Regular Season, Round 10: Partizan, Milano, Prokom, Alba take Top 16 train!
The Top 16 teams can now all breathe deep as the Euroleague Basketball regular season came to a close with some more heart-pounding action in Week 10. The last pieces fell into place on Wednesday and Thursday with a series of upsets, road wins and blowouts. The main highlights on Wednesday took place in Group D, where one outstanding individual performance and another fine team effort saw Armani Jeans Milano and Partizan Belgrade secure Top 16 berths. Partizan surprised CSKA 63-66 on the road as Aleksadar Rasic scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and Petar Bozic sealed the game with a steal on the final play. In Athens, Luca Vitali drilled 7 three-pointers and scored a career-high 32 points as Armani Jeans downed Panionios On Telecoms 77-87. Milano placed third in the group and Partizan fourth on a tiebreaker as both had 5-5 records.Real Madrid defeated Efes Pilsen 80-69 as Jeremiah Massey recorded his first double-double of the season for the winners. Madrid clinched second place, while falling to fifth and failing to advance past the regular season for the first time in over a decade was Efes Pilsen. There was little suspense in Group B where the top three teams dominated the bottom three, leaving Asseco Prokom to back into the Top 16 despite a loss. Regal FC Barcelona pasted Zalgiris 90-68 to complete the best record in the regular season this year, 9-1. Roger Grimau scored 16 of his game-high 18 points in the second half for Barca. Montepaschi Siena torched SLUC Nancy 79-103 as Arriel McDonald and Shaun Stonerook led seven Siena scorers in double figures with 15 points apiece. All Euroleague playmaker Terrell McIntyre also dished 11 assists. And Panathinaikos outclassed Prokom 75-73 as Sarunas Jasikevicius netted 14. Prokom was without head coach Tomas Pacesas and its top three scorers, David Logan, Dan Ewing and Pat Burke. On Thursday,Unicaja smashed Maccabi Electra 92-69 to clinch first place in Group A. The hosts started 15-2 and never looked back, extending their home-court winning streak to 23 Euroleague games. Le Mans stunned Olympiacos 68-78 to finish the season with back-to-back wins after eight straight losses. Alain Koffi’s double-double – his fourth in his last six games – and 20 points from Dewarick Spencer paced the winners. Air Avellino topped Cibona 79-75 behind Drake Diener’s 20 points to finish the season on a high note. In Group C, Union Olimpija stopped Alba Berlin 59-67, but the German champs backed into the Top 16 when Tau Ceramica beat DKV Joventut 91-83. Igor Rakocevic finished with 19 points for Tau to become the league’s regular season scoring champ at 20 points per game. Fenerbahce Ulker overcame Lottomatica Roma 90-86 in overtime, but it wasn’t enough to overtake second place, which Roma keeps on a tiebreaker. Oguz Savas dominated with a career-best 27 points for the winners. The action resumes in two more weeks, only after Monday's Top 16 Draw in Barcelona, which will serve as the road map for the way to the Final Four in Berlin.