Fenerbahce ties series against Efes, 2-2
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul hit back in the Turkish League playoff finals against Anadolu Efes Istanbul and managed to tie the series to 2-2 with a 82-73 home win on Saturday. Nicolo Melli led the winners with 19 points, Kostas Sloukas added 16 and Ahmet Duverioglu and Melih Mahmutoglu contributed 12 apiece. For Efes, Vasilije Micic led the way with 16 points and Shane Larkin added 14. Melli scored to end the first quarter with a Fener double-digit lead, 25-15, and then Sloukas pushed ahead in the second period to 31-19. Rodrigue Beaubois, Adrien Moerman and Setrac Sanli managed to push Efes within one single point, 38-37, and the guests even jumped ahead in the second half, 46-49. Melli's efficiency from long range allowed the hosts to take control back and in the last period, Mahmutoglu alloed Fenerbahce to secure the win as the series will enter the fifth game on Monday.
Real Madrid opens fire in Spanish finals
In another version of El Clasico, this time in the best-of-five Spanish League finals, Real Madrid stroke first in the series opener against FC Barcelona Lassa on Saturday with a large 87-67 win. The hosts never saw the win under threat as they managed to build a 15-point lead at the break, 47-32. Facundo Campazzo stood out as the team leader for Los Blancos soon and he retained that role throughout the game, as Real never faltered. Barca seemed to get back to life by winning the third period, 16-20, but maximum balance in the last period allowed Real Madrid to escape with the win to open the series as Gabriel Deck closed the deal with a three to make it a 20-point deal. Campazzo led the hosts with 19 points, and three more players added 11 each: Anthony Randolph, Sergio Llull and Jeffery Taylor. For Barcelona, Thomas Heurtel led the scorers with 14 points and Pierre Oriola added 13. A 13 of 31 from beyond the arc combined with 18 assists allowed Real to overcome its shortcomings under the glass (31-41 for Barca).
ASVEL strikes first against Monaco in French finals
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne pulled off a solid 81-71 home win on Saturday against AS Monaco in the opening game of the best-of-five final series in the French League. Livio Jean-Charles led the winners with 14 points and 7 rebounds, AJ Slaughter and Mantas Kalnietis added 13 apiece and Adreian Payne added 11. For Monaco, Eric Buckner led the losing effort with 14 points and Gerald Robinson posted 13. The first quarter was a back and forth and on the second period ths hosts managed to build a solid burst for a 37-23 lead after Theo Maledon's bucket. At the break, ASVEL still retained a 47-37 lead and the last two quarters of the game ended tied, maintaining that 10-point gap at the final buzzer. ASVEL's 8 of 21 from the arc was a major factor in the opening game of the series that will now continue next Monday also in Lyon.
Zvezda takes the 2-1 lead again over Partizan
Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade is one step away from taking the Serbian League title as it jumped ahead 2-1 in the best-of-five final series with a 96-90 home win over Partizan MTS Belgrade on Saturday. Billy Baron led the winners with 25 points, Dejan Davidovac added 17 and Michael Ojo and Mouhammad Faye posted 11 points apiece. For Partizan, Vanja Marinkovic had 21 points, Alex Renfroe added 18 plus 8 assists and Ognjen Jaramaz posted 15. A 10-4 start launched Zvezda into the game, but Nikola Janovic free throws allowed Partizan to take control. The game remained a close back and forth that was decided in the last minutes. With 47 seconds remaining, Renfroe put Partizan within 88-85, but a free throw by Baron followed by a three by KC Rivers made it 92-85 with 30 seconds to go. Jaramaz replied with three free throws, but Zvezda stayed cool in the free throw parade of the last seconds to secure the first match ball in the series.