We are just three games left in the Euroleague Top 16 and places in the next round are starting to fill up as every contest becomes extra important. Fenerbahce and CSKA Moscow has already reached the first knockout phase and those clubs were joined by Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar on Thursday.
Round 12 of the Euroleague Top 16 saw the Russian club destroy Crvena Zvezda Belgrade 86-62 in Krasnodar to secure a berth in the next stage. It is the first time in the clubs history that it will play Playoff hoops in Europe’s elite club competition, and it came at the expense of a Red Star team that has been flying. As it stands, the Serbian team is still in the hunt at 7-5 and could even qualify tomorrow if other results are favorable.
Panathinaikos Athens can also make the Euroleague Playoffs is Anadolu Efes Istanbul loses tomorrow after the Greek giant pulled of an edgy 84-86 win against already eliminated Darussafaka Dogus on the road in Istanbul. Elliot Williams drained the game winning points from the charity strip to ensure Panathinaikos third place for another week with an 8-4 record.
CSKA Moscow qualified from Group F last week, the first to do so, but there was no celebration for the Army Men this week as they were humbled by Brose Baskets Bamberg. The German club was strong at home for a 91-83 win that pushed the club to fourth with a 6-6 record, at least for today. It was the first time that Bamberg had defeated the Russian giant in 12 attempts.
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria outpaced FC Barcelona 75-71 in an all-Spanish contest and could make the Playoffs if Real Madrid wins tomorrow. Either way, the club has a foot in the next round and has cruised through the Top 16, pitching itself as the best team from the Iberian Peninsula in the Euroleague this season. Barcelona’s hopes for qualification were given a knock with this loss, but the former champs are still in the hunt on the same 6-6 record as Bamberg.