Euroleague recap, round 15!


The first half of Euroleague regular season is officially ended, with CSKA Moscow which back alone at first place, despite huge sufferences in Baskonia, taking advantage from Olympiacos defeat in Kaunas. Panathinaikos missed a huge occasion to close the distance from first two places, while Real Madrid with a huge victory in Turkey catch Fenerbahce. Fight for last play offs’ places is becoming hot after home defeats of Maccabi Tel Aviv and Khimki Moscow.

Just during last five minutes of games CSKA Moscow took the decisive advantage useful to win at Baskonia’s home for have first solitary place at the end of first half of regular season. Shengelia and Timma push basques until 18-5 after five minutes, with russians in huge difficulties but, with Rodriguez, Hunter and Clyburn cut the distance at the end of 1st quarter (16-18) and with a partial score of 22-33 overtook at halftime (48-51). CSKA kept advantage until 54-61 at 23’ but Baskonia didn’t gave up and back leader of the game at the end of 3rd (72-70) with good performances of Shengelia and Voigtmann. Last quarter both teams had some difficulties at offensice phase with Basques which scored just three points after 8 minutes and russians with two consecutive three pointers by Rodriguez and Higgins close tha game and catch a crucial victory, taking advantage about Kaunas’ result.

Because Zalgiris confirmed the impressive season they are playing and, thanks to a partial score of 26-15 at last quarter defeat Olympiacos, still conditioned from important absences of Printezis and Milutinov (in addition to Tillie and Agravanis). Match was fought practically for all duration with Olympiacos able to recover a good start of lithuanians and close the first half up by two (36-38). Papapetrou and Papanikolau tried to lead their teammates during last minutes of third quarter, taking advantage from offensive difficulties of Zalgiris, but at the third buzzer the advantage was just five points (48-53), allowing to Jasikevicius players to not lose confidence and, thanks to good performances of Jankunas, Ulanovas and Pangos, to recover and overtake opponents, seemed very tired, and gain a victory that mean third position tied with Panathinaikos, surprisingly defeat in Valencia.

The occasion missed by Pascual’s team was very huge, above all after a very good start that could put the game immediately to right way for Greens. But Valencia wanted at all costs to stop a tragic series of ten consecutive defeat and, taking advantage from a lot of distractions by opponenst kept open the game until last five minute of last quarter, with Dubljevic and Green decisive for catch the victory.

Real Madrid conquer the big match of 15th round at Fenerbahce home, confirming the bad period of turkish (3 defeats in last 4 games). Luka Doncic had a slow start, but minute by minute grew up very strong until touch the triple double with 20 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds. Game was fought until the end, with Real Madrid able to comeback during second quarter after a good start of Obradovic’s team (17-10 at 10’) and go to locker rooms for halftime up by 1 (36-37). Situation didn’t changed during second twenty minutes, with game remained point by point practically until last minute, with Real up by 5 (75-79): Melli cut the distance and, after a three pointer missed by Thompkins, Vesely and three times Wanaker missed the shot for tie the game, giving the victory to spanish.

Important victory of Unicaja Malaga at Maccabi Tel Aviv home in order to keep open all play off’s ambitions for Plaza’s team. Israelians had a very good start and thanks to Tyus, Cole and Jackson touched 14 points advantage (36-22) at 14’, but Brooks lead the reactions of Malaga, cutting the distance at halftime (47-39) and performing a partial score of 11-22 during third quarter (31-50 all second half), with the contribution also of Nedovic, Shermadini and McCallum for reverse totally the game, with Spahjia’s team suddenly locked and in huge difficulties, and catch this important victory.

Barcelona had an suddenly ribirth in Moscow for defeat Khimki and have some hopes for future, waiting eventual decisions about rosters. Alonso’s team had a very good start, especially with Tomic, but after close first quarter up 15-25, suffered the comeback of russians, leaded as usual by Shved, for cut the distance at halftime (32-36) and tie the game at the end of 3rd quarter (57-57). But Barcelona, at contrary of previous games, didn’t lost confidence and with a partial score of 8-22 during last ten minutes, with good performances of Claver and Seraphin, put the game in their way in order to have breath for ranking.

A partial score of 25-10 during last quarter allowe to Anadolu Efes to back at victory against Brose Bamberg. Germans had a very good start touching 15 points advantage during third quarter with Ataman’s team in total crisis, but McCollum, Dunston and Brown permit to not sink and, after re opened the match at the end of 3rd quarter (44-48) shown the way to their teammates also during last ten minutes with Bamberg totally locked in offensive phase.

Important away victory for Crvena Zvezda at Armani Exchange Milano home, useful to keep the fight for last play offs places. Serbians had a very good start (14-29) and seemed manage the game without problems, but Milano, with Bertans, Cinciarini and Micov had a reaction and the game was opened until final buzzer (40-45 at halftime and 60-61 at end of 3rd quarter) with last minutes very thrilling: a three pointer by Micov tie the game (83-83) at one minute to end, but Feldeine immediately gave the answer (83-85) and after a turnover by Pascolo Bjelica scored behind the line for 83-87. Again Micov for three at 8 seconds to end (86-87), Crvena Zvezda didn’t tremble with free throws and with 4/4 close the game.

The second half of Euroleague regular season will start with new year with 16th round: not easy trip for CSKA Moscow at Barcelona, while Olympiacos and Panathinaikos will begin 2018 at home against Armani Exchange Milano and Anadolu Efes, with turkish everytime dangerous. Hard trip also for Zalgiris Kaunas at Crvena Zvezda home and insidious home games for Fenerbahce, with Baskonia, and Real Madrid, with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Close the program Brose Bamberg-Khimki Moscow and the spanish derby Unicaja Malaga-Valencia.

Ranking after round 15

01 CSKA Moscow 12-3
02 Olympiacos 11-4
03 Panathinaikos 10-5
04 Zalgiris Kaunas 10-5
05 Fenerbahce 9-6
06 Real Madrid 9-6
07 Maccabi Tel Aviv 8-7
08 Khimki Moscow 8-7
09 Baskonia 7-8
10 Unicaja Malaga 7-8
11 Crvena Zvezda 6-9
12 Brose Bamberg 6-9
13 Barcelona 5-10
14 Valencia 4-11
15 Anadolu Efes 4-11
16 Armani Exchange Milano 4-11

Next Round (16th)

Thursday 04/01/2018
Panathinaikos-Anadolu Efes h.21.15
Unicaja Malaga-Valencia h. 21.45
Barcelona-CSKA Moscow h. 22.00

Friday 05/01/2018
Fenerbahce-Baskonia h. 19.45
Crvena Zvezda-Zalgiris Kaunas h. 20.00
Brose Bamberg-Khimki Moscow h. 21.00
Olympiacos-Armani Exchange Milano h. 21.00
Real Madrid-Maccabi Tel Aviv h. 21.45