Though CSKA Moscow continue their leadership status in Turkish Airlines Euro-League Basketball’s Regular Season, it is not the end of the road for other 15 teams. CSKA, however, came close to tasting their second defeat this season but Vitaly Fridzon’s buzzer-ending baseline jumper saw them narrowly through on road. Last year’s runner-up Fenerbahce also notched-up a thrilling home win over Real Madrid with a dying-seconds free throw by James Nunnally. Unics Kazan’s 21-point victory over EA7 Emporio Armani Milan was the biggest margin of eight Round-10 matches played on December 1 & 2 and six other games were really very close. With 20 more games remaining in Regular Season, 5 teams are tied at 5-5 and 9 nine others are within a few wins of staying in competition.
The Round-10 game between Unics Kazan and EA7 Emporio Armani Milan produced the most decisive outcome with Kazan winning at home 100-79. This was Kazan’s best club-scoring record in a EuroLeague game. Their previous best was 99 points against Anadolu Efes Istanbul earlier this season but that had resulted in their defeat. Unics had been on a 3-game losing streak and Thursday’s win was a huge relief. Unics began well and had a 16-2 first-quarter run. Thereafter, they never trailed. They led 57-43 at halftime but Milan rallied in third quarter to come within 4 points at 73-69. However, Unics began the last quarter at 10-0 and sealed the match at 100-79. Keith Langford top-scored for Unics with 25 points.
In the thrilling Game-of-the-week, Fenerbahce Istanbul scored a 78-77 home win over Real Madrid. That also translated into Fenerbahce moving to second place ahead of Real Madrid. Although both Fenerbahce and Madrid have 7 victories this season; Fenerbahce are better placed on points. In an intense game, where the lead kept changing from one side to another, James Nunnally changed the course by a free-throw with less than 2 seconds left. Nunnally led the winners with 18 points. Besides, 6 other Fenerbahce players added double-digit scores. For Madrid, Anthony Randolph finished with 16 points and Sergio Llull added another 14.
CSKA Moscow looked like heading for a defeat, before Vitaly Fridzon came up with a crucial baseline jumper just as the buzzer sounded. The thrilling 90-88 road-win over Brose Bamberg lifted CSKA to 9-1 while Bamberg dropped to 2-8. But Bamberg had their chances as they rallied from a 19-point third quarter deficit and took a slender lead in fourth. CSKA’s magic maker Milos Teodosic produced 7 three-pointers to finish with 31 points and 8 assists. Of these, Teodosic scored 15 in last quarter alone. For Bamberg, Nicolo Melli scored 26 and Daniel Theis added another 19 points with 9 rebounds.
In last week’s another road-win, Anadolu Efes Istanbul defeated Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv 86-77 and improved to 5-5 in the standings. Maccabi too have the same 5-5 status but Efes snapped Maccabi’s 3-match winning streak. For Efes, Derrick Brown scored 22 points with 12 rebounds while Tyler Honeycutt added 21 with 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.
In yet another Friday thriller, Olympiacos Piraeus defeated Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul 77-71 on road. That took Olympiacos to 6-4 while Darussafaka fell to 5-5 after their third consecutive loss. The lead kept changing in first quarter but Olympiacos sailed ahead for good in second and began the third at 52-40. However, Darussafaka rallied late in third by three-pointers by Dairis Bertans and Scottie Wilbekin. Regardless, Olympiacos kept their lead through Erick Green, who scored all his 10 points late in third and early in fourth quarters. For Olympiacos, Georgios Printezis scored 15 points and Vassilis Spanoulis added 13another. For Darussafaka, Will Clyburn top-scored with 21 point and Brad Wanamaker and Furkan Aldemir added 11 and 10 respectively.
Zalgiris Kaunas scored their first road-win in almost one year by defeating Crvena Zvezda MTS Belgrade 88-79. In December 2015, Zalgiris had upset Barcelona Lassa at Palau Blaugrana and that was their last road-win. Friday’s victory took Zalgiris to 4-6 in the standings while Crvena also stood at 4-6. Zalgiris’ Antanas Kavaliauskas top-scored with 20 points; while Arturas Milaknis produced his career-best 19.
FC Barcelona Lassa ended their 3-match losing streak with a 72-57 home win over Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens on Friday and improved to 5-5 in the standings. Panathinaikos also have the same 5-5 record thus far. The game remained close in first two quarters before Barcelona made the decisive difference with 21-9 third-quarter run. Ante Tomic top-scored with 16 points, Aleksandar Vezenkov added 12 and Tyrese Rice another 10.
Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz scored a 69-62 home win over Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul and improved to 6-4 while Galatasaray slipped to 3-7. After a great start by Baskonia, Galatasaray caught up with the hosts and led 40-38 as third quarter started. But Baskonia reversed the lead through Andrea Bargnani and Shane Larkin. Later, Rodrigue Beaubois came with a match-clinching lay-up. For Baskonia, Voigtmann and Beaubois both scored 13 points and Kim Tillie collected 11 rebounds.