Top 16, Round 1: Eight winners strike first in Top 16
A special to the Top 16 combined exciting basketball with heart-felt charity work at eight cities across Europe. Before each of the games this week, the players from both teams joined with Euroleague for Life and UNICEF in support of this week's appeal to help Haiti earthquake victims. However when the first balls went up, it was all business for the players and exciting action for the fans. The biggest upset of the week took place in the Greek capital, where Partizan shocked Panathinaikos 59-64 to open Group E. Jan Vesely led the winners with 13 points, while Lawrence Roberts doubled up with 12 and 10 rebounds. Also in that group, Regal Barcelona outlasted Maroussi BC 79-69 to remain undefeated this season. Euroleague MVP Juan Carlos Navarro paced the winners with 17 points and 8 assists. In Group F, Real Madrid defeated Efes Pilsen 77-70 in the Spanish capital thanks to a well-balanced effort of nine players with at least 6 points. Montepaschi Siena overcame Maccabi Electra 76-72 for its first ever win over the Israeli champs. David Hawkins led the way with 17 points. CSKA downed difficult Unicaja 86-78 in Group G in the first game of the Top 16. CSKA's stars stepped up: Ramunas Siskauskas with 23 points, Trajan Langdon with 19 and Viktor Khryapa with 12, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks! Asseco Prokom walloped Zalgiris 89-65 on the strength of 20 points and 8 assists from David Logan. And in Group H, Olympiacos downed Caja Laboral 85-89 to become just the second road winner of the week. Josh Childress (21 points), Ioannis Bourousis (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Linas Kleiza (18 points) dominated as Milos Teodosic ran the show with 6 assists. BC Khimki bested Cibona 83-70 as Robertas Javtokas and Kelly McCarty highlighted a 16-3 fourth-quarter surge. To understand how important Week 1 of the Top 16 is, historically, just know that in the last four seasons, all the eventual playoff qualifiers went 23-9 in the opening games of the Euroleague's second round. In other words, only nine teams out of 32 since the 2005-06 season lost their first Top 16 games and still advanced.