In eight Round 4 matches of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, played over two days on January 22 & 23, 2015, there were superb team and individual performances. Although 10 rounds still remain, Real Madrid in Group E and Olympiacos Piraeus & CSKA Moscow in Group F are still undefeated. These teams are looking formidable and barring unforeseen circumstances, they should go to the play-off rounds. There were some spectacular and record-breaking performances over the two days. On Thursday, Milos Teodosic of CSKA Moscow created a Top-16 record with 14 assists. But Teodosic’s record had a life of just one day because on Friday, Nizhny Novgorod’s Taylor Rochestie broke it by providing 15 assists. Another scintillating performance came from Vassilis Spanoulis, who engineered a late turnaround for Olympiacos Piraeus, who, at one stage, trailed Laboral Kutxa Vitoria by 11 points and time was running out. But Spanoulis ensured that Olympiacos stayed unbeaten.
In a Group E game on Thursday, two Euro-league giants; Real Madrid and Panathinaikos Athens battled for supremacy at Barclaycard Center at Madrid. Riding on a thunderous home support, Real led at the end of every quarter against the formidable visitors from Greece with scores of 20-14, 19-15, 21-19, 23-17. In the end, it was a smooth 83-65 victory for the home team. Madrid continued to stay on top in Group E with a perfect 4-0 record, while Panathinaikos had to remain content with 2-2. For Real Madrid, Felipe Reyes came up with 18 points and 9 rebounds and Rudy Fernandez added another 15. The reigning MVP Sergio Rodriguez scored 10 points with 7 assists.
In an earlier match at Istanbul, there was high drama between home team Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul and visitors ALBA Berlin with the scores getting tied on three occasions in the last quarter alone. With four minutes remaining, ALBA Berlin had a slender 2-point lead but locking down of defense and a late charge from Reggie Redding and Vojdan Stojanovski ensured that ALBA ended with a 75-65 road victory. Redding and Stojanovski both came up with back-to-back three-pointers and ALBA stood in the league table at 2-2. Redding was the top scorer for ALBA attack with 16 points.
On Friday, in another Group E Euro-league classic, reigning champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv beat Zalgiris Kaunas 73-66 at Zalgirio Arena in Kaunas, Lithuania. Despite a great show, Zalgiris couldn’t prevent Maccabi from winning and sealing the second place in league table. In a game of runs and lead swings, Maccabi benefitted from a late charge from Jeremy Pargo, who ran away with 9 points. For Maccabi, Sylven Landesberg top-scored with 20 points and he was were nicely supplemented by Pargo, whose tally reached 12 with 8 assists. Another stellar show came from Alex Tyus, who scored 12, but more importantly; his 6 blocks tied up with the second-highest one-game block total in Top 16 history. For home team, Paulius Jankunas came up with a big double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds.
In the last Group E match on Friday, FC Barcelona scored a 92-77 home win against Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade, who are still winless. In a high scoring game, FCB, ran away with a 12-0 charge late in the second quarter to make a decisive difference. For FCB, Alex Abrines top-scored with 15 points, Ante Tomic scored 12 points with 10 rebounds and Marcelinho Huertas came up with 11 points and 7 assists.
In Thursday’s first Group F match at Moscow, CSKA kept their slate clean. The hosts had a 101-74 win over Unicaja Malaga, who suffered their fourth consecutive loss. Last week’s bwin MVP of the week, Nando De Colo scored 28 points without missing anything. Milos Teodosic set a Top 16 record with 14 assists. Early in second quarter, CSKA led 34-33 but they produced a 10-0 run that ensured a victory by big margin. Apart from de Colo, Teodosic, Sasha Kaun and Demetris Nichols each scored 13 for CSKA while Will Thomas and Mindaugas Kuzminskas scored 11 each for Unicaja.
For second Group F match, Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul played against EA7 Emporio Armani in Milan. Fenerbahce took the lead in first quarter and after that they never trailed the hosts, ending the half-time at 43-38, But Milan couldn’t catch up despite cutting the deficit to 45-42 early in the third quarter. The match ended in Fenerbahce’s favor at 82-71. Vesely finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds, Bjelica collected 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Bogdanovic had 11 points and 8 assists. For Milan, Brooks scored 24, Alessandro Gentile 14, and Daniel Hackett had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
In Friday’s third home match for Nizhny Novgorod, Anadolu Efes Istanbul were kept under pressure from start to finish with the hosts scoring a historic 109-90 victory. Art Parakhouski was the star of the night with 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting. Taylor Rochestie broke the one-day old 14-assist record of CSKA’s Milos Teodosic with 15 assists and Trey Thompkins added a double double. In a fast-paced match, Rochestie recorded 11 points and 3 assists in a 25-10 Nizhny start. The hosts led at the end of every quarter, racking up 65 first-half points. Thompkins finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Rochestie scored 19.
In the last Group F match on Friday, Olympiacos Piraeus cancelled an 11-point third-quarter deficit in scoring a 76-64 home victory against Laboral Kutxa Vitoria at Athens. Vassilis Spanoulis scored 8 points and Kostas Sloukas came up with 3 assists during a 20-2 late charge in third quarter. The momentum continued until the end. Spanoulis top-scored with 27 points and 6 assists and Olympiacos continued to share the top spot in Group F with CSKA Moscow.
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