After the conclusion of the thrilling Top 16 final round matches in Euro-league, the veil of suspense was lifted and the 2014-15 Turkish Airlines Euro-league has entered the Play-off stage. With results available from matches played on April 9 & 10, 2015, the last three remaining play-off spots were claimed by reigning champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, Panathinaikos Athens and Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Basketball fans are excited about the scintillating best-of-five series, the first rounds of which begin on April 14 & 15, 2015 with matches between Real Madrid Vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul; Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv Vs. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul; CSKA Moscow Vs. Panathinaikos Athens and FC Barcelona Vs. Olympiacos Piraeus. The summary of matches played on April 9 & 10, 2015 is as follows.
In the first Group E match on Thursday April 9, 2014 at Berlin, the home team ALBA Berlin lost to the defending Turkish Airlines Euroleague champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 64-73. This put paid to any hopes that the German side would have had of making it to the play-off stage in this season. The win of the Israeli outfit ensured that they go to the play-off stage and take on Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul in the best of five play-off rounds.
The next Group E game ended with an exciting 69-68 finish in favor of Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade, who defeated Panathinaikos Athens. It was a funny game since it didn’t decide anything despite Crvena Zvezda emerging the winner. Since Crvena Zvezda had already made their exit, Panathinaikos could only have entered the playoff stage if Maccabi Electra defeated ALBA. That happened in the first match and Panathinaikos made their way into the play-offs with Maccabi Electra.
The third Group E match culminated in a huge road victory for FC Barcelona, who handed a 88-65 defeat to Galatasaray Li Hospital Istanbul. But since Real Madrid also won their last Group match against Zalgiris Kaunas they held a tiebreak advantage over FCB for the top spot despite the same number of wins.
In the last Group E match Real Madrid beat Zalgiris Kaunas 99-83 at home with Sergio Rodriguez orchestrating the offense with 17 points and 7 assists, and Jaycee Carroll netting 16 points, Madrid used a 13-2 fourth quarter run to pull away from Zalgiris, who had already exited the race for playoffs.
Now Real Madrid play the best-of-five series in the play-offs with Anadolu Efes Istanbul while FC Barcelona will square off against Olympiacos Piraeus.
The first match in Group F was between cross-town rivals Fenerbahce Ulker and Anadolu Efes Istanbul and Fenerbahce had an upper hand with a 83-72 win. Billed as the game of the week, Anadolu Efes emerged as a lucky loser after Unicaja Malaga defeated Laboral Kutxa Vitoria. Thus both Fenerbahce and Anadolu Efes made it to the play-off stage. Fenerbahce led for most of the time but Anadolu Efes went in front 61-59. Then Andrew Goudelock scored key baskets down the stretch to seal the outcome. Goudelock finished with 24 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic added another 17.
In the next Group F match, Unicaja Malaga finished its Euroleague season in style by beating Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 93-84. For Unicaja, Ryan Toolson netted 17 points and Jayson Granger added 15 with 6 assists. Unicaja’s victory effectively ended Laboral’s Euro-league campaign though Unicaja themselves are also out of the top 8 teams.
In the third match of Group F, CSKA Moscow outplayed EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 88-79 to take the top spot in Group F. Sasha Kaun paced the CSKA attack with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting plus 8 rebounds. Andrey Vorontesevich and Andrei Kirilenko added 14 each.
The last Group F match was played between Olympiacos Piraeus and Nizhny Novgorod and the Greek team emerged winners with a 77-70 victory. Matt Lojeski led the winners with 17 points plus 8 rebounds with contributions from Georgios Printezis and Vangelis Mantzaris.
The playoff line-up is decided as CSKA Moscow will take on Panathinaikos Athens while Fenerbahce Ulker play Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv.
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