Euroleague: Round 13 underway

EuroleagueWe have entered the penultimate week of the Euroleague Top 16 and places in the Playoffs are starting to be snapped up. However, it is a testament to the intensity and quality of the Euroleague that there is still plenty to play for, and even during Round 14 next week, things will be decided.

On Thursday, Round 13 got underway with four contest. In Group E, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar took out Unicaja Malaga in style, while Crvena Zvezda missed its change to punch its ticket with a loss to Darussafaka Istanbul.

In Group F, the big wins continued as Barcelona ripped apart Brose Baskets Bamberg, and Khimki run hot to demolish Olympiacos.

In a twist, each game was decided by more than 15 points.

Group E

Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar vs. Unicaja Malaga, 81-60

Already qualified Lokomotiv gave already eliminated Unicaja Malags a beating in Russia on Thursday, taming the Spanish guests with a fine all-round game. The hosts kept it calm through the opening thirty minutes of the game, edging to a 62-55 lead. In the fourth act Lokomotiv exