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Euroleague recap, round 20!

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After 2/3 of Euroleague regular season CSKA Moscow keep two victory advantage from Fenerbahce, now alone at second position, followed by Real Madrid, Panathinaikos and Olympiacos. Maccabi Tel Aviv catch Khimki Moscow at seventh position, keeping two games advantagre from Baskonia, while at bottom Armani Exchange Milano and Anadolu Efes close ranking at last two positions.

With a game totally under control CSKA Moscow won at home against Bamberg to consolidate the solitary first position. Germans were able to close up by one first period (18-19) but from second one De Colo and Rodriguez took the control of situation, leading a partial score of 21-11 that substantially closed the game at halftime (39-30), despite Bamberg tried to play with courage and without nothing to lose but, after kept the distance at third buzzer (55-46), gave up definitely during last quarter, with CSKA that touched maximum difference of 18 points (68-50) at five minutes to end.

Fenerbahce catch the solitary second position after home victory, with some sufference, against Barcelona in a game decided just close to the buzzer. Wanamaker, with 13 points, lead turkish for advantage at first quarter (22-18 at 10’) but, after largest difference of eight points (38-30 at 15’), Tomic, Hanga and Koponen pushed Barcelona for a favorable partial score in order to close up by two at halftime (42-44). Fenerbahce back from locker rooms with positive mood and with a 23-13 during third quarter match seem on the right way for turkish (65-57 at 30’), but spanishes didn’t gave up and, slowly, comeback until -2 (82-80) at 11 seconds to end, but Wanamaker and Sloukas, with a 4/4 from free throws line, close definitively the game and gave a crucial victory for Obradovic’s team.

Third consecutive away defeat for Olympiacos at Crvena Zvezda home and now Sfairopoulos team has been catched by Real Madrid and Panathinaikos to be involved in third position’s fight. Serbians, without Feldeine, had a good start, with Rochestie, Dangubic and Ennis above all, (24-20 at end of first quarter) and, after touched 12 points advantage during second quarter (36-24 at 16’), closed up by nine at halftime (43-34). Spanoulis, Roberts and Papanikolaou lead greeks for a partial score of 14-29 during third quarter that seem totally change the game (57-63 at 30’) but, after seven points advantage touched by visitors with a three pointer made by Wiltjer (61-68 at 32’), Crvena Zvezda made a huge break, with Bjelica and Dangubic, with Ennis that, behind three points arc, closed definitively the game at 45 seconds to end (85-75), giving to Serbians a victory that keep open some hopes of play offs.

Thriller home victory for Panathinaikos against Zalgiris Kaunas in a crucial game for 4th position. Pascual’s team run away until +20 (43-23) after 16 minutes, but lithuanians didn’t gave up and, after close the difference during third quarter missed a lot of chance to conquer a huge victory: during regulations, with Rivers who closed the four points gap, and two times during overtime, losing seven points advantage (83-90) at 42’, before Calathes amazing buzzer beater. Positive for Zalgiris is to have kept the tie breaker advantage.

Easy home victory for Real Madrid, that after twenty minutes of control (39-30 at halftime), run away during last two minutes of third quarter (57-40 at 29’ before 60-47 at 3rd buzzer), thanks to Tavares, Maciulis and Doncic and, substantially, closed the game against Anadolu Efes, that remained alone at last position.

Khimki Moscow hasn’t continued positive series and, with the defeat at Valencia, now has been reached by Maccabi Tel Aviv at seventh position. Very emotional game at Pabellon Fuente de San Luis, with fight and balance practically for all duration (23-24 at 10’; 46-44 at halftime; 63-64 at 30’ partial scores of first three periods) and decided just last five minutes. Valencia tried to run away a couple of times but russians everytime close the gap until two minutes to end, when Markovic scored the two pointer for -1 (81-80). Green and Albalde gave the new mini break for spanish (85-80 at 1’34” to end), but Khimki kept open the game (85-82 at 28” to end), but after a mistake by San Emeterio, Shved was sent to free throw line for avoid a three pointer: best scorer of Euroleague missed, voluntary, second free throws but Pleiss catch the rebound and Valencia can celebrate the victory that permit to reach Bamberg and Barcelona at 12th position.

After a very spectacular game Maccabi Tel Aviv defeat away Armani Exchange Milano and, as already anticipated, catched Khimki at seventh position, keeping two victories advantage from Baskonia. Both defense didn’t played at all in Italy, with israelians that kept leadership of the game for all duration (26-30 at 10’; 50-57 at halftime; 70-83 at 30’), touching largest advantage of 18 points during third period (61-79) thanks above all a very good performances by Cole, Tyus and Parakhouski. Italians tried to comeback last ten minutes and, above all with Gudaitis, Theodore and Goudelock, re opened the match at 1’45” to end (98-102), but two consecutive three pointers made by Thomas, followed by another one by Jackson, “killed” Milano’s players and closed the game. A two pointer made by Timma with two seconds to play gave at Baskonia a very crucial victory at Unicaja Malaga home for keep contact of play off’s area. Thanks to Nedovic locals had a very good start (18-8 after 3 minutes), but basques closed the gap at end of first quarter (21-19) and with Granger made a break during second quarter (25-32 at 25’), keeping advantage at halftime (43-46). Visitors kept advantage also during third quarter, but everytime with short distance (64-67 at end of third period) and the point by point fight between teams have been continued also during last quarter: Shengelia gave four points advantage to Baskonia at 58 seconds to end (79-83) but 2/2 from free throws line by Waczynski and a lay up made by Diaz, after a defensive steal, gave the new tie at 15 seconds to end (83-83). Basques had last ball and Timma scored the for 83-85 at two seconds to end, with half court three pointer by Milosavljevic hadn’t luck. Double importance victory for Baskonia, that keeps contact and hopes with play off’s area, outdistancing Malaga with also 2-0 at tie breaker.

Next week for round 21st big matches will be played in Moscow, between CSKA and Real Madrid, and at Pireaus, where Olympiacos will receive Fenerbahce. Insidious trip for Panathinaikos at Brose Bamberg home, while Zalgiris Kaunas will host Maccabi Tel Aviv for a very interesting game and Khimki Moscow will receive Unicaja Malaga. Last call for play off’s area for Baskonia at home against Crvena Zvezda, while close program Barcelona-Armani Exchange Milano and Anadolu Efes-Valencia.

Ranking after Round 20 01 CSKA Moscow 16-4
02 Fenerbahce 14-6
03 Real Madrid 13-7
04 Panathinaikos 13-7
05 Olympiacos 13-7
06 Zalgiris Kaunas 12-8
07 Khimki Moscow 11-9
08 Maccabi Tel Aviv 11-9
09 Baskonia 9-11
10 Unicaja Malaga 8-12
11 Crvena Zvezda 8-12
12 Barcelona 7-13
13 Brose Bamberg 7-13
14 Valencia 7-13
15 Armani Exchange Milano 6-14
16 Anadolu Efes 5-15

Next round (21st) Thursday 01/02
CSKA Moscow-Real Madrid h. 19.00
Anadolu Efes-Valencia h. 19.00
Zalgiris Kaunas-Maccabi Tel Aviv h. 20.00
Olympiacos-Fenerbahce h. 21.00
Barcelona-Armani Exchange Milano h. 22.00

Friday 02/02
Khimki Moscow-Unicaja Malaga h. 19.00
Brose Bamberg-Panathinaikos h. 21.00
Baskonia-Crvena Zvezda h. 21.30

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