Regular Season, Round 7: At halfway mark, only Panathinaikos is perfect
The mid-point of the regular season has arrived with two exclusive group leaders, three teams sharing first place in another group, and a whole lot of challengers lined up close behind to go after them in the second leg. Only one team is perfect after seven games, however, and that is none other than defending champion Panathinaikos, which rallied at home to defeat Real Madrid, its nearest pursuer in Group C, by 92-85 behind 24 points from Mike Batiste. Panathinaikos, down 71-77 with 4 minutes left, used a 21-8 finishing run to win. Madrid joins AXA F.C. Barcelona, a blowout 80-58 winner over Brose Baskets Bamberg, in Group C's second place. The other exclusive leader after Week 7 is last season's other finalist, CSKA Moscow, which overcame ongoing injury problems to sit atop Group A with a 6-1 record. CSKA cruised past visiting VidiVici Bolonga 79-53 as six players scored between 10 and 16 points. Now second in Group A is Montepaschi Siena, an 86-84 home winnner over Olympiacos thanks to Terrell McIntyre's last-minute heroics and Romain Sato's 23 points. Group B has a trio of leaders after Lietuvos Rytas shook off a two-game losing streak by dominating Cibona 93-59. Marijonas Petravicius scored 17 points for L. Rytas, whose 5-2 record ties it with Unicaja, which suffered a 91-75 road loss at the hands of Efes Pilsen, and with Maccabi, which downed Aris TT Bank 85-70 as David Bluthenthal posted 20 points. Efes and Aris now share fourth place in Group B, one victory behind the co-leaders.