Euroleague: Real Madrid makes Top 16

EuroleagueThe door to the Top 16 is closing this week in the Euroleague as the Regular Season enters its final week, with six games on Thursday and a further six contests on Friday. Two more spots were taken in the next round this evening as Real Madrid completed a turnaround to progress from Group A and Darussafaka Istanbul moved on from Group D and ended the fight of a Euroleague legend in the process.

Group A
Real Madrid vs. Strasbourg, 97-65
Real Madrid took apart Strasbourg in the Spanish capital to progress into the Top 16, the current Euroleague champions turning their Regular Season around. It was a third consecutive win for the champs as Madrid fought back from bottom of Group E to reach the Top 16 in the final game.

The hosts started in fantastic touch and soon opened a 19-6 lead before progressing to a 29-15 advantage at the first buzzer. In the second quarter Strasbourg improved with a 22 point haul, but Los Blancos stayed one step ahead with 23 points, making it 52-37 at halftime. That was as good a spell as the French visitors would have as Real Madrid turned the screw in the third act and opened up a 75-50 lead through thirty minutes. In the fourth quarter the hosts killed the contest with a 22-15 surge that booked a berth in the Top 16.

Jeffery Taylor paced Real Madrid with 16 points, while Sergio Rodriguez tabbed 14 points and Trey Thompkins and Felipe Reyes grabbed 12 points apiece.

Rodrigue Beaubois led Strasbourg with 17 points.

Group D
Darussafaka Istanbul vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv, 66-70
Visiting Tel Aviv completed half a job against Darussafaka but could not book a place in the Top 16, the honor instead going to their opponents from Istanbul. Tel Aviv needed to win by 11 points to progress, so despite the Israeli club winning it was the hosts of Darussafaka who were the real winners here.

It was a close encounter, as proved in the first quarter as the hosts run out with a 23-19 lead at the first split. Tel Aviv managed to stay consistent with another 19 points in the second half, and the Turkish hosts fell to 12 points, giving Tel Aviv a 35-38 lead through the long break. In the third stanza Darussafaka edged proceedings 14-12 to make it a one point game at the final interval, the scoreboard reading 49-50. The visitors managed to steal the game late on by four points, but as the final buzzer sounded it was the Istanbul faithful celebrating on the floor.

Sylven Landesberg led Maccabi Tel Aviv with 14 points, followed by Jordan Farmar with 13 points and Taylor Rochestie with 12 points.

Furkan Aldemir topped the losing effort with 12 points.

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