The big news in the Euroleague on Friday was the closing of Group E, with all four places in the table now locked and the Playoff places decided. Panathinaikos defeated Cedevita Zagreb to book its position in the next round, while Anadolu Efes Istanbul losing to Fenerbahce meant that Crvena Zvezda Belgrade makes the Playoffs for the first time ever, despite losing on Thursday.
In Group F, CSKA Moscow downed Zalgiris Kaunas in style to ensure home advantage in the knock-out round, while Laboral Kutxa Vitoria edged Real Madrid in a classic to secure its own home court in the Playoffs.
Fenerbahce Istanbul vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul, 90-86
Fenerbahce cemented its position at the top of the Group E standings with a big home win over Istanbul rival Anadolu Efes. The hot Istanbul derby was hugely decisive as defeat for Anadolu Efes means the club is eliminated from the Euroleague Playoff picture. The results also means that both Panathinaikos Athens and Crvena Zvezda Belgrade progressed. Fenerbahce is the undoubted form team of the Euroleague at the moment and is unbeaten at home this season.
Luigi Datome topped the win with 24 points and 7 rebounds, while Bogdan Bogdanovic managed 21 points and Pero Antic was on 13 points.
Thomas Huertal topped Anadolu Efes with 14 points and 13 assists, followed by Jayson Granger, Cedi Osman, and Derrick Brown all netted 13 points.
Panathinaikos Athens vs. Cedevita Zagreb, 76-60
Panathinaikos punched its ticket to the Playoffs with a big win over Cedevita Zagreb in the Greek capital on Friday against the already eliminated Croatians. The win was built through the first half as The Greens won the first quarter 20-5 and the second quarter 22-14. Zagreb actually won the second half, but the hosts had simply controlled long spells and rode to an easy win.
James Gist led the win with 15 points and 9 boards.
CSKA Moscow vs. Zalgiris Kaunas, 100-86
Already qualified CSKA Moscow defeated already eliminated Zalgiris Kaunas with a huge second half that ensured home court advantage for the Russians in the Euroleague Playoffs. The Lithuanian guests had actually edged the first half 47-48, but in the second half the Army Men exploded and poured in 53 points to tear the game open and run to an easy win. CSKA will be a threat of course through knock out hoops.
Nando de Colo nailed 25 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, while Milos Teodosic added 15 points and Kyle Hines scored 14 points.
Olivier Hanlan nailed 15 points and 6 assists for the losing effort, while Ian Vougioukas and Brock Motum hit 13 points each.
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria vs. Real Madrid, 89-88
Real Madrid faces a do-or-die contest against Khimki Moscow Region next week as the Euroleague champs were tamed on the road by Laboral Kutxa Vitoria. The hosts already progressed yesterday due to other results, but here Vitoria ensured home court advantage. Madrid has been poor, but here Los Blancos fought evert step and the result was a classic Top 16 encounter … one for the history books.
Ioannis Bourousis was the driver for Laboral Kutxa again with a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Mike James topped the scoring with 27 points.
Sergio Rodriguez scored 18 points and Gustavo Ayon scored 14 points and rebounded for 8.