2008-09Regular SeasonRound 7
Matjaz Smodis, CSKA Moscow

Regular Season, Round 7: CSKA, Olympiacos to Top 16, six others now one win away

Another two teams climbed into the Top 16 and several others improved their positions, while a monumental winning streak came to an end and a few others grew all in Week 7. CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos are the two newest Top 16 teams and as many as six more could join them next week. Meanwhile the second longest active home-court winning streak ended at 18 games when Panathinaikos lost at OAKA to Regal FC Barcelona, but the longest current streak reached 21 when Unicaja outlasted Olympiacos 60-56 behind 17 points from Thomas Kelati to force a tie at 5-2 atop Group A. Unicaja trailed for much of the game, but battled back to set up an exciting finish to the game and now the regular season. Still the Reds managed to punch a ticket to the Top 16 after Maccabi defeated Air Avellino 72-86 Thursday for its first road win of the season. Marcus Brown scored a season-high 26 points as Maccabi moved within a win of the trio of group leaders, since Cibona blasted Le Mans 89-70 to join Olympiacos and Unicaja in first place. Rawle Marshall fired in 21 points to pace Cibona, which visits the Reds next week. In Group B game, Barca stunned Panathinaikos 76-87 to hand the Greens their first loss at OAKA in nearly two years. Davis Andersen led the attack with 22 points and 9 rebounds – both season-highs. Barca now shares first place with the Italian champs afterMontepaschi Siena topped Zalgiris 100-93. Henry Domercant shot 4 for 4 from downtown to lead Montepaschi with 21. Siena and Barca are now 6-1 before meeting next week. SLUC Nancy bested Asseco Prokom 78-70 for to reopen the battle for the last Top 16 berth from Group B. Cyril Julian continued his outstanding season with 13 points, 14 rebounds and 5 steals for the winners. Tau Ceramica crushed Union Olimpija 101-69 to improve to 5-2 in Group C. It now shares the top spot after DKV Joventut overcame Lottomatica Roma 97-93on Bracey Wright’s 19 points. In Tuesday’s early game, Alba Berlin held off Fenerbahce Ulker 72-63 thanks to Ansu Sesay’s 17 points. In Group D, CSKA routed Panionios On Telecoms 93-61 to bounce back from last week’s win and clinch its Top 16 ticket. Matjaz Smodis scored a season-high 15 points for CSKA, which could have chance to wrap up first place as early as next week. Efes Pilsen downed Armani Jeans Milano 74-67 to move out of last place. Efes joins Panionios and Real Madrid in a three-way tie for third place. Milos Vujanic led Efes with 20. Madrid edged Partizan Belgrade 68-67 on Marko Tomas’s game-winning three in the closing seconds. Panionios hosts Efes and Madrid heads to Moscow next week as the tight battle for the Top 16 from Group D rages on.