Regular Season, Round 10: Zalgiris, Fener, Gescrap, Armani claim last Top 16 tickets
The 2011-12 Turkish Airlines Euroleague regular season ended with a bang as the last ticket to the Top 16 wasn’t decided until the last shot of the last game played was taken. In the end, Zalgiris Kaunas, Fenerbahce Ulker, newcomer Gescrap BB and EA7 Emporio Armani claimed the remaining Top 16 berths, while sending traditional powers Caja Laboral and Partizan mt:s as well as national champions Brose Baskets and KK Zagreb home. On Wednesday, Zalgiris Kaunas claimed one of four open Top 16 tickets and the remaining three will be decided after Thursday’s six-pack of games. Zalgiris downed KK Zagreb 87-76 to snag fourth place in Group B with a 4-6 record. Sonny Weems scored 20 to lead the Lithuanian champs, who won three of their final four regular season games to reach the Last 16. CSKA Moscow beat Unicaja 83-91 on the road to complete the regular season with a perfect record. Former MVP Milos Teodosic scored 18 and dished 10 assists to pace the Russian champs. Defending Euroleague champ Panathinaikos edged Brose Baskets 71-66 to finish second in the group. Reigning MVP Dimitris Diamantidis scored 14 and Kostas Kaimakoglou posted a double-double for the Greens. Group D winner FC Barcelona Regal blasted Galatasaray Medical Park 79-50 behind 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocked shots from center Boni Ndong – all in just 17 minutes! Barcelona finished the regular season allowing teams a measly 59.9 points per game. Montepaschi Siena crushed Asseco Prokom 53-79 for its fourth win in a row. Pietro Aradori recorded career highs of 23 points and 7 rebounds for the Italian champs. And Henry Domercant scored 16 as Unics Kazan trumped Union Olimpija 63-76 in the latter’s final game of the season. Unics finished its first run in the Euroleague with an impressive 7-3 record and can now focus on the Top 16. Fenerbahce Ulker defeated Bennet Cantu 76-83 as Oguz Savas came through with a season-high 27 points. The win ultimately lifted the Turkish champs to first place in Group A. Injury-riddled Olympiacos took care of SLUC Nancy 74-79 to wrap up second place in the group. Pero Antic stepped up with a career-high 20 points for the Reds. Gescrap BB KOd Caja Laboral 77-72 to reach the Top 16 for the first time and deny its rival a ticket for the first time this century. Marko Banic paced the men in black with 18 points. In Group C, Real Madrid rallied past Anadolu Efes 66-75. Nikola Mirotic scored 16 for the Whites, who trailed by 17 in the second quarter, but dominated the second half. Maccabi Electra routed Begacom Spirou 69-86 as Keith Langford poured in 20 points. And finally, EA7 Armani edged Partizan 66-72 in the Serbian capital to claim fourth place in Group C and a Top 16 spot. Armani needed to win by at least 4 to advance and Partizan had a final shot to get within 3, but it rimmed out and Milano celebrated. We reconvene next week to learn the Top 16 Draw and see the map to the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four unfold!