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Euroleague recap after round 17!

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Taking advantage from humiliate defeat of Olympiacos, CSKA Moscow back again alone at first place of ranking after Round 17 of Euroleague regular season. Pireaus’ team now share second place with Panathinaikos, followed by Real Madrid, Fenerbahce and Zalgiris Kaunas. Maccabi Tel Aviv and Khimki Moscow close play off’s area, with Baskonia just one victory distant, while Armani Exchange Milano now is alone at last place.

After the bad defeat in Barcelona of last week, CSKA conquer a not difficult victory at Armani Exchange Milano home, that try to resist as they can until third quarter, before collapse. Russians, with De Colo, Hines and Higgins, took control of the game since first period (15-23 at 10’) and, after a reaction of locals leaded by M’baye (24-27 at 14’), made a first important break closing the second period up by 14 (36-50). Milano didn’t gave up and during third quarter tried again to re open the game (54-60 at 25’), but De Colo, Clyburn and Rodriguez decided to close definitively the situation at the third buzzer (61-77 at 30’) and play last ten minutes without problems, touching three times largest difference of 30 points.

With an impressive partial score during 2nd and 3rd quarter of 56-23 (36-14 just at 3rd ten minutes) Baskonia destroyed Olympiacos and kept minimal distance from play off’s area, while Reds were catched by Panathinaikos at second place. Sfairopoulos’ team had a very good start (0-8 after 2 minutes), closing 16-21 at the end of 1st period, but was just an illusion because Basques from second quarter took total control of the game, thanks to Voigtmann and Garino, and overtook at halftime 36-30. But third quarter was totally impressive with Baskonia offense that hit the opponents from all position, again with Voigtmann helped by Beaubois, while Olympiacos slowly disappeared from the field, totally shoked. So, game at end of 3rd period was already closed (72-44) and last ten minutes were useful to Martinez’s team to pass 30 points difference, touching largest of +37 at 2’23” to end (86-49) and conquer an historical victory.

Panathinaikos keep the distance from leader after the 9th victory at OAKA in 9 games against Barcelona. Point by point for about 25 minutes (17-19 at 10’ and 36-34 at halftime), before the first mini break of Greens, leaded by a Calathes almost without limits, which closed the third period up by 6 (54-48). But Nikos Pappas exploded all his power and scoring all his 15 points during last quarter was the main leader of decisive run for Panathinaikos, with his three pointers and a dunk by Singleton crucial to close the definitively the situation (78-65 at 1’30” to end).

After a strange game, considering the progess, Fenerbahce get the victory at Valencia home. Turkish run away until 0-15 after 7 minutes and the game seem already closed but Valencia, after found first points at 2’19” to end of first quarter, very slowly cut the distance (7-18 at end of 1st quarter) and, after 27-33 at halftime, with an impressive partial score of 20-6 took seven points advantage (47-39 at 26’) thanks to Van Rossom, Dubljevic and Doornekamp. But Fenerbahce woke up and with Da Tome, Melli and Duverioglu close the distance and, after overtook at end of third quarter (50-51), made another huge partial score of 0-10 for open last ten minutes that Valencia, this time, wasn’t able to recover.

It was enough a first half closed 31-51 to Real Madrid for conquer an easy victory at Khimki Moscow home. Campazzo, Tavares and Causeur were the main starring of first important break of spanish during first quarter (17-26 at 10’) with Khimki in huge trouble. Five consecutive points scored by Gill open second period, but Real with Taylor, Reyes and Carroll run definitively away, touching 23 points advantage (28-51 at 19’) and going to locker rooms for halftime up by 20 (31-51). Game substantially is closed and Laso’s team just controlled the second half without difficultie (49-67 at end of 3rd period), touching largest difference of 25 points at 3’26” to end (61-86).

