Reigning champions CSKA Moscow came up with a command performance at home against Brose Bamberg in Round-18 regular season of Turkish Airlines Euro-League Basketball League. They lead everyone with 14 wins while right behind them are Real Madrid and Olympiacos Piraeus with 13 wins each. 2016 runners-up; Fenerbahce Istanbul and Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz come next with an identical 11-7 record while three other teams; Panathinaikos Sperfoods Athens, Crvena Zvezda MTS Belgrade and Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul are tied at 10-8 to complete the current top eight. With 12 Rounds remaining, the final composition of play-off teams can still change as fence-sitters like FC Barcelona Lassa, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Unics Kazan and Brose Bamberg will try to win as many matches as they can.
Despite missing the services of Milos Teodosic and Corey Higgins, CSKA Moscow still outplayed Brose Bamberg 85-64 at Moscow. The 14-4 record ensures the top spot for CSKA in league standings. With second loss in as many matches, Bamberg slipped to 7-11. CSKA dominated with Nando De Colo, who scored 8 of his 9 two-point shots to top the score for CSKA with 26 points. Bamberg’s Daniel Theis scored 16 in defeat.
2016 runners-up Fenerbahce Istanbul defeated Panathinaikos Athens 84-63 in Istanbul. Now both teams have the same 11-7 record. For Fenerbahce head coach Zeljko Obradovic, it was a special occasion as victory came in his 100th Euro-League game against a team (Panathinaikos), he had led for 13 years. For Fenerbahce, Luigi Datome top-scored with 16 points while Ahmet Duverioglu sparked with a career-high 13 after coming off the bench. Mike James’ 25 points for Panathinaikos couldn’t save his team.
In one of this week’s thrillers, Crvena Zvezda MTS Belgrade scored a 71-67 road-win over Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. With 4 minutes left for buzzer, Maccabi led 67-62 courtesy their star Colton Iverson. But the home side missed their last 6 shots and committed a pair of turnovers. Crevena’s Stefan Jovic scored 5 points and provided two assists as Zvezda snatched victory. Jovic top-scored with 14 points and 7 assists while Andrew Goudelock’s 19 points for Maccabi were wasted. The victory improved Crvena’s record to 10-8 while Maccabi slipped to 6-12.
Ending the longest losing streak in Turkish Airlines Euro-League’s current season, EA7 Emporio Armani Milan scored a come-from-behind 92-87 victory over Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul. Milan led by 16 points after second quarter but surrendered that lead to trail 73-76 with 5 minutes remaining. However, Krunoslav Simon and Ricky Hickman combined to score 11 out of their team’s 19 points in remaining time to end Milan’s 10-game losing streak. Now both teams are tied at 5-13 in the standings. Simon top-scored with 19 points and 5 assists while Galatasaray’s Sinan Guler and Bruno Fitipaldo scored 17 each in defeat.
In the week’s another thriller, FC Barcelona Lassa defeated Anadolu Efes Istanbul 89-78 at Palau Blaugrana. Both teams now stand at 8-10 but they need to ensure more victories to be able to enter the play-off stage. For Barcelona, Petteri Koponen was the lead-scorer with 20 points while Vitor Faverani added another 18 in his first-ever game for Barcelona. For Efes, Brandon Paul scored 25 in defeat.
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul defeated Unics Kazan 71-64 at Istanbul to reach 10-8 to tie on wins with Panathinaikos and Crvena Zvezda. Unics fell to 7-11 to share the eleventh place with Brose Bamberg. For Darussafaka, Adrien Moerman scored 17 points and 7 rebounds while Brad Wanamaker added another 16 with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Unics led at halftime and also at the end of three quarters but a 12-0 run from Darussafaka’s Wanamaker, Moerman and Ante Zizic sealed Unics fate.
Real Madrid was the week’s second road winner by defeating Zalgiris Kaunas 74-59 at Zalgiris. It was Madrid’s fourth straight win and they reached 13-5 in standings while Zalgiris dropped to 6-12. For Madrid, Trey Thompkins’ 3 consecutive three-pointers in their 14-0 fourth quarter run, proved decisive as Zalgiris suffered their fourth straight loss at home. For Madrid, Othello Hunter topped the score with 14 points and Thompkins added 12 from his 4 out of 6 three-pointers. For Zalgiris, Augusto Lima scored 13 points.
Olympiacos Piraeus notched up their fifth consecutive home win by outclassing Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz 92-62. With 13-5 in standings, Olympiacos and Real Madrid are second to CSKA Moscow while Baskonia slipped to 11-7. Eight Olympiacos players scored at least 7 points, led by Kostas Papanikolaou, Vassilis Spanoulis and Georgios Printezis with 12 points apiece. Shane Larkin scored 12 for Baskonia.