After six games in the Euroleague on Thursday, there were only two contests on Friday to close Round 8 of the Top 16 phase. However, they were two hugely important games that brought further shape to Group E and Group F as we search for eight clubs to make it to the Quarter-finals.
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul, 91-82
Serbian champions Crvena Zvezda Belgrade are having a season to remember, and is on course to have one of its best Euroleague seasons ever. A home win over Turkish giant, Anadolu Efes, was enough to send Red Star to third in Group E with a 5-3 record. The Istanbul club is still in the mix too, despite the loss, and now sits fifth with a 3-5 record.
Despite winning the first quarter 24-19, the hosts could not hold the lead in the second frame and allowed Anadolu to take the period 14-27 for a 38-46 halftime score. The hosts roared back in the third to set up a huge 28-17 fourth act, plundering 53 points in the second half to turn the game around and secure the win.
Quincy Miller topped the win with 15 points. Maik Zirbes scored 14 points and grabbed 9 rebounds, while Marko Guduric also logged 14 points for Belgrade.
Dario Saric scored a game high 19 for Efes, and also added 8 boards. He was followed by Cedi Osman with 18 points and Jon Diebler with 16 points.
FC Barcelona Lassa vs. Olympiacos Piraeus, 82-66
Both of these Euroleague giants and former winners are struggling for form in the Top 16 season, but Barcelona finally found momentum to stun the Greeks of Olympiacos. The win puts Barcelona in a qualification berth at 4-4 in fourth place, while the Piraeus giant needs to start cooking from 3-5 in seventh place if it is to progress.
The teams traded buckets in the opening act to lock the scoreboard on 19-19 through 10 minutes. Barcelona found an offensive rhythm in the second stanza with a 26-12 run that made it 45-31 through the long break. The hosts had control and in the third frame killed the game with a 26-16 play that made it 61-47 through thirty minutes. Olympiacos hit back in the fourth, but the rally was nowhere near enough to turn the game.
Stratos Perperoglou topped the winners with 16 points, followed by Tomas Satoransky with 14 points, Jaun Carlos Navarro with 13 points, and Joey Dorsey with 12 points.
Daniel Hackett led Olympiacos with 16 points, while Georgios Printezis added 13 points in the losing effort.