Regular Season Round 3: Three perfect teams, 2 four-way ties for first!
After a super exciting third week of Turkish Airlines Euroleague action, there are four-way ties for first place in half the groups, three undefeated teams, two more overtime thrillers and only one team in sole possession of first place. That is Union Olimpija, which tops Group D at 3-0 after an exciting overtime win in the last game to finish this week. Olimpija is joined by Group C’s perfect pair, Fenerbahce Ulker and Montepaschi Siena, but only one of them will reach 4-0 since they clash next week in Istanbul. On Wednesday Group A became the first with no undefeated teams left as BC Khimki edged Caja Laboral 64-60. Keith Langford scored 19 points but sat out the end due to injury as Zoran Planinic and Vitaly Fridzon stepped up for Khimki. Zalgiris topped visiting Asseco Prokom 74-68 in overtime after Tomas Delininkaitis nailed a clutch three-pointer to force the extra session. Marty Pocius paced the winners with 18 points. Maccabi Electra routed Partizan mt:s 54-67 behind Jeremy Pargo’s 17 points, creating a four-way logjam at 2-1 with Zalgiris, Laboral and Khimki. Only two will be atop the standings next week because Laboral hosts Zalgiris, while Maccabi visits Khimki. Group B also boasts four teams at 2-1. Olympiacos thrashed Unicaja 93-66 in Athens with 17 points each from Ioannis Bourousis and young Kostas Papanikolaou. The Reds handed Unicaja its biggest loss since Aito Garcia Reneses became its head coach in 2008. Brose Baskets downed Spirou 79-69 with a 14-0 run early in the fourth quarter. Kyle Hines led Brose with 16 points off the bench. Real Madrid rocked Virtus Roma 56-74 on Thursday, handing the hosts their first loss. Madrid, Roma, Olympiacos and Bamberg are all 2-1. In Group C, Montepaschi stayed undefeated by clobbering Cibona 80-57 at home. Rimantas Kaukenas led scorers in double digits with 16 points. FB Ulker upset Regal FC Barcelona 61-69 as Roko Ukic netted 13, bringing the Turkish champs to 3-0. Cholet Basket edgeds Lietuvos Rytas 73-69 for the French champs’ first win, while keeping the Lithuanian champs winless. Randal Falker posted a double-double for the winners. In Group D, Union Olimpija overcame Panathinaikos 85-84 after an extra session in front of 13,000 fans. Vlado Ilievski forced overtime with a buzzer-beating jumper and Dimitrios Diamantidis missed a chance to send it to a second overtime with free throws with 2.8 seconds remaining. Power Electronics Valencia overwhelmed CSKA 82-57 behind 15 points from Robertas Javtokas. CSKA had not registered such a heavy loss in European competition since January 1997. Last but not least, Efes Pilsen edged Armani Jeans Milano 82-74 to complete a seven-game sweep by home teams on Wednesday. Igor Rakocevic led Efes with 17 points. What will Week 4 bring? Be sure to follow all the action here on Euroleague.net to keep abreast of all of Europe’s best basketball!