With huge sufference Zalgiris Kaunas catch home victory against Unicaja Malaga and remain with Real Madrid and Fenerbahce at fourth place behind Panathinaikos and Olympiacos. Spanish, with Nedovic and Milosavljevic, had a good start (17-19 at end of 1st quarter) and during third quarter, with good contribution of Waczynski and Diez, run away until 19-30 at 14’, before closing at halftime up by 8 (32-40). Ulanovas, Kavaliauskas and Jankunas lead lithuanians to comeback during third period and, with free throws made by Beno Udrih, overtook at 28’ (52-51) but four consecutive points by Shermadini gave to Malaga the new advantage at the third buzzer (52-55). A three pointer made by Waczynski opened the last period, but Pangos, Ulanovas and Jankunas permit to Zalgiris the new overtake and, after another three point shot by Milaknis, match seemed closed at 1’57” to end (75-68). But Suarez, Augustine and Waczynski tried the last comeback, pushing Malaga until -1 (76-75) at 18” seconds to end and, after free throws (2/2 for Jankunas and McCallum and 1/2 for Micic), McCallum missed two consecutive shots for tie the game, giving to Jasikevicius’ team a crucial victory for play off’s fight. A two pointer made by Deshaun Thomas at 1’27” to end, followed by a series of mistakes, the last decisive two made by Hackett with a missed shot and by Rubit with a turnover, gave to Maccabi Tel Aviv a crucial victory against Brose Bamberg in a thrilling match. Game was point by point practically for all duration, with germans that can have a lot of regrets after lost six points advantage at about three minutes to end (81-87) after leading the situation from the beginning thanks above all of performance by Hickmann and Musli. But seven consecutive points by Pierre Jackson, who took the sequence from Michael Roll, gave the advantage to Maccabi (88-87) at 3’07” to end, and after a free throw made by Hackett, Thomas found the definitive advantage. Anadolu Efes back to victory at home against Crvena Zvezda and left Milano alone at last position of ranking. High percentages, helped by not good defense, made the game spectacular, with turkish that, thanks above all to Dragic and McCollum closed first half up by 4 (50-46). Jovanovic, Rochestie and Bjelica tried to push serbians, but Anadolu Efes, also with contribution of newcomer Toney Douglas, kept advantage, touching also +10 (67-57) at 25’ and closing 77-71 the third period. During last ten minutes Crvena Zvezda tried to close the distance, but shots made by Dragic and Motum close definitively the game at 2’49” to end (97-84), with serbians that, after this defeat, back at 2 victory distance from play offs area.

Next week there will be a crucial double round (18th and 19th) that almost for sure will say the truth about ambitions of all teams. CSKA Moscow will receive Anadolu Efes and will go to OAKA against Panathinaikos, that meantime will go to Istanbul at Fenerbahce home. Olympiacos can take advantage and recover some confidence receiving Maccabi Tel Aviv and flying to Moscow at Khimki home like Real Madrid, that will play both games in Spain at Baskonia home and with Unicaja Malaga. After Panathinaikos Fenerbahce will have derby against Anadolu Efes, while Zalgiris Kaunas can improve the positive period, and the ranking, against Brose Bamberg and Valencia.

Ranking after round 17

01 CSKA Moscow 13-4
02 Panathinaikos 12-5
03 Olympiacos 12-5
04 Real Madrid 11-6
05 Fenerbahce 11-6
06 Zalgiris Kaunas 11-6
07 Maccabi Tel Aviv 9-8
08 Khimki Moscow 9-8
09 Baskonia 8-9
10 Unicaja Malaga 7-10
11 Crvena Zvezda 7-10
12 Barcelona 6-11
13 Bamberg 6-11
14 Valencia 5-12
15 Anadolu Efes 5-12
16 Armani Exchange Milano 4-13
Next two rounds (18th and 19th)

18th Round

Tuesday 16/01
Crvena Zvezda-Khimki Moscow h. 20.00
Brose Bamberg-Zalgiris Kaunas h. 21.00
Olympiacos-Maccabi Tel Aviv h. 21.00
Valencia-Barcelona h. 21.30

Wednesday 17/01

CSKA Moscow-Anadolu Efes h. 19.00
Fenerbahce-Panathinaikos h. 19.45
Real Madrid-Baskonia h. 21.45
Armani Exchange Milano-Unicaja Malaga h. 21.45

19th Round

Thursday 18/01

Khimki Moscow-Olympiacos h. 19.00
Zalgiris Kaunas-Valencia h. 20.00
Maccabi Tel Aviv-Crvena Zvezda h. 21.05
Barcelona-Bamberg h. 22.00

Friday 19/01
Anadolu Efes-Fenerbahce h. 19.30
Panathinaikos-CSKA Moscow h. 21.15
Baskonia-Armani Exchange Milano h. 21.30
Unicaja Malaga-Real Madrid h. 21.45

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