Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season Round 8 started with a bang. Among seven games on Thursday, four were decided at the buzzer. Thosee results left two teams – Olympiacos Piraeus and Real Madrid – undefeated, while two others – Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv and Galatasaray Liv Hospital – clinched Top 16 berths. Friday’s five games featured a series of comebacks and ushered Panathinaikos and Laboral Kutxa into the next stage. Six tickets remain to advance to the next stop on the road to Milan!
Bouncing back from its first loss of the season, Fenerbahce Ulker earned a 74-78 come-from-behind victory over CSKA Moscow
in in the Russian capital to tighten its grip on first place. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half – including 2 free throws with 7.1 seconds left to seal the win. Milos Teodosic led a CSKA rally for a 6-point lead early in the fourth, but excellent three-point shooting helped Fener prevail. FC Barcelona held back hard-charging JSF Nanterre 78-82
in Paris for its fifth consecutive victory. Nanterre tried to repeat its earlier upset of Barcelona by making an 11-2 run with under 2:30 to play to get within 78-80 with possession and 28 seconds left. After a timeout, David Lighty drove to basket trying to tie, but missed, leaving the victory the Barcelona. Juan Carlos Navarro led the winners with 15 points, including two early free throws that put him in second place on the Euroleague's all-time foul-shooting list. On Thursday, Partizan NIS Belgrade topped Budivelnik Kiev 76-61
at Kombank Arena in the Serbian capital to improve to 2-6 and stay alive in the race for the group’s fourth and final place that leads to the next stage. Behind 15 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds and 5 steals from Bogdan Bogdanovic, Partizan took a double-digit lead in the second quarter, and used its defensive effort to dominate the game and go on to lead by as many as 26 points in the fourth quarter. Joffrey Lauvergne added 18 points plus 8 rebounds in victory.
Group B: Real Madrid beat EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 71-78
at sold-out Mediolanum Forum, home of the 2014 Final Four. Madrid stayed unbeaten and won Group B, using 5 three pointers, two apiece from Jaycee Carroll and Sergio Rodriguez, to highlight a 19-4 run and take a 23-42 lead in the second quarter. Rudy Fernandez paced the winners with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Louis Campbell nailed a buzzer-beating three-pointer for Strasbourg to edge Zalgiris Kaunas 77-76
. In high-drama at the end, Justin Dentmon hit an off-balance shot for a 74-76 Zalgiris lead with only 2.4 seconds left, but after a Strasbourg timeout, Campbell became the hero with a game-winning three-point shot off the glass! Ricardo Greer paced the winners with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, and Campbell added 15 points. On Friday, Brose Baskets Bamberg beat Anadolu Efes 78-89
at Abdi Ipekci Arena in Istanbul to significantly boost to the German champs’ Top 16 aspirations. Novica Velickovic and Anton Gavel played major roles in a 4-23 fourth-quarter run that put Bamberg ahead for good. Jamar Smith made 4 of 5 threes en route to 18 points for the winners, while D’Or Fischer posted 13 points and 4 blocks.
In the Game of the Week, the reigning Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion Olympiacos Piraeus held off FC Bayern Munich 103-105
, continuing its unbeaten run from the start of the season. The Reds held a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter, but Bayern rallied and the winner wasn’t decided until Heiko Schaffartzik’s attempted three at the buzzer went off the front of the rim and out. Stratos Perperoglou had a career-high 25 points of the bench and MVP Vassilis Spanoulis netted 24 points and dished 7 assists for Olympiacos which previously locked up first place in the group. Bayern lost its fourth straight game. Galatasaray Liv Hospital outlasted Unicaja Malaga 78-70
at Abdi Ipekci in Istanbul to secure a ticket to the Top 16. The hosts needed Montepaschi to win in the early game to have a chance at advancing this week and that’s exactly what happened. Carlos Arroyo paced the Galatasaray attack with 22 points and 5 assists and Furkan Aldemir – starting in place of the suspended Pops Mensah-Bonsu – tallied 8 points and 12 rebounds. In a thriller that went down to the final second, Montepaschi Siena downed Stelmet Zielona Gora 60-59
in Florence, Italy, on Thursday. Montepaschi grabbed its third win in four games as Jeff Viggiano became the hero with the game-winning three-point shot with 1.1 seconds left.
Group D: Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv sneaked past Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 75-73
to grab control of first place in the group with its second win over Lokomotiv. The result also sent Maccabi through to the Top 16. The game went back and forth, as Lokomotiv rallied with a 2-20 spurt to take a 67-73 lead with little over 3 minutes left to play. But the hosts finished the game with an 8-0 run, capped by Sofoklis Schortsanitis, who finished with 15 points for the winners. On Friday, Panathinaikos Athens beat Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 69-63
at home to advance to the Top 16 and eliminate Zvezda in the process. Michael Bramos and James Gist came up big in the fourth quarter for the Greens. Ramel Curry paced the winners with 16 points, while Gist collected 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals and 2 assists. Laboral Kutxa Vitoria defeated Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 79-63
to clinch a Top 16 berth. Laboral’s third consecutive win was also Rytas’s seventh straight defeat. Rytas finished the second quarter with a 2-14 spurt to take a 30-38 halftime lead, but the hosts started the second half with a 15-2 run and never trailed again. Laboral pulled away with a 14-0 spurt that bridged the third and fourth quarters and never looked back. Lamont Hamilton paced the winners with 17 points.
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