Euroleague, Barcelona downs Lokomotiv

The Euroleague has reached the midway point of the 2015/2016 Regular Season as week five opened with five games as once again the best clubs on the continent traded blows. There was action across groups A through D.

Crvena Zvezda ignited its Euroleague season with a huge road win over Bayern Munich in Group A, while in Group B Olympiacos left Anadolu Efes sweating with a big away victory. Also in Group B, Limoges had too much for Milan in France to enhance its position in the qualification picture. Group C saw Barcelona slay Lokomotiv at home, while in Group D Maccabi Tel Aviv lost again, this time to Darussafaka Istanbul.

Group A

Bayern Munich vs. Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, 79-90
Serbian champ Crvena Zvezda (2-3) found a spark in the second half to take out Bayern Munich (2-3) in Germany, also putting a spark back into its Euroleague campaign.

The teams were tied 19-19 through ten minutes, but Bayern upped the scoring in the second frame and used a 24-19 run to make it 43-38 during halftime. Crvena Zvezda tamed a consistent scoring Munich by simply grabbing more buckets in the second half, winning the third act 23-25 before carrying the momentum into the fourth to decide the game with a huge 13-27 winning period.

Quincy Miller was the architect through the net with 22 points, followed by Vladmir Stimac with 18 points, and Marko Simonovic with 15 points. Stefan Jovic’s effort cannot be overlooked as he grabbed 19 rebounds in the win.

Dusko Savanovic stood out for Bayern with 19 points.

Group B

Anadolu Efes Istanbul vs. Olympiacos Piraeus, 87-91
Another high scoring encounter saw Olympiacos travel to Turkey and leave Istanbul with a win to move to 4-1 at the top of Group B. As for Anadolu Efes (2-3), the wheels are coming off the Euroleague campaign and the hosts have now lost their last three contest.

Olympiacos needed overtime to put away the home team for good. There was little separating the teams throughout, but the visitors carved a 30-36 lead at the long break. Efes restored parity through thirty minutes at 54-54, before locking proceedings 76 apiece at the regulation buzzer. In the final overtime period Olympiacos wrestled back the momentum and took a narrow win.

Georgios Printezis led the victory with 17 points, while Othello Hunter added 15 points.

Jayson Granger was instrumental in the second half comeback with 26 points, while Dario Saric doubled up with 11 points and 10 boards.

Limoges CSP vs. Milan, 74-65
Both these teams were hunting just their second wins of the Euroleague season, an honor that ultimately went to home team Limoges (2-3) at the expense of Milan (1-4).

Milan led 19-21 at the first split, but Limoges went big in the second quarter to make the difference, positing a 20-9 run that made it 39-30 through halftime. In the second half the hosts extended in the third frame before closing down in defence during the fourth stanza to secure an important home win.

Nobel Boungou-Colo topped Limoges with 18 points, followed by Ali Traore with 15 points.

Alessandro Gentile was once again the shining light for Milan, topping the Italians with 19 points.

Group C

Barcelona vs. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, 72-68
Barcelona continues to improve week on week and this round the Spanish giant handed Lokomotiv Kuban its first loss of the season. Both teams now sit on 4-1 at the top of Group C, and on this evidence both will cruise into the next round.

Barcelona carved an 18-16 first quarter lead and then extended it to 37-31 as the buzzer for halftime sounded on the hardwood. Lokomotiv’s response was swift in the third act, the visitors fuelling a rally with an 11-18 run through the stanza that made it 48-49 in favour of the Russians heading to the fourth. Barcelona were trailing by a single point but in the fourth the hosts turned it on and drained 24 points on the way to victory.

Ante Tomic paced Barca with 16 points and 7 rebounds, while Tomas Satoransky added 10 points to a Barcelona team that shared offensive duties.

Dontaye Draper was hot for Lokomotiv with 20 points, while Malcolm Delaney logged 18 points for the losing effort.

Group D

Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Darussafaka, 73-84
Euroleague giant and 2014 champions Maccabi Tel Aviv is on the ropes this campaign as the Israeli powerhouse slipped to a fourth defeat of the season. The loss to Darussafaka Istanbul was at home too and on this evidence Tel Aviv will not make the qualification cut.

The hosts started well enough, trading buckets for a 20-20 score with Darussafaka in the first quarter before edging a 39-37 lead through the long break. It slowly fell apart in the third quarter as the guests added 23 points for a 53-60 lead and from there contained Tel Aviv in the fourth to stun the home fans, who a slowly getting used to this team playing poorly.

Manuchar Markoishvili topped the Turks with 22 points, while Semih Erden added 16 points in the win.

Taylor Rochestie topped Tel Aviv with 17 points.

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