EuroLeague Recap, round 22!


Surprisely defeat for CSKA Moscow, that now have two victories advantage from Olympiacos and Fenerbahce, following by Panathinaikos, remained alone at fourth position after home defeats of Real Madrid and Real Madrid. Khimki Moscow reach spanish and lithuanians with 13-9 record, while Maccabi Tel Aviv made an important step for lock the play offs position.

Valencia made the biggest upset of the round 22th defeating CSKA Moscow, which went to spain without Hines and Hunter, out indefinitely due to injuries. After ten minutes of balance (21-23 at 10’), Dubljevic, Albalde and Green were the main protagonists of first important break of the game (39-30 at 16’) with CSKA in huge trouble and able to stay not very distant at halftime just thanks to De Colo and Higgins (49-42 at 20’). Clyburn and five consecutive points by Kurbanov gave the tie to russians at beginning of third period (49-49), but Dubljevic and Martinez reject opponents offensive, with Valencia which kept the advantage also at third buzzer (73-66 at 30’). Green push Valencia to maximum advantage of the game at 8 minutes to end (82-68), but CSKA have too pride to gave up, with a huge performance of Clyburn that led the comeback until the tie at 45” seconds to end with free throw made by De Colo (95-95), but Albalde scored the decisive three pointer and, after a mistake by Vorontsevich, Thomas, Dubljevic and Green close the game behind free throws line for a huge victory for Valencia.

The big match of 22th round has been won by Olympiacos at Real Madrid home after a very balanced match, with also a thriller ending. Greeks, with Printezis and Wiltjer, led the game for first twenty minutes, but with locals never very distant (20-21 after ten minutes and 39-45 at halftime). During third quarter Doncic and Thompkins pushed Real Madrid to tie the game (49-49 at 24’), but Printezis, Roberts and Strelnieks are the main protagonists for Olympiacos, compensating the total negative night of Spanoulis (0 points, with 0/6 shots, 0/2 free throws, 5 turnovers and -6 index rating in 20 minutes), with a ten meters three pointers at buzzer made by Wiltjer that gave the new advantage to visitors (62-65 at 30’). Causer and Thompkins led the 9-0 partial score for Real Madrid at beginning of last quarter (71-65), but a lot of mistakes behind free throws line (17/27 total at the end) didn’t permit to made the decisive break, with Printezis and Strelnieks that balance the situation for the thriller finals. Doncic behind the line gave the advantage for locals (77-76) at 48” to end, but a lucky shot made by Strelnieks reversed again the leadership (77-78 at 34” to end) and later both players scored 1/2 from free throw line for 79-80 at 15 seconds to end. Real have last possession but didn’t found a good shot and the foul called on Campazzo where with clock already expired, with Olympiacos that can celebrate a crucial victory that probably lock the advantage of home games for play offs.

Ordinary victory at home for Fenerbhace against a Brose Bamberg that tried to gave some difficulties to turkish but never can do against a dominanto Vesely (26 points with 9/12 shot and 11 rebounds). After 16-14 of first ten minutes, Obradovic team made the first important break during second period, with Vesely, Datome and Sloukas good protagonists, touching the maximum advantage of 13 points durin 19th minute (40-27) before close at halftime up by 10 (42-32). During third quarter Fenerbahce fly until +16 (50-34 a 24’) and substantially controlled the game until the end (61-48 at 30’), despite Bamberg didn’t gave up, but germans were just able to cut the distance at last quarter and have an honorable defeat.

Despite everything happened during last days Panathinaikos back to victory in a very insidious home game against Baskonia, now in very trouble for reach play off’s area. Basques had a good start with Voigtmann (11-18 after 7 minutes), but a very inspired Gabriel cut the distance (21-23 at end of 1st quarter) and, with Lekavicius good contribution, led the team during second quarter (46-40 at halftime). Calathes with assists, Gist, Pappas and Rivers with points showed the right way for Greens during third quarter (67-53 at 30’) but Baskonia, take advantage from an excessive relax of locals on last two minutes (80-68 at 2’20” to end) almost reopened the game, with Janning who missed the three pointer for back -1 at 35 seconds to end.

