Top 16 Round 9: Heroes are made!
From a rare Wednesday game in which one guard stepped up, till the last game of the week in Spain, where another hit a last-second three-pointer for a clutch victory. Heroes were made with big-time performances in Top 16 Round 9. Half of the rounds games were won by the visiting teams. The final results leave Real Madrid and Olympiacos Piraeus, the 2013 Turkish Airlines Euroleague finalists, alone atop their respective groups. Both groups also feature ties in key places in the standings, guaranteeing much more drama in the coming weeks.
Real Madrid routed Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul 71-107 on Friday at Abdi Ipekci Arena to stay atop Group E. Rudy Fernandez led seven Madrid scorers in double figures with 17 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting as Los Blancos set a Top 16 record with 18 three-pointers made. The visitors led 34-57 at halftime and took the difference to 29 in the third quarter so that even a 15-0 Galatasaray charge wasn’t enough to threaten the outcome. Madrid didn’t only make a lot of threes, it do so at a 64.3% clip. Madrid’s 29 assists were 1 shy of the Top 16 record too. In a key matchup and a classic showdown, FC Barcelona held off Panathinaikos Athens 77-81 on the road on Thursday, jumping up into a share of second place in the standings. Alex Abrines and Tomas Satoransky fueled a 0-12 run to end the half and give Barcelona a 32-42 halftime advantage, which the visitors never relinquished. The hosts did come within 73-75 late in the game, but Barcelona held on as Justin Doellman finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds, and Juan Carlos Navarros netted 17. Esteban Batista had 16 points and 9 rebounds for the Greens. In the Serbian capital, Boban Marjanovic had a monster game with 19 points and a career-high 17 rebounds as Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade downed Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 89-76. A 20-0 fourth quarter run was the difference. Marcus Williams netted 9 of his 17 points during the big run, and Charles Jenkins scored half of his 16 points during that key run, too.Marjanovic’s 17 rebounds are tied for third-best ever output in Top 16 history, and the most total rebounds since his countryman Dusko Savanovic collected 17 boards three years ago. On Wednesday, Reggie Redding shined with a career-high 27 points plus 7 rebounds and 5 assists as ALBA Berlin held off a late Zalgiris Kaunas charge for an 80-72 victory at o2 World in the German capital. After a big first quarter from Jonas Wohlfarth and a dominant second-quarter from Redding, ALBA led 42-37 at halftime. The hosts seemed to take control with a strong defensive third quarter to establish a double-digit lead, which reached 16 early in the fourth. Zalgiris rallied late behind Paulius Jankunas and drew within 5 on an Arturas Milaknis triple with two minutes to go, however second-chance baskets by Leon Radosevic and Alex Renfroe helped seal the win. Renfroe finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals. The hosts outrebounded Zalgiris 35-17.
Group leader Olympiacos Piraeus downed EA7 Emporio Armani Milano 74-83 on the road on Friday and could qualify for the playoffs as soon as next week. The Reds led for the overwhelming majority of the game, but Milan made several runs to challenge. In the end, Olympiacos was too string in the key moments. Vassilis Spanoulis led the winners with 14 points and 8 assists and Othello Hunter also had 14 points. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul topped Nizhny Novgorod 92-79, registering its sixth consecutive win in the Top 16 on Thursday. Fenerbahce improved to 7-2 and came closer to clinching a playoffs spot, as Nemanja Bjelica led the winners with 16 points. Ricky Hickman and Jan Vesely each added 13. Bjelica, Hickman and Bogdan Bogdanovic fueled a 26-3 run that Emir Preldzic capped with a fast break layup to break the game open at 42-20. The visitors came within 60-55 late in the third, but never closer than that. Trey Thompkins led Nizhny with 22 points and 11 rebounds. CSKA Moscow rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 74-81 in front of over 12,600 fans at Fernando Buesa Arena on Thursday. Laboral led 33-17 early in the second quarter, but CSKA improved its defense and CSKA went up 44-45 in the third. The game went down to the wire and Sonny Weems and Nando De Colo sealed the outcome. Vitaly Fridzon led the winners with 13 points, while Milos Teodosic and De Colo each added 11 for CSKA. Darius Adams led Laboral with 31 points. Ryan Toolson hit a tough three-pointer with 0.8 seconds to go as Unicaja Malaga edged Anadolu Efes Istanbul 93-90 on Friday night in Malaga. The hosts led for the first 38 minutes of the game, and had a 14-point third quarter lead, but Thomas Heurtel rallied Efes to its only lead, 82-83, before hitting a three-pointer with 5.8 second to tie the game at 90-90. However, in the remaining time, Toolson knocked down a triple that kept Unicaja’s season alive. Toolson finished with 25 points, while Jon Stefansson scored 15 in victory. Heurtel scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half to lead Efes.