Euroleague Playoffs: CSKA and Fenerbahce win

Euroleague Playoffs
The 2015/2016 Euroleague Playoffs are underway, with two contests opening the first knock out phase of this seasons’ tournament. There are only high quality clashes from here on as the eight best clubs on the continent compete to reach the Final Four, which will be held in Berlin this season.

There is still plenty to play for, but both Fenerbahce Istanbul and CSKA Moscow laid down big markers on Tuesday, getting off the best of five series’ with a win.

Fenerbahce lived up to billing as the form team with a win over current champs Real Madrid, while CSKA got its Euroleague Playoffs series off to a stellar start with a 84-74 cruise over Crvena Zvezda Belgrade.

Fenerbahce Istanbul vs. Real Madrid, 75-69

Real Madrid has had a rocky season, but edged into the Euroleague Playoffs. Many maybe predicted the champs would kick on, but Fenerbahce is formidable this season and a rock at home. The Turkish team took a 1-0 series lead thanks to a dynamic fourth quarter.

The game started slow and the first quarter closed 15-11 to the hosts, who then poured in 26 second frame points to ensure a comfortable 41-29 lead through the long break. Madrid had not started clicking, but Los Blancos soon found a rhythm and used a 12-23 third act to trail by just a point through thirty minutes (53-52). A tight fourth quarter followed, but Bogdan Bogdanovic stepped up for Fener with a triple to make it a win for the home team.

Bogdanovic finished with 17 points and 5 assists in the win, while Kostas Sloukas also logged 17 points.

Felipe Reyes topped the losing effort with 13 points, followed by Sergio Rodriguez and Sergio Llull scored 12 points apiece.

CSKA Moscow vs. Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, 84-74

The only team matching Fenerbahce’s Top 16 from was CSKA Moscow, and the Russian giant eased to a game one win over Crvena Zvezda. The Red Star champs of Serbia are the surprise of the continental season, but against CSKA the team may have hit a wall.

That remains to be seen, but here the Army Men were solid, which was enough to secure the win in the best of five series. A high quality first quarter saw the teams pummel the bucket, with CSKA taking a 25-20 lead. The hosts went again in the second, but Crvena Zvezda was up to the task and closed the deficit to 44-40 at halftime. The guests faded in the third, allowing Moscow to extend through the second half to victory.

Milos Teodosic was at his best with a 23 point haul in the win, with Kyle Hines adding 21 points, Nikita Kurbanov 13 points, and Nando De Colo 10 assists.

Quincy Miller and Stefan Jovic set the tone for Belgrade with 14 points each.

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