Regular Season, Round 6: CSKA is first team to reach Top 16
There are no more unbeaten teams in the 2015-16 Turkish Airlines Euroleague campaign, and after Regular Season Round 6 as many as six different teams can pride themselves in having the best record in the competition, and one of those, CSKA Moscow, is the first that has clinched a Top 16 berth. In three days of exciting action, one team broke its Euroleague scoring record, another rallied from a 21-point second-half deficit to win, while half of the week's 12 games were won by road teams.
In a rare Wednesday tip off, Khimki Moscow Region defeated Real Madrid 82-85 at Barclaycard Center in the Spanish Capital. Tyrese Rice paced Khimki with 18 points and a career-high 8 assists as Khimki improved to 4-2 in Group A. The result also ended the champs’ winning streak on their home court at 14. Alexey Shved added 13 points, including 2 clutch free throws with 20 seconds to play, while Sergey Monya nailed a pair of big three-pointers in the fourth quarter in scoring 11 points. Madrid’s nightmare start to the season continued as it dropped to 2-4. Madrid lost despite Gustavo Ayon’s 14 points and 15 rebounds. In the Game of the Week on Thursday, Fenerbahce Istanbul led from start to finish in throttling Bayern Munich 67-84 to remain in first place in Group A. Fenerbahce scored the first 11 points at Munich and never looked back as Bobby Dixon led the way with 25 points - 16 of those in the first quarter as the visitors built an early 20-point lead. Luigi Datome added 17 points and 6 assists. Strasbourg rallied from a 21-point second-half deficit and pulled out a dramatic 78-75 win over the visiting Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade. This is third win in as many home games for Strasbourg, which improved to 3-3, while Zvezda dropped to 2-4. Quincy Miller scored 14 of his 23 points in the first quarter, and Zvezda hit 10 triples before halftime to lead 34-52 at the break. Margin reached 21 points in the third, but a 15-0 run bridging third and fourth quarters got Strasbourg within 63-64, and Rodrigue Beaubois came up big in the final quarter as the hosts completed their comeback. Strasbourg did not allow a single field goal in the final 12 minutes and 20 seconds of the contest as Jeremy Leloup netted 24 points with 8 rebounds and Rodrigue Beaubois finished with 17 in victory.
Olympiacos Piraeus survived major absences from its lineup to beat Cedevita Zagreb 70-83 in the Croatian capital on Thursday. The Reds improved to 5-1 atop of Group B and will reach the Top 16 with its next win, while Cedevita dropped to 3-3. The visitors pulled away for good with a 0-11 third quarter run, and escaped the drama in the final minutes as Othello Hunter led the winners with 19 points on 9-of-12 two-point shooting, while Ioannis Papapetrou added 16 points for Olympiacos, which played without Vassilis Spanoulis, Georgios Printezis and Patric Young. Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz got back to winning ways by holding off visiting EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 94-82. The hosts hit 13 three-pointers to improve their record to 4-2, while Milan dropped its fifth consecutive decision. Laboral control the game from the start led by as many as 20 points several times in the third quarter. Milan got back within 77-72 with 6 minutes to go, but never closer than that as Causeur finished 22 points on 4-for-5 from three-point distance, Darius Adams scored 20, and Ioannis Bourousis amassed 14 points plus 13 rebounds. On Friday, Anadolu Efes shook off three consecutive losses by defeating Limoges CSP 92-74 at home in Istanbul. Efes led from tip-off to buzzer, breaking the game open with a 15-0 second quarter run after Limoges had come within 31-20. Derrick Brown led the winners with 21 points, Thomas Heurtel added 20 and Bryant Dunston posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds as Efes raised its record to 3-3 and Limoges dropped to 2-4.
In an exciting showdown on Friday night, Malcolm Delaney scored 20 points in less than 5 minutes of the third quarter, and Victor Claver made clutch baskets down the stretch as , Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar pulled out a hard-fought 71-77 road win over the Panathinaikos Athens. Lokomotiv improved to 5-1 and a share of the first place of Group C, and needs only one more win to clinch a place in the Top 16. The teams were tied at 61-61 in the fourth quarter but Ryan Broekhoff hit an important three and Claver scored 9 points in the final 6 minutes to lift Lokomotiv to victory. Delaney finished with 23 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Broekhoff netted 16, Claver finished with 13 plus 7 rebounds. James Feldeine scored 14 points to pace Panathinaikos which dropped to 2-4. On Thursday, in a high-scoring and fun-to-watch clash at Palau Blaugrana, FC Barcelona routed the visiting Pinar Karsiyaka Izmir 107-79, and in the process broke its scoring record in the competition. The hosts, which are tied with Lokomotiv atop of the table with 5-1 record and are also one win away from a place in the Top 16, pushed the pedal throughout the game. Shane Lawal led the way with 19 points, while Carlos Arroyo had 18 on 6-of-7 three-point shooting. Karsiyaka's Joe Ragland led all scorers with 26 points. Zalgiris Kaunas used its defense to down the visiting Stelmet Zielona Gora 67-56 and register its first home win of the season at the Zalgirio Arena. The hosts pulled away to a double-digit lead in the third, then again early in the fourth quarter, allowing only 7 points in the final 10 minutes. Paulius Jankunas paced Zalgiris with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
In a classic Euroleague showdown on Thursday, CSKA Moscow went on the road to beat Maccbi FOX Tel Aviv 82-88, spoiling the debut of new Maccabi head coach Zan Tabak. CSKA pulled away for good with a 2-11 spurt to start the fourth quarter, and stroll to a 5-1 record. Milos Teodosic scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the first half. Nando De Colo added 15 points in victory, while Taylor Rochestie had 20 points to pace Maccabi, whose record dropped to 1-5. On Friday, CSKA learned it also became the first team to punch its ticket to the Top 16 after Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul downed winless Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari 60-68. Darussafaka registered its second consecutive road win as Luke Harangody paced the winners with 26 points on 4-for-5 three-point shooting plus 13 rebounds. Harangody had 10 points in a 0-13 third-quarter run that gave the guests the lead for good, 38-50. The visitors kept a safe margin until the final buzzer as Semih Erden contributed with 10 points and 8 rebounds in victory. Also on Friday, Brose Baskets Bamberg routed previously unbeaten Unicaja Malaga 73-53 in impressive fashion. Bamberg took over midway through the second quarter and never looked back on the way to its third consecutive victory. The German champs outscored the Unicaja 46-20 in the middle two quarters to improve to 4-2 in the third place as Janis Strelnieks paced the victors with 14 points and 6 assists, while Brad Wanamaker added 13 points. Unicaja holds 5-1 record, and along with CSKA shares the first place in the standings.
Be sure to follow all the fun over three days this week on Euroleague.TV and Euroleague.net!