided 15 points and 8 rebounds. The third quarter was the deciding one in the game with a 3-17 run for the away team being the most important element.
Milan managed to miss 24 of their 26 three-point efforts and Daniel Hackett went through the game without scoring. MarShon Brooks offered up 18 points for the losing home team.
- Q1: 16-14
- Q2: 35-31
- Q3: 44-59
- Q4: 59-79
Unicaja Malaga 61 – Olympiacos Piraeus 69
The Greek side got their Top 16 efforts off to a flying start with this impressive win in Spain. As you would expect, Vassilis Spanoulis was in excellent form, grabbing 11 points and 10 assists while Othello Hunter provided 18 points in the win. Jayson Granger provided 18 points for Malaga while Mindaugas Kuzminskas provided 12 points. Will Thomas provided 11 points while Fran Vasquez grabbed a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
With four away wins to start Group F in the Top 16, the second round of fixtures becomes increasingly important as the losing teams desperately need to get a win on the board.
- Q1: 12-14
- Q2: 29-32
- Q3: 45-48
- Q4: 61-69