Euroleague, ALBA and Valencia win

EuroleagueFour rounds of Euroleague Regular Season action have now been taken care of and this week’s Basketball proved to be another spectacle of elite sport. The usual suspects are starting to control their groups, but as we have become accustomed to in Europe’s premier tournament, there are always plenty of shocks in the Euroleague. Who for example could have predicted reigning champions Maccabi Tel Aviv falling to Cedevita Zagreb’s first ever Euroleague road win, or PGE Turow winning its first ever Euroleague game by beating Bayern Munich?

Those shocks happened on Thursday, so could Friday live up to that? Let’s find out.

Group B

ALBA Berlin registered its first win of the competition by smashing French club Limoges 89-66 at home. The German club now joins their opponents with a 1-3 record in the chasing pack from Group C. The hosts opened the game in better touch and took an early 10-5 lead before pacing through the first quarter to lead 21-12 after 10 minutes. ALBA scored the first five points of the second quarter to move 26-12 in front and in a hot 29-15 run carved out a commanding 50-27 lead at halftime. The Germans were cruising and another winning frame in the third, this time 23-15 sealed the deal, despite a 16-25 charge from Limoges in the closing quarter.

CSKA Moscow kept hold of its unblemished record by seeing off Unicaja Malaga 95-85 in the Russian capital. Milos Teodosic was in inspirational form for the home team as he accounted for 27 points and 10 assists in a double-double performance. A high octane first quarter saw CSKA pour in 29 points to lead 29-21 at the first buzzer. The hosts extended to double figures through the second quarter, emerging with a 52-39 advantage as the teams headed to the locker room. Unicaja made a game of it in the third quarter with a 20-27 streak, drawing the visitors closer, but it was still CSKA in control through 30 minutes (72-66). The home team had weathered the storm and eased through the final stanza to take a relatively comfortable win.

Group C

Panathinaikos built on last week’s defeat of Fenerbahce with a big 90-63 win over Italian visitors EA7 Milan. The Greek giant rarely looked troubled and led the game from the first minutes and never relinquished possession of that lead. Through the opening quarter The Greens looked slick and cruised to a 10 minute 23-13 lead, while the consolidated their advantage with a 21-17 second frame. Building on a 44-30 halftime score, Panathinaikos stormed through Q3, pouring in 27 points and conceding just 13 to leave Milan with a mountain to climb. The scoreboard read 71-43 after 30 minutes and the Greek contingent could ease off the gas, losing the fourth quarter, but easily winning the game.

Group D

Olympiacos has become adept at grinding out wins in this season’s Euroleague and the Greek giant did it again by gunning down Crvena Zvezda Belgrade 57-62 on the road. Olympiacos now remains atop Group D and looks good with an untouched 4-0 record. A cagey first quarter meant the buckets did not flow, but Crvena Zvezda emerged with a slender 14-13 lead after 10 minutes. The second stanza changed the game as Olympiacos doubled the home score to win the frame 12-24 and lead 26-37 at the long break. The third quarter brought another drought, but the visitors edged it 10-13 to extend their advantage to 36-50 with only 10 minutes left on the counter. The hosts rallied down the straight with a 21-12 run, but could not turn the score in their favour.

Galatasaray had too much for Neptunas Klaipeda as they swept the Lithuanian visitors aside in Istanbul. Five players scored in double digits for the Turkish club on the way to victory, while the win was built from a strong first half foundation. Gala won the first quarter 23-15 and the second 23-17 to lead 46-32 at the midway buzzer. The hosts did not look back as they put together a blockbuster third quarter, mixing it at both ends of the hardwood with a 31-12 run. Neptunas prevented complete collapse in the fourth quarter to keep things respectable, but Galatasaray were big winners at the end of regulation.

Sighs of relief will be passing around the Valencia organization tonight after the Eurocup champions registered a first win in the 2014/2015 Euroleague. The team welcomed Laboral Kutxa Vitoria in an all-Spanish clash and defeated their rivals 79-69. It did not look good for Valencia through Q1 though as Vitoria paced to a 15-22 lead after 10 minutes. The hosts responded well with a 23-14 run in the second quarter to make it 38-36 at halftime, still anybody’s game. Valencia put some space on the scoreboard by winning the third act 27-20 and then used the momentum to edge out Laboral Kutxa in the fourth quarter to spark the celebrations.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.