In Round-12 of Turkish Airlines Euro-League Basketball, Olympiacos Piraeus and Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz were the only teams to notch up road victories. While Olympiacos beat Zalgiris Kaunas 88-75, Baskonia scored a thrilling 92-91 on-the-buzzer victory over Russian Club Unics Kazan. The remaining 6 matches saw the home teams beating the visitors. While defending champions CSKA Moscow continued their upward march, second placed teams Fenerbahce Istanbul and Real Madrid lost their matches. But the most thrilling Round-12 game featured Baskonia playing away from home against Russia’s Unics Kazan. It was a finish, where the decision came with less than 2 seconds left for the buzzer. Now, there are four teams vying for the second spot and two new teams among the top eight.
In an edge-of-the-seat thriller that literally came down to the wire, Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz edged out Unics Kazan 91-92 at Basket Hall Kazan. Even with 7 seconds left in the game, there were three lead changes. With time ticking away, Shane Larkin’s three-pointer took Baskonia 90-88 ahead but Unics’ Keith Langford brought his team back into the game. With 1.8 seconds remaining, Shengelia came with game-winning free throws and Baskonia went through. Larkin top-scored for Baskonia with 22 points and 6 assists and Shengelia added another 19. Langford’s 28 points for Unics proved wasteful.
In the only other road win last week, Olympiacos Piraeus defeated Zalgiris Kaunas 88-75 at Kaunas. However, the final score is deceptive since the two teams fought tooth-and-nail with the lead changing 23 times in the first 30 minutes. However, the last 10 minutes belonged to the visitors and they ran away with a convincing victory in the end. For the Greek side, Matt Lojeski and Kostas Papanikolaou top-scored with 16 points and Georgios Printezis added another 15 before limping away in fourth quarter due to a knee injury.
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul stunned Real Madrid 81-68 at home. Though Madrid led by 10 points in the second quarter, Darussafaka stopped them in the last 5 minutes of second quarter and first 3 minutes of the third. After building a comfortable lead-margin, Darussafaka never looked back. Brad Wanamaker was the top-scorer for Darussafaka with career-high 27 points while Madrid’s Felipe Reyes accounted for 16 in defeat. Felipe Rays went past Jaka Lakovic and Milos Teodosic for fourth place in Euro-League’s all-time scoring figures with 2,538 points.
Crvena Zvezda MTS Belgrade recorded their largest-ever Euro-League win with an 83-58 humbling of Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. Zvezda picked up the lead in the first quarter and never relinquished it until the end. Marko Simonovic scored 14 points and Ognjen Kuzmic added 12 in Zvezda’s win. Brose Bamberg scored their second consecutive win by defeating Anadolu Efes Istanbul 91-83 at home. For the winners, Fabien Causeur was the lead-scorer with 28 points and Darius Miller added another 17. This was also the first time that Bamberg had won back-to-back games this season. For Efes, Jayson Granger top-scored with 23 points and Derrick Brown added 18 with 11 rebounds.
In another thriller, Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul defeated EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 83-80. It was a close game, where the fourth quarter saw 6 lead changes and 5 ties but Galatasaray prevailed in the end. For the home team, Vladimir Micov scored a career-high 23 points, Blake Schilb scored 17 with 5 assists Alex Tyus posted 14, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. With this win, Galatasaray improved to 4-8 on the season while Milan also lie at 4-8 in the standings.
Defending champions CSKA Moscow continued with their winning ways by defeating Barcelona Lassa 92-76 at Moscow. This was CSKA’s 17th consecutive home win and they improved to 11-1 in lead standings. With the defeat, Barcelona slipped to 5-7. CSKA had a great start by building an 18-point lead early in the second quarter but Barcelona produced a 14-0 run to go in front briefly. However, the visitors were laid low by CSKA magician Milos Teodosic, who finished with the top score of 16 and 11 assists; Cory Higgins added another 23 with 5 steals. For Barcelona, Victor Claver top-scored with 17 points and 6 rebounds.
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens scored their third consecutive home win by defeating Fenerbahce Istanbul 81-70. Panathinaikos improved to 7-5, while Fenerbahce dropped to 8-4. Panathinaikos’ Nick Calathes top-scored with 6 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, Demetris Nichols added 14 while KC Rivers and James Feldeine added 10 each. For Fenerbahce, James Nunnally scored 21 points and Kostas Sloukas added another 13.
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