Regal FC Barcelona became the first team to finish the regular season with a perfect record in five years when it defeated Montepaschi Siena 85-80. Ricky Rubio led six Barcelona scorers in double figures with 14 points and career-high 10 assists, while Fran Vazquez recorded 13 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks in overtaking Montepaschi’s Denis Marconato as the career leader in blocks. Vazquez now has 128 blocks – 2 more than Marconato. The last team to go undefeated in the regular season was CSKA Moscow, which went 14-0 in the 2004-05 season.
Zalgiris won on the road for the first time in more than two years and it could not have come at a better time. Zalgiris beat Fenerbahce Ulker 68-76 on the road to climb into the Top 16. After starting the season 1-7, it has back-to-back wins under new head coach Ramunas Butautas. Marty Pocius scored 18 points in his first career Euroleague start and Marcus Brown added 17 for the winners. Zalgiris had dropped 13 straight Euroleague road games since beating Union Olimpija on January 10, 2008. Roko Ukic led FB Ulker with 20 points and 4 assists in his team debut.
Cibona Zagreb survived a true thriller to edge Asvel Basket 73-71 and secure a Top 16 berth. Cibona’s win combined with that of Zalgiris over Fenerbahce Ulker created a four-way tie in Group A, which led to Zalgirs and Cibona finishing third and fourth, respectively. The game featured four lead changes in the last six minutes and came down to the final seconds, when Marko Tomas outshined Bobby Dixon to lead the Croatian champs to victory. Tomas finished with 24 points and Jamont Gordon added 16 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals for the winners.
Olympiacos became the Group B winner by beating Partizan 81-60. After leading by just 3 at halftime, the Reds dominated the second half and were able to divvy up the minutes by the end. Linas Kleiza paced Olympiacos with 16 points and Milos Teodosic capitalized on Theo Papaloukas’s absence with 9 assists and 4 steals. Teodosic, who dished 22 assists in the first eight games of the season, has 21 in the last 2.
Efes Pilsen dominated early and held off Entente Orleanaise’s comeback later for a 60-75 victory that sent the Turkish champs to the Top 16. Preston Shumpert, who was not expected to play due to an eye injury, came off the bench to make 4 of 5 three-pointer en route to a season-high 21 points. Shumpert drilled three triples in as many minutes in a 2-11 third-quarter run that put Efes up 15 and effectively decided the game. Orleans finished its maiden Euroleague campaign with a 2-8 record.
Lietuvos Rytas fell short of the Top 16 by a single long-distance shot as visiting Unicaja won 71-73 to keep the Lithuanian champs out while Efes Pilsen claimed the final Top 16 berth from Group B. L. Rytas tied Efes Pilsen for fourth place at 4-6, but lost their head-to-head tiebreak by 8 points. Georgios Printezis led the winners with 17 points and 7 rebounds and Omar Cook added 15 and 6 assists. Martynas Gecevicius wpaced L. Rytas with 19 points, including 4-for-5 shooting from long distance.
CSKA took the big make-or-break showdown to win Group C by edging Caja Laboral 84-83 on Trajan Langdon’s game-winning three-pointer with 7.6 seconds left. Langdon and a recovered Ramunas Siskauskas paced the winners with 21 points apiece, while Viktor Khryapa, a week removed from his first career double-double, had his second with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Mirza Teletovic led Laboral with 21 points. CSKA won its seventh straight game, giving it the second longest active streak in the league behind Barcelona’s 10.
Maroussi will play in the Top 16 for the first time in club history after downing Maccabi Electra 83-75 in a must-win game. Stevan Nadjfeji drained a pair of triples and Jamon Lucas hit two jumpers during a 14-0 fourth-quarter charge that ended a close game and set the stage for Maroussi to win. Kostas Kaimakoglou led six Maroussi scorers in double figures with 18 points and Jared Homan shined with 14 points and 10 rebounds for his first Euroleague double-double. Doron Perkins led Maccabi with 18 points and 5 assists off the bench.
Lottomatica Roma ended a seven-game losing streak by beating Union Olimpija 69-48. The hosts were in control from the start, limiting Olimpija to 5 points in the first quarter and just 10 more in the second, which was just 1 point more than the Euroleague record. Benetton held Asvel Basket to 14 points in the first half of a regular season game on November 26, 2003. Ibb Jaaber paced the winners with 23 points and 7 rebounds.
Real Madrid won the top spot in Group D and recorded some team history in the process by beating Armani Jeans in Milano for the first time. Madrid was 0-8 in Milano in the storied rivalry between the clubs, including meeting in the 1967 Euroleague final. Rimas Kaukenas scored 12 to lead six Madrid scorers in double figures. Stefano Mancinelli paced Milano with 18.
Panathinaikos edged EWE Baskets Oldenburg 64-67 to finish the regular season on the right foot. The Greens were without three rotation players, but got 21 points and 9 rebounds from big man Mike Batiste. In two games against the German champs this season, Batiste has averaged 23 points on 70.8% shooting and 7.5 rebounds. Against the rest of the league, he has averaged 12.5 points on 60% shooting and 3.7 rebounds. Rickey Paulding led Oldenburg with 19 points in defeat.
Asseco Prokom Gdynia will make its fourth Top 16 appearance. Prokom got some help from Real Madrid, which defeated Armani Jeans Milano, and then hung on to beat BC Khimki Moscow Region 75-70 to advance. David Logan shined at the start and the finish while a few others did so in between to lift the Polish champs. Logan paced Milano with 24 points. Kelly McCarty led Khimki with 22 points and finished the regular season having made at least 1 three-pointer in each game.