After 6 Rounds of Top 16 in Turkish Airlines Euro-league basketball, Fenerbahce Istanbul are still undefeated and stay as runaway leaders in Group E. Fenerbahce’s City mates, Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul recorded their maiden victory after 5 consecutive losses. In Group F, however, there are three teams sharing the top spot with 4 wins apiece. Besides, there are three others with 3 victories in 6 matches and as the competition heats up, the fight for the top 4 places could become fierce. FC Barcelona Lassa are in tight spot with their fourth loss in six games with the latest coming against Germany’s Brose Baskets on road. Unless Barcelona get into winning ways, it will become even more difficult for them to progress further. Game briefs from both Groups can be found below.
Fenerbahce Istanbul continued to prevail with another victory against the third Istanbul team in this season’s Euro-league basketball. It was a 77-73 road win against Anadolu Efes for table-toppers and with that, Fenerbahce made it 6-0. In a close game, Efes led from the second quarter and looked like inflicting the first defeat on Fenerbahce. At the start of the fourth quarter, Efes had a 9-point lead at 54-45 but Fenerbahce’s Melih Mahmutoglu came off the bench and turned the game around. He scored 4 three-pointers in last 11 minutes and that included one in the very last minute that took Fenerbahce through. Mahmutoglu finished with 14 points in 16 minutes with Ekpe Udoh and Bogdan Bogdanovic contributing 15 apiece.
Second-placed Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar scored an 82-64 road victory over Unicaja Malaga to make it 4-2 after 6 rounds. It was the third consecutive loss for Unicaja. For Lokomotiv, Malcolm Delaney scored 21 points with 7 assists and Anthony Randolph added another 18. Though they lost by 18 points, Unicaja had a 30-23 lead midway through the second quarter but with Delaney single-handedly taking charge, Lokomotiv went through.
In another road victory, Panathinaikos Athens overwhelmed Cedevita Zagreb 78-60. The Greek Club improved to 3-3 while Cedevita slipped to 2-4. Miroslav Raduljica top-scored with 21 points and Nick Calathes added 10 with 10 assists. Cedevita suffered from the absence of their star player Luka Babic.
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul finally opened their account in Top16 with a 69-66 home victory in an exciting contest against Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade. Throughout the match, neither team could hold a lead of more than 6 points with the second half witnessing 9 ties in the thrilling encounter. In the end however, Darussafaka prevailed with Semih Erden top-scoring with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Mehmet Yagmur and Ender Arslan added 10 apiece.
Defending champions Real Madrid suffered their third Top16 loss, when Laboral Kutxa Vitoria defeated them 77-68. The victory sent Laboral to the top of the table, which they now share with two Russian teams; CSKA Moscow and Khimki Moscow Region. Laboral held a 41-37 lead at halftime and opened a 15-point margin with Adam Hanga, Ilimane Diop and Fabien Causeur scoring at frantic pace. But Madrid rallied to reduce the margin to just one point at 64-63. After that, a 9-0 run by Darius Adams sealed the game in Laboral’s favor. Causeur was the top scorer with 15 points, Jaka Blazic added 13 while Ioannis Bourousis pulled down 14 rebounds. Sergio Rodriguez’s 18 point for Real Madrid went in vain.
Olympiacos Piraeus played furiously in the last 15 minutes to defeat Khimki Moscow Region 89-77. The Greeks had double-digit deficits on several occasions, including 44-56 midway in third quarter. But Georgios Printezis’ career-high 30 points with 9 rebounds made a huge difference in the end. Vassilis Spanoulis scored 14 points with 6 assists and Daniel Hackett added another 14.
CSKA Moscow bludgeoned past Zalgiris Kaunas 94-59 on road. The Lithuanian champions trailed all the way after Milos Teodosic’s 10 points in first quarter secured a 26-11 lead for CSKA. In all, Teodosic totaled 20 points and Nando De Colo added 19.
FC Barcelona Lassa landed in big trouble with their fourth loss in six games. In Round-6, Barcelona lost 74-70 to Brose Baskets Bamberg, who now have a 3-3 record. In a thrilling game, Barcelona established an early lead with Justin Doellman scoring at will. However, in second quarter, Bamberg pulled away and kept the lead. Darius Miller, Janis Strelnieks and Nikos Zisis helped Bamberg with a 13-2 fourth-quarter run and a 68-54 lead, when Barcelona attacked again. But the Catalan outfit couldn’t overhaul Bamberg, who finished as winners. For Bamberg, Strelnieks top-scored with 16 points, Miller had 15, and Daniel Theis added 11 points with 8 rebounds. Barcelona’s Doellman scored 19 but his effort didn’t pay off.