Euroleague: Regal snaps Caja’s winning streak

Olympiacos’ Vassilis Spanoulis goes up and over Maccabi’s David Logan.

Day 1 of Euroleague Week 4 of the Top 16 saw some down-to-the-wire contests with a lineup on Friday that will most likely bring more of the same.

FC Barcelona Regal traveled to fellow Spanish club Caja Laboral and handed them their first loss in 18 games Thursday. In that same contest, Regal’s Juan Carlos Navarro became the first player in Euroleague history to score 3,000 points. Olympiacos handed Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv their fourth loss in five games and Fenerbahce Ulker outlasted BC Khimki to earn their first win in this season’s Top 16 play.

On tap for Friday will be Panathinaikos (3-1) vs. Real Madrid (4-0), CSKA Moscow (4-0) vs. Unicaja (1-3), Anadolu Efes (3-1) Vs. Zalgiris (1-3) and Montepaschi Siena 94-0) vs. Besiktas (0-4).

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv – Olympiacos Piraeus, 77:78
For the second straight week Olympiacos Piraeus was involved in a game decided in the last seconds. Fortunately for the defending champions, time was on their side during this contest and the result was in their favor as they outlasted Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv by a fraction of a second on their home court to earn their second win of the Top 16.

As the Reds’ playmaker, Spanoulis Vassilis put it after the contest, “It is a tough court, with an excellent atmosphere, and Maccabi wanted to win this game a lot, but we did too. Not many teams can win here.”

The guests got the early advantage, outscoring Maccabi 19:30 in the first 10. Olympiacos cooled off a bit in the second and played evenly with their hosts in the quarter (14:14), to head into the break up 11, 33:44.

Maccabi took control in the third quarter, covering the gap mid-way through the frame and building a five-point margin of their own, 62:57, as they faced the final quarter.

The final stanza opened with the Reds running off 11 unanswered points, which was then countered by the hosts putting up 12 unanswered of their own to bring the score to 74:68. Olympiacos went a perfect 6 for 6 from the line down the stretch and Vassilis dropped in a jumper with 52 clicks left to put the champs up by one, 77:78. Maccabi couldn’t find the cords in an extended possession that could have given them the lead, but ended up fouling Kostas Papanikolaou with 3.5 seconds to play sending him to the line for two singles. He missed both, Devin Smith grabbed the rebound and instead of calling a timeout to advance the ball to the front court, he threw it down the court to Yogev Ohayon, who hit an attacking Darko Planinic for a dunk that came a split-second too late and was waved off.

The loss drops Maccabi to 1-4 in Top 16 play, while Olympiacos improves to 2-3.

Spanoulis dropped in 24 for the guests, Georgios Printezis added 16 points and 6 rebounds, and Giorgi Shermadini contributed 9 points, and 9 rebounds.

Smith tallied 17, David Logan added 15 and Shawn James contributed 11.

Alba Berlin – Brose Baskets Bamberg, 82:63
Alba Berlin picked up their first win of the Top 16 round with a solid 82:63 home win over fellow German club Brose Baskets Bamberg. The loss keeps Brose winless at 0-5.

Alba opened up an early 12-point lead, winning the initial frame 26:14, but Brose countered in the second cutting the gap to two, 36:34, as the clubs retreated to their dressing rooms for the break.

The Berlin club took control of the contest in the third, putting up 15 points on their advantage with a 28:13 score, to lead 64:47 after 30 minutes of play.

Brose never challenged in the fourth and Alba cruised to the win, 82:63, in front of an estimated 8,500 friendlies at the Berlin O2 World Arena. The win is historic as it’s the first ever Top 16 game win by a German club.

Alba was lead by Nihad Djedovic’s 20 points, 8 rebounds, and a PIR of 26 on the night. Yassin Idbihi added 11 points, and Zach Morley and Dashaun Wood both dropped in 10.

Bostjan Nachbar’s 15 points paced Brose, while Casey Jacobsen contributed 13 points.

Caja Laboral – FC Barcelona Regal, 79:90
Caja Laboral entered Thursday’s contest riding a 17-game winning streak that crossed the Spain ACB and Euroleague, but on this day Barcelona Regal was too much to handle as the fellow Spanish club came to Vitoria and handed their hosts a 79:90 loss. The result brings the two clubs together in the Group F standings at 4-1, behind Montepaschi Siena, who is currently 4-0 and scheduled to square off against last place and winless Besiktas JK Istanbul on Friday.

In front of a crowd estimated at over 15,000, Regal’s Juan Carlos Navarro made Euroleague history on Thursday dropping in his 3,000th point in the first quarter.

The hosts earned a slight lead after the first 10, but gave it up in the second to head into the intermission down 47:50. Regal used a 3:12 run in the third frame to put some distance between the two clubs and finish the front 30 with a 60:69 Barcelona advantage.

Caja got themselves back in the game early in the fourth by tallying the first eight points, but then Regal countered with a 2:14 run to close the door on their hosts’ winning streak.

Pete Mickeal was game-high with 23 points for Barcelona, Joe Ingles added 12, and Navarro and Ante Tomic dropped in 11 each.

Maciej Lampe paced the Caja effort with 21 points and 11 rebounds, Fernando San Emeterio contributed 14 off the bench and Nemanja Bjelica added 11.

Fenerbahce Ulker – BC Khimki Moscow Region, 85:82
Fenerbahce Ulker treated the 4,300 fans that showed up at the Fenerbahce Ulker Sports Arena to their first victory in this season’s Top 16 play with an 85:82 victory that had fans on the ends of their seats right to the end with the clubs scoring a combined 47 points in the final quarter.

Khimki got the early advantage, opening up with a 17:19 margin after the first quarter and extending that slightly to 36:40 in the second. The hosts got the lead back in the third frame, outscoring Khimki 20:14 to head into the final 10 up 56:54.

Fenerbachce stayed out front for the better part of the quarter, with the exception of a few occasions that Khimki drew even. With just under a minute to play Bo McCalebb was sent to the line twice, splitting his singles both times to put the hosts up 79:74. Zoran Planinic was fouled on his way to the hole, split the free throws, but got the rebound kicked back to him and he drained a triple for a four-point play, cutting the gap to one, 79:78 with 26 seconds to play. A series of quick fouls both ways started a free throw shooting contest, with the hosts getting the advantage. Petteri Koponen turned the ball over for Khimki with 13 seconds left, down 83:80. Another foul on the inbounds and two more singles put the game out of reach for Fenerbahce, who improves to 1-4, while Khimki drops to 2-3.

Bojan Bogdanovic was game-high with 26 points, accounting for a PIR of 27. David Andersen added 18.

Khimki was led by Planinic’s 25 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and PIR of 32. Paul Davis added 12 points and 5 rebounds.

Group E

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Group F

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