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Euroleague recap, round 9!

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CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos lead the group also after 9th round, with Panathinaikos and Fenerbahce follow with just one victory of distance. Afther this mini group at first four positions, five teams with 5-4 and other two with 4-5 for the fight that are becoming very interesting.

CSKA had huge risks for 35 minutes but, thanks to superiority of their top players Rodriguez, Clyburn and De Colo, survive at Unicaja Malaga home, catching a not easy victory for remain at first place. Itoudis’ team had a good start (16-27 at 10’) and all seems as previews, but spanish with Augustine and Waczysnki, minute by minute cut the difference (39-46 at halftime) until overtake during third quarter, having six points advantage (64-58 at 28’), before close 65-63 at 30’. Malaga had advantage until five minutes to end, but must to collapse over CSKA superiority and experience.

Olympiacos take the first place with russians after thriller victory at Armani Exchange Milano home, that lost a huge occasion to made an important step for touch the top half of the ranking. Practically the match was point by point for all 40 minutes, with Pianigiani’s team, after closed seven point distance at begin of 4th quarter and overtake opponents, that missing also a couple of crucial possessions for catch the victory, with also some very questionable referees’ calls against italians during last minutes . During last seconds a three points play by McClean was decisive because, after a 0/2 from free shots of Papanikolaou, Jerrels didn’t find a good shot at buzzer and Olympiacos can celebrate a very important victory, considereing the absences (Spanoulis, Tillie and Agravanis) and Milutinov on the floor just 5’44” due to quick fouls.

Panathinaikos and Fenerbahce follow the leaders with one victory distance, with Pascual team that had an amazing victory over Real Madrid with another thriller final, having recovered 16 points difference, and remain the only team undefeated at home.

Turkish had a victory like preview but, after easy control for first half (38-26 at halftime) and still having good advantage at the end of 3rd quarter (58-48) risk to have the comeback of Khimki during last 10 minutes, with Markovic that lead the russian until -1 (66-65) at 2’46” to end, missing also the overtake with Shved. The unexpected thriller final, from 68-67 at one minute to end, was solved by three free shots made by Wanamaker at 15 seconds to end for 71-67 that substantially closed the match and gave to Obradovic’s team the victory.

During the “Navarro’s night”, with celebrations of 20th anniversary of spanish legend debut with “camiseta blau grana”, Barcelona dominate over Maccabi Tel Aviv. Match was practically closed already at halftime, with 44-24 that didn’t admit discussions about the owners of the final victory, thanks to an impressive performance behind the arc (15/31), above all from Sanders and Koponen (10/13 combined). Zalgiris Kaunas back to victory at home against Anadolu Efes for remain in touch with the group inside play offs area. After a good start for turkish (22-26 at 10’), Ulanovas and Jankunas lead their team during second quarter for overtake (47-44 halftime), but match remained point by point until 1’41” to end, when five streight points by Kevin Pangos gave to Zalgiris the decisive break (91-83 from 86-83 in one minute) for catch the crucial victory.

Three free throw made by Hickman at 2 seconds to end gave a miracle victory for Brose Bamberg over Valencia. But spanish must to have huge regrets for have wasted 15 points advantage (62-77) at five minutes to end after leading practically entire match (20-23 at 10’; 41-47 halftime; 52-66 at 30’). The three pointer by Van Rossom seems close the match, but Rubit, Lo and Taylor reopen surprisingly the match for Bamberg, with spanish licterally locked and unable to do nothing for remedy. After tap in by Rubit at 15 seconds to end (80-81), San Emeterio made just a 1/2 from the line and Pleiss did the total disaster committing foul when Hickamn tried a three pointer. The former Maccabi and Milano, with 3/3 gave the overtake and the incredible victory, with the last pray of San Emeterio missed and Valencia suicide, for the fifth streight defeat, was complete.

Baskonia confirm the positive period with a not easy victory (the fourth of last five games) at Crvena Zvezda home. Basques had advantage, also with double figure, for first 30 minutes (17-22 at 10’; 38-47 halftime; 57-64 at 30’), thanks to very good performance of Voigtmann (17, 8 rebounds and 5 assists) and Shengelia. But serbians didn’t gave up and, during last ten minutes, re open everything with Lessort and Davidovac, overtaking at 5 minutes to end (75-73). The thriller finals was solved by a two pointer by Shengelia at 15 seconds to end, didn’t replied by Feldeine for the 81-85 final score.

Big match of next round, the 10th, will be for sure CSKA Moscow-Barcelona, while Fenerbahce will have a not easy trip to Baskonia. Interesting matches will be Maccabi Tel Aviv-Zalgiris Kaunas and Anadolu Efes-Milano, with Panathinaikos that will try to extend the straight again at OAKA with Malaga. Olympiacos, at Valencia, Khimki, at home against Bamberg, and Real Madrid, at home with Crvena Zvezda, seems favourites for catch the victory.

Ranking after 9th round

01 CSKA Moscow 7-2
02 Olympiacos 7-2
03 Fenerbahce 6-3
04 Panathinaikos 6-3
05 Real Madrid 5-4
06 Maccabi Tel Aviv 5-4
07 Zalgiris Kaunas 5-4
08 Khimki Moscow 5-4
09 Bamberg 5-4
10 Barcelona 4-5
11 Baskonia 4-5
12 Valencia 3-6
13 Armani Exchange Milano 3-6
14 Unicaja Malaga 3-6
15 Anadolu Efes 2-7
16 Crvena Zvezda 2-7
Next round (10th)

Thursday 30/11

Khimki Moscow-Brose Bamberg h. 19.00
Maccabi Tel Aviv-Zalgiris Kaunas h. 21.05
Baskonia-Fenerbahce h. 21.30
Valencia-Olympiacos h. 21.30

Friday 01/12

CSKA Moscow-Barcelona h. 19.00 Panathinaikos-Unicaja Malaga h. 21.00 Real Madrid-Crvena Zvezda h. 22.00

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