Regular Season, Round 5: CSKA, Roma exclusive group leaders at halfway point
After a thrilling Week 5 in which two games went to overtime and six others were decided by 7 or fewer points, the Euroleague regular season reached the halfway point with two groups under the control of one team, while five more were tied atop the other two groups. In the first game of the week, Cibona bested Air Avellino 82-79 in overtime thanks to Niksa Prkacin’s clutch points and a big night from Davor Kus. With the win, Cibona improved to 4-1 in Group. One night later, Cibona was tied again asOlympiacos improved to 4-1 by edging Le Mans 93-98on the road. Lynn Greer had 26 points to lead the Reds, including free throws to force the extra period with 3 seconds to go. Also in Group A, an injury-plagued Unicaja downed Maccabi Electra 73-80 behind 23 points from Thomas Kelati. Unicaja is now third place and spoiled the party planned for Pini Gershon's returned to the bench in Tel Aviv. Regal FC Barcelona, Panathinaikos and Montepaschi Siena all won to remain tied atop Group B.Panathinaikos topped Asseco Prokom 60-67 on the road thanks to Dimitris Diamantidis’s 10 fourth-quarter points. The Polish champs had rallied to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter. Montepaschi Siena trounced SLUC Nancy 86-63 and Barcelona thrashed Zalgiris 60-75 in Kaunas, Lithuania. Jaka Lakovic paced the winners with 22 points to become just the fourth Euroleague player all decade to break the 2,000-point barrier. CSKA Moscow edged Partizan 62-63 to remain the lone undefeated team through five games, while the Serbian champs fell to 2-3. Meanwhile Quinton Hosley scored 24 as Real Madrid beat Efes Pilsen 85-91 in Istanbul. Armani Jeans Milano registered its first win by edging Panionios On Telecoms 77-73 behind 18 points and 6 steals from David Hawkins. Mason Rocca was the key late with a put-back and three-point pay to win it. Panionios, Partizan and Efes are tied at 2-3. Lottomatica became the exclusive leader in Group C by beating Fenerbahce Ulker 76-67. Andre Hutson took over with 26 points on 10-for-11 free throws while Sani Becirovic dished 7 assists to go with 11 points. DKV Joventut rejoined the Top 16 race by edging Tau Ceramica 105-100 in an extraordinary game. Edu Hernandez-Sonseca was the man for Joventut with 24 points on 12-for-12 free throws and 10 rebounds off the bench. Mirza Teletovic brought Tau back in the game in the final minutes, but Joventut prevailed. Union Olimpija broke its four-game losing streak with a 77-69 against Alba Berlin behind 19 points from Miha Zupan. The Week 5 results show several first-place teams - CSKA Moscow in Group D, and the trio tied for the top in Group B - sitting three victories ahead of fifth-place teams with just five regular season games left, thereby pointing toward the first Top 16 qualifiers in the not-too-distant future.