With half the matches won at home and half on road, Round-9 Top 16 games came to conclusion on Friday. But the round began with a game on Wednesday instead of the usual Thursday, when ALBA Berlin hosted Zalgiris Kaunas on March 4, 2015 at Berlin. When Zalgiris pushed ALBA in a corner, they found a savior in Reggie Redding. Rising marvelously to the challenge, Redding came up with a match-winning 27-point performance that won him the Top 16 Round 9 bwin MVP honors. Redding also had 7 rebounds, 5 assists and made 6 out of 11 two-point shots. He also scored from both his three-point attempts and shot 9 of 10 from foul line. That resulted in a performance index rating of 36, unmatched by anybody else in Top 16 Round 9. Redding also became ALBA’s first weekly MVP winner since Immanuel McElroy, who won the award in 2008-09 Top 16 Round 9. On second spot in index rating at 32 was Boban Marjanovic of Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade. Marjanovic’s efforts of 19 points and 17 rebounds helped his team defeat reigning Euroleague champion Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 89-76. Darius Adams of Laboral Kutxa Vitoria had the third-best index for the week with 31 points and tallied an index rating of 30 in his team’s 74-81 loss to CSKA Moscow. Unicaja Malaga’s Ryan Toolson and EA7 Emporio Armani Milan’s Alessandro Gentile, each finished with index ratings of 28 to end this week’s top performers. A brief note on the Round-9 matches is as follows.
Real Madrid had an emphatic 107-71 road win in Istanbul against Galatasaray Liv Hospital. That victory kept them on top of Group E. Rudy Fernandez led Real with 17 points on 5 out of 7 three-pointers. Real led 54-37 at halftime and enhanced the margin t0 29 in third quarter that effectively nullified Galatasaray’s 15-0 charge. Real Madrid missed the all-time record of 30 assists by a solitary point.
Also on Thursday, FC Barcelona edged out Panathinaikos Athens 81-77 at Athens in a classic showdown and jumped to the second spot in league table. Alex Abrines and Tomas Satoransky combined to create a 12-0 run and gave a 42-32 first half lead to FCB. That was the one advantage that proved helpful to the visitors. Late in the game, Panathinaikos narrowed FCB’s advantage to 75-73 but the visitors kept the pressure until the end. For FCB, Justin Doellman scored 21 points and 7 rebounds and Juan Carlos Navarros netted 17. For Panathinaikos, Esteban Batista scored 16 points with 9 rebounds.
At Belgrade, Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade defeated Maccabi Electra Tel aviv 89-76 riding on a monstrous run by Boban Marjanovic, who scored 19 points with a career-high 17 rebounds. The real difference in the game was brought about by a 20-0 fourth quarter run, in which Marcus Williams scored 9 of his 17 points with Charles Jenkins accounting for 8 out of his total of 16 points. Marjanovic’s 17 rebounds figure was the third-best in Top 16 history.
In match played on Wednesday at Berlin, ALBA Berlin defeated Zalgiris Kaunas 80-72. But that victory had the stamp of Reggie Redding’s authority. Redding scored his career-best 27 points with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. ALBA were helped by Jonas Wohlfarth in first quarter and by Redding in the second. With a 42-37 halftime lead, ALBA fortified their defense in the third quarter and enhanced the lead to double digits. Zalgiris rallied late and came within 5 points but crucial baskets by Leon Radosevic and Alex Renfroe helped seal the victory.
On Thursday, Table toppers Olympiacos Piraeus defeated EA7 Emporio Armani 83-74 on road. The visitors led the game at all-time despite EA7 making several runs throughout the game. For Olympiacos, Vassilis Spanoulis emerged as the top scorer with 14 points and 8 assists with Othello Hunter scoring 14.
In another match on Thursday, Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul defeated Nizhny Novgorod 92-79 at home for their sixth consecutive win in Top 16 and inched closer to the play-off stage. Nemanja Bjelica led Fenerbahce with 16 points; Ricky Hickman and Jan Vesely each added 13. Other scorers were; Hickman and Bogdan Bogdanovic. The visitors came within 60-55 late in the third quarter but that remained their best effort. For Nizhny, Trey Thompkins scored 22 points with 11 rebounds.
In another road win, CSKA Moscow nullified a 16-point deficit to beat Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 81-74 on Thursday. Early in the second quarter, Laboral had established a 33-17 lead but CSKA rallied in the third quarter to go past at 45-44. It was a game that became thrilling in the end and only the late efforts from Sonny Weems and Nando De Colo could seal the outcome. For CSKA, Vitaly Fridzon scored 13 points, while Milos Teodosic and De Colo added 11 each. For Laboral, Darius Adams scored 31 points.
In the last Group F game, Unicaja Malaga defeated Anadolu Efes Istanbul 93-90. It proved to be a thrilling finish with Ryan Toolson hitting a tough three-pointer with less than a second left. Malaga led until the first 38 minutes of the game and had a 14-point third quarter lead, but for Efes, Thomas Heurtel came up with a brilliant performance to take his team to an 83-82 lead. But Malaga rallied to tie the game at 90-90. It was then left to Toolson, who knocked down a triple and Malaga scraped home with a narrow win. Toolson finished with 25 points, while Jon Stefansson scored 15 in victory. Heurtel scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half to lead Efes.
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