There may have only been three games in the Top 16 on Friday night but there was plenty of action with some exciting games and big results for the teams involved.
Galatasaray Liv Hospital 84 – Panathinaikos Athens 86
A strong showing with their three point shots in the final quarter ensured that the Greek team grabbed an important win in the race for the playoffs in Group E. This win moves the Greek side onto a 7-5 record in the game and by the end of the evening, Panathinaikos were sitting in third place in the group. This was the 9th loss in a row for the home side and they currently sit on a 2-10 record.
There was a strong start by the away team but this was pulled back and at half-time, the score was 38-40. The hosts pushed on in the second quarter, before the Greens kicked on and moved on to a 70-81 margin which many people felt should have seen the game sewn up. However, there was one more revival for the Turkish side, embarking on an 8-0 run that brought the game to 83-84 with 15 seconds to go.
James Gist provided 14 points while Vlantimir Giankovits offered 13 points for the winning team. The Greek side were also boosted by Dimitris Diamantidis, who offered up 11 points and 9 assists while Loukas Mavrokefalidis provided 10 points. Patric Young provided 24 points and 9 points for the home team and there were also strong showings from Zoran Erceg with 19 points and Vladimir Micov who provided 17 points and 7 assists. Galatasaray were also boosted by Justin Cater who grabbed 10 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Real Madrid 86 – Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 75
Real Madrid secured their own home advantage, and the home advantage of Barcelona, in the playoff round by defeating the reigning Euroleague champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv by a score of 86-75. The Spanish side moved on to a 10-2 record and they have the chance to clinch first place next week if they defeat Barcelona in Catalonia. Maccabi are now on a 7-5 record and are in fourth place, sitting behind Panathiniakos.
Jaycee Carroll helped the home side to the win, offering 18 points while Felipe Reyes provided 16 points and 9 rebounds. Sergio Lull and Gustavo Ayon both offered 11 points while Llull also offered up 9 assists for the winners. Brian Randle grabbed 17 points for the away team while Jeremy Pargo offered up 14 points and 7 assists. Joe Alexander and Devin Smith both offered up 12 points for the Israeli side.
The two Spanish sides have already qualified from Group E and both have home-court advantage in the playoffs. Panathinaikos and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv still have big hopes of clinching a playoff spot but Alba Berlin will continue to push on.
Nizhny Novgorod 82 – CSKA Moscow 86
If the first half belonged to the home team, a strong showing in the third quarter showed that even when they are far from their best, CSKA Moscow have what it takes to put games to bed and continue on their winning way. This win moved the Moscow side on to a 10-2 record in the Top 16 and they look strong favourites to grab home-court advantage in the playoffs. Nizhny slipped to a 3-9 record and they look all but out of the running for the playoffs, although things looked very different at half-time with a 55-42 lead.
Sonny Weem grabbed 21 points for CSKA, Sasha Kaun provided 16 points and Milos Teodosic provided 13 points. The top man for Nizhny was Taylor Rochestie who grabbed 21 points and 6 assists, Tarence Kinsey provided 17 points, Trey Thompkins offered up 13 points while Rihards Kuksiks offered up 11 points and Art Parakhouski provided 10 points for the home side.
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos Piraeus have already snapped up the playoff spots which mean that there is one more place up for grabs in Group F. Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Laboral and Milan will all think that they have a chance of bagging the final spot.