Euroleague Regular Season, Friday recaps

Euroleague Regular SeasonThe third Friday of Euroleague Regular Season action this year was heavily weighted toward Group A, with a full schedule of contests in the group. There was excitement in the other groups though with six games in Europe’s premier competition to close the week and Round 3.

In Group A, Real Madrid was stunned again as Fenerbahce downed the champions, while Khimki got back to winning ways by thumping Crvena Zvezda. Also in action in Group A were FC Bayern Munich, the Germans too good for Strasbourg at home.

In Group B Olympiacos defeated Milan on the road, in Group C Lokomotiv stayed unbeaten, and in Group D Unicaja Malaga cruised.

Group A

Khimki Moscow Region vs. Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, 91-53
After losing a week ago, current Eurocup champs Khimki Moscow Region stormed back by demolishing Serbian champions Red State Belgrade. The Russian hosts put nearly 40 points on their opponents in a devastating school of Basketball. Khimki was consistent through the nets, but a formidable defensive display was what caught the eye. The hosts allowed Crvena Zvezda Belgrade just 36 points in the last thirty minutes of play, while pouring in 79 points at the other end.

The visitors focused on danger man Tyrese Rice, but Khimki’s other stars stepped up, including James Augustine with 14 points and Zoran Dragic with 12 points.

Only one Belgrade player registered in double figures, but in Maik Zirbes the Serbian team has one of the early stars of the Euroleague Regular season. Zirbes hit a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Fenerbahce Istanbul vs. Real Madrid, 77-66
Fenerbahce stumbled to defeat last week, but got right back on track by defeating Euroleague champions Real Madrid in Istanbul. The champs are having a shaky start to their title defense, and while Madrid will be ok in the long run, their shoddy form now will breed confidence in other teams. Los Blancos could never quite get in the game as Fener opened a 39-32 lead through halftime and then just shut Real Madrid out, tying the third act 24-24 and then winning the fourth frame 14-10 to seal a huge win in the hunt for qualification.

Ekpe Udoh and Luigi Dotome helped themselves to 15 points apiece to pace Fenerbahce, while Bogdan Bogdanovic added 12 points in victory.

Felipe Reyes kept Madrid ticking with 15 points, but he was the only player for the visitors to break the double digit mark.

FC Bayern Munich vs. Strasbourg, 76-61
Bayern Munich proved too strong for Strasbourg in Bavaria with the Germans enjoying a good workout in front of their own fans. Victory gives Bayern a tie for top spot in Group A with Khimiki and Fenerbahce, all three clubs locked on 2-1. Strasbourg’s Round 1 win has quickly turned into two consecutive losses and the French club will have to get back in the hunt. Munich just edged the first half 31-29 but in the second half the Germans pulled away, snatching the third quarter 23-18 and then putting Strasbourg to the sword with a 2-14 flourish in the fourth.

Djedovic Nihad topped Bayern with 22 points, followed by Dusko Savanovic who drained 18 points through the nets.

Vladimir Golubovic also plundered 22 points to keep the visitors in the game, while Louis Campbell added 11 points.

Group B

EA7 Emporio Armani Milan vs. Olympiacos Piraeus, 66-71
Olympiacos moved to 2-1 in Group B with a solid road win over an always fighting EA7 Milan. Both teams opened well and were consistent at the bucket, but it was the Italian hosts who led 23-20 at the first split. Greek giant Olympiacos hit back in the second stanza with a 14-19 run that handed the Piraeus outfit a 37-39 advantage through the long break. The back and forth nature of the contest continued in the third as Milan retook the lead at 54-52 at the final break. The hosts could not sustain the momentum as Olympiacos added another 19 points, which was enough to break the Milan hold on the game.

Patric Young topped the winners with 18 points, while Georgios Printezis claimed 16 points and 6 rebounds. Vassilis Spanoulis was back to his deadly best with 14 points and 4 assists.

Alessandro Gentile is the jewel in the Milan crown and he helped himself to a game high 24 points.

Group C

Stelmet Zielona Gora vs. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, 75-83
Lokomotiv’s spiffing start to the Euroleague Regular Season continued as the Russians traveled to Stelmet Zielona Gora and downed the Polish champions. The victory kept Lokomotiv in sole possession of first place in Group C with an unblemished 3-0 record, with only CSKA Moscow joining them as unbeaten in the competition. As for Gora, they are in the opposite situation, without a win. The hosts edged the first frame 15-13, but Lokomotiv Kuban soon took control and over the next two stanzas amassed a 57-59 lead. It was open in the fourth, but the Russian guests edged it with 24 points in the closing ten minutes.

Malcolm Delaney was deadly for the winners, streaming in 25 points. Victor Claver added 13 points, while also pulling 8 rebounds of the glass.

Dee Bost and Vlad Moldoveanu both secured 15 points in the losing effort.

Group D

Unicaja Malaga vs. Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul, 81-69
The experience of Unicaja Malaga told over Darussafaka, with the Spanish team putting together a professional performance to grab an easy home win. The Istanbul club took the lead through ten minutes (16-20), but Malaga woke up in the second and showed there was a gulf in class to lead 44-37 at the midway buzzer. In the third the Spanish team used a 20-16 winning margin to extend to 64-53 after thirty minutes, and then tied the game up with a professional fourth act display.

Edwin Jackson led Unicaja Malaga with 18 points.

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