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by pickngreen.gr

Euroleague recap after round 14!

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After penultimate round of regular season’s first half, CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos lead the group with 11-3 record, followed by Panathinaikos with just one victory distance from leaders. Situation of first eight places, at moment, is clear, with just Baskonia running at short distance.

Itoudis team didn’t have problems at home with Maccabi Tel Aviv (101-86) and Khimki (79-68) but lost a huge occasion to made an important escape from the group with the defeat at SEF, where De Colo and co. had a lot of regrets having putted inside garbage the victory.

Olympiacos, someway, keep the first position with CSKA despite the bloody defeat at Bamberg home, when Sfairopoulos team collapsed after 13 points advantage during 4th quarter. Victories at CSKA and at Anadolu Efes home, above all thanks to not consistency of turkish, have remedied at false step in Germany.

Almost silent, but not so much, Panathinaikos follow leaders and legitimately can can aspire to fight for first places until the end of regular season. After defeat at Zalgiris Kaunas home, not a surprise considering results of lithuanians, Pascual’s team still defend the home with Armani Exchange Milano and, despite absence of Calathes and bad physical conditions of Pappas, catch a crucial victory at Crvena Zvezda home in order to riaffirm that all teams must to considering the Greens.

Behind Panathinaikos, with 9-5 record, two teams that seems crossing totally different moments now: Fenerbahce and Zalgiris Kaunas. Turkish suffered a bad home defeat against lithuanians and, after an easy game agains Crvena Zvezda (82-56), another bad false step at Maccabi Tel Aviv home to reaffirm the not positive period of Obradovic’s team.

Totally different discussion for Zalgiris Kaunas, running with 4 consecutive victories and biggest surprise of first half of regular season. Lithuanian’s team living a very fantastic period and playing a very good basketball, despite roster is without superstar. For sure Sarunas Jasikevicius are doing an excellent work and he have almost all merits for this results, with all other teams that look Zalgiris with a lot of respect.

Real Madrid, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Khimki Moscow close the play off’s area with 8-6 record but, if for israelians and russians can be considered positive for sure is not for spanish. Anyway “blancos”, after controversial defeat at SEF, are running with three consecutive large victories against Barcelona (87-75), Valencia (91-72) and at Bamberg home (66-81) in order to fix the ranking and look forward with positivity, waiting the recover of all injured (Llull, Ayon, Randplph and Fernandez) for the second half of regular season. Maccabi Tel Aviv lost a couple of positions after large away defeats against CSKA (86-101) and Panathinaikos (76-89) but the huge home victory with Fenerbahce (82-73) kept Spahja’s team in a comfortable position in order to defend play off’s ambitions.

Khimki Moscow, leaded by the best scorer of Euroleague Alexei Shved with 21.4 points per game close this mini group and substantially confirm the initial target, despite the defeats against at Malaga (84-93) and CSKA home (68-79), with in the middle the good victory with Anadolu Efes (86-68).

Baskonia is the only team with just one victory distance from play off’s area with 7-7 record, after two thrilling victories against Efes (82-81) and Barcelona (85-82 after losing 21 points advantage during 3rd quarter), with in the middle the defeat at Armani Exchange Milano home (85-92).

Behind Basques, with 6-8, there are Unicaja Malaga and Brose Bamberg, with spanish that are running with three consecutive victories at home with Khimki (93-84) and Armani Exchange Milano (74-71) and at Barcelona (90-83) in the middle, while Trinchieri’s team, after the huge result at home with Olympiacos, suffered two consecutive lost at Zalgiris Kaunas home (84-88) and with Real Madrid (66-81). Crvena Zvezda (5-9), after changed almost entire team included coach, are not repeating the great last season playing an anonimous one, but at home is everytime danger for all teams. After serbians there are Barcelona and Armani Exchange Milano (4-10), with the spanish that, after the last totally negative season, are still in huge trouble, with also a lot of internal problems. And five defeats in a row, with the series still open, for sure will not help their situation for future.

Not so much different situation of Milano, still searching his identity. The only home victory against Baskonia of last five games, with huge risks after losing 25 points advantage during the game, was just useful to avoid the last place like last season, but for italian’s ambitions this could be enough.

Ranking is closed by Valencia and Anadolu Efes with 3-11 record and both already almost without chances to compete for play offs. Spanish are in total crisis with a still open series of 10 consecutive defeats and for found last victory is necessary to back at 27th October. And, attending last rumors, coach Vidorreta seem close to be fired.

Turkish, with Barcelona, are for sure the biggest disappointment team of this Euroleague and despite substitution of coach (from Perasovic to Ataman) things seem not changed as demonstrated of last home defeat against Olympiacos, scoring just 58 points. And the open series of 4 consecutive false steps denies all ambitions for them.

Next 28 and 29 December will be played last round of regular season 1st half, with leaders that will have risky trips: CSKA at Baskonia and Olympiacos at Zalgiris Kaunas home. Panathinaikos will fly to Valencia and this can’t be considered easy, despite the long negative series of spanish: Pascual’s team must to play as is able to do, with seriousness and focus all the time. But the big match of 15th round will be without discussions Fenerbahce-Real Madrid, with turkish called to have a reaction and spanish to confirm the positive period. Interesting games will be played in Moscow, between Khimki and Barcelona, and at Tel Aviv, between Maccabi and Unicaja Malaga. Close the program Anadolu Efes-Bamberg and Armani Exchange Milano-Crvena Zvezda.

Standing after round 14

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

Thursday 28/12

Fenerbahce-Real Madrid h. 19.45
Zalgiris Kaunas-Olympiacos h. 20.00
Maccabi Tel Aviv-Unicaja Malaga h. 21.05
Valencia-Panathinaikos h. 22.00

Friday 29/12 Khimki Moscow-Barcelona h. 19.00
Anadolu Efes-Brose Bamberg h. 19.30
Baskonia-CSKA Moscow h. 21.30
Armani Exchange Milano-Crvena Zvezda h. 21.45

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