Maccabi Tel Aviv conquered a not easy home victory against Barcelona, which are waiting Svetislav Pesic at bench back after Alonso dismissal, and, taking advantage from Baskonia defeat, made an important step for lock the position inside play offs area. Hanga, Navarro and Moerman led catalans until 11-20 after seven minutes, but Bolden, Tyus and Cohen close immediately the distance (22-23 at 10’), being also the main protagonists of israelians run away during second quarter (37-26 at 16’ and 46-38 at halftime). Heurtel, Tomic, Hanga and Sandrs permit to Barcelona to tie during third period (53-53 at 25’), but Kane and Di Bartolomeo reject the opponenst until -10 (65-55) before close up by 4 after 30 minutes (65-61). A four points play by Ribas opened the last ten minutes (65-65) and another three pointer of blau-grana number five gave the new advantage to visitors (67-68 at 8’47” to end), but Roll, Jackson and Cole led Maccabi Tel Aviv for another, and this time decisive, break for close definitively the game during last five minutes.

A 23-12 beginning partial score allowed to Unicaja Malaga to put the game in the positive way for them, defeating Anadolu Efes which remained alone at last position of the ranking. Salin, Augustine and McCallum led the spanish during first ten minutes, with visitors that tried to cut the distance with Dragic and Balbay on second period, but difference didn’t changed at halftime (40-28). Malaga touched the maximum advantage of sixteen points during third quarter (54-38 at 25’), with turkish that, finally, had a reaction, and after back -8 at third buzzer (63-55 at 30’), practically reopened the game on last period, comeback until -2 (67-65) at 3,43” to end. But Augustine, Waczynski and Milosavljevic led the 10-1 partial score that closed the game (77-66 at 1’15” to end) allowed to Malaga an important victory, despite play offs area is still distant.

At the end Crvena Zvezda defeat Armani Exchange Milano after a game substantially decided between third and fourth quarter. Serbians, with good percentage at shots, took the leadership of the game during first 20 minutes (23-20 at 10’ and 50-45 at halftime) with Dangubic, Lessort and Rochestie good protagonists, while for italian the most were Goudelock, Kuzminskas and Micov. Crvena Zvezda kept constant advantages also during third period (71-65 at 30’), with the partial score of 11-4 at beginning of fourth that practically closed the game, with italians that allowed another time 100 points to opponents.

Next week Euroleague will have a break in order to permit the nationals cup games and will restart for round 23th, Thursday 22/02 and Friday 23/02 with the “clasico” between Barcelona and Real Madrid that will be the big match. Very difficult match for Panathinaikos at Khimki Moscow home, while CSKA will receive Baskonia for an insidious game. Easy program for Olympiacos and Fenerbahce, respectively against Valencia and Armani Exchange Milano both at home. Zalgiris Kaunas will fly to Istanbul for play against Anadolu Efes and Maccabi Tel Aviv will go in Spain against Unicaja Malaga, with Borse Bamberg-Crvena Zvezda that will close the program.

Ranking after round 22

01 CSKA Moscow 17-5
02 Olympiacos 15-7
03 Fenerbahce 15-7
04 Panathinaikos 14-8
05 Real Madrid 13-9
06 Zalgiris Kaunas 13-9
07 Khimki Moscow 13-9
08 Maccabi Tel Aviv 12-10
09 Baskonia 10-12
10 Unicaja Malaga 9-13
11 Crvena Zvezda 9-13
12 Brose Bamberg 8-14
13 Valencia 8-14
14 Barcelona 7-15 16 Anadolu Efes 6-16

Next round (23th)

Thursday 22/02
CSKA Moscow-Baskonia h. 19.00
Fenerbahce-Armani Exchange Milano h. 19.45
Olympiacos-Valencia h. 21.00
Unicaja Malaga-Maccabi Tel Aviv h. 21.45

Friday 23/02
Khimki Moscow-Panathinaikos h. 19.00
Anadolu Efes-Zalgiris Kaunas h. 19.30
Brose Bamberg-Crvena Zvezda h. 21.45
Barcelona-Real Madrid h. 22.00