Seven out of eight Round-5 matches played on January 29 & 30, 2015 were won by home teams in the Turkish Airlines Euro-league. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul was the lone team that scored an away-victory. Fenerbahce now hold a 6-game straight victory record on road. Two undefeated teams until Round-4, have now lost their matches for the first time. While Real Madrid were defeated by reigning champions Maccabi Electra, Olympiacos Piraeus lost to Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Regardless, Real and Olympiacos are still nicely placed in their Groups. The results have left Russian giant CSKA Moscow as the only undefeated team but they required overtime play against another Russian outfit, Nizhny Novogorod before the Group F match could be decided. Another 9 rounds remain in Top16 Group E & F matches and it would be hazardous to predict the 8 contestants for the next stage of the tournament. Interestingly, in four out of eight games of Round-5, there were double-digit victory margins. The most impressive individual performance came from FC Barcelona’s Ante Tomic, who excelled in his team’s victory over visiting Zalgiris Kaunas in Group E on Friday. In an error-free display, Tomic scored 16 points by making 6 of 7 two-point shots and all 4 of his free throws. He also had 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks while drawing 5 fouls. And all that was done in a space of 25 minutes to the delight of home fans. Tomic’s scintillating show earned him the bwin MVP of the week as he reached a performance index rating of 34, the best by a winning team player this week. Real Madrid’s Felipe Reyes was another star, whose performance index rating went up to 35 and he became Euro-league history’s career rebounder leader. Reyes scored 20 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists. But his team lost 86-90 against Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. Other star performers of the week were; Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade’s Boban Marjanovic and Nizhny Novgorod playmaker Taylor Rochestie with both ending at the index ratings of 28. The fifth best player of the week was Nizhny Novogorod’s Art Parakhouski, who had 18 points, 8 boards and 2 blocks. The brief run-down of the matches follow here.
This week’s first Round-5 match began at Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena with a titanic clash between 2014 champions Maccabi Electra and Real Madrid. The thriller was decided in closing seconds. In a high drama, Maccabi’s Joe Alexander made clutch free throws for the hosts and Real’s Euro-league MVP Sergio Rodriguez committed a turnover as the match finished at 90-86 in favor of Maccabi. The two teams now share the top spot in Group E with the same number of points. For Maccabi Electra, Sofoklis Schortsanitis scored 17 points and 8 rebounds; MarQuez Haynes also scored 17 including 5-of-8 three-point shooting, while Sylven Landesberg added 16 points. For Real Madrid, Felipe Reyes had 20 points but his 11 rebounds enabled him to emerge as Euro-league’s career rebounding leader.
In the other Group E game on January 29 at Hala Pionir, Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade defeated ALBA Berlin 86-69. This was Crvena’s first victory in Top16 rounds so far. For victors, Boban Marjanovic scored 17 points with 12 rebounds.
In the third Group E match played on Friday, Panathinaaikos Athens beat Galatasaray Liv Hospital 86-77 and led all the way to the end. They had a 42-17 halftime score and despite Galatasaray trying hard in the second session, they could only reduce the margin but lost the game. For the Greek team, Janis Blums was the top-scorer with 16 points but there were others, who made double-digit scores as well.
In the last Group E game, FC Barcelona beat Zalgiris Kaunas 89-72. Ante Tomic stole the show in a 25-minute dominance, in which he scored 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Other scorers included; Bostjan Nachbar 15 and Justin Doellman & Mario Hezonja 12 each.
The first Group F game on January 29 was played between two Russian teams; CSKA Moscow and Nizhny Novogorod. In a high-scoring game, CSKA finished victors at 103-95 and recorded their 15th consecutive Euro-league win. The match was tied 88-88 after full-time and required extra time. CSKA are now the only unbeaten team in Top16 and Group F leaders. For CSKA, Milos Teodosic scored 25 points, of which 7 came in extra session. For Nizhny, Trey Thompkins and Taylor Rochestie scored 22 points each. Brilliant show from Teodosic, Sasha Kaun and Andrey Vorontsevich sealed the game for CSKA Moscow.
In the second game, Anadolu Efes Istanbul defeated Olympiacos Piraeus 84-70. The big victory margin was attributed to a strong defense by Efes in the second half. Piraeus led the match at halftime 40-37 but Efes came back strongly in the second half with fine show from Dontaye Draper, 14 points and Nenad Krstic, 13.
In the third Group F game played on January 30, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria bludgeoned EA7 Armani Milan 102-83. Laboral kept the lead from start to finish with Bertans hitting 4 triples in as many attempts that resulted in a 34-18 first-quarter score. The victors missed only 9 of 31 shots from the field in first half and led 61-42 at halftime. For Laboral, Mike James scored 16, and Darius 15.
The last Group F game brought 68-60 road victory for the visitors Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul against Unicaja Malaga. Andrew Goudelock scored 20 points out of 10 came in the crucial third quarter that allowed visitors a 10-1 run. The hosts rallied, but Jan Vesely and Nemanja Bjelica played superbly for Fenerbahce. Vesely scored 17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and 3 steals, while Bjelica added 14 points plus 13 rebounds.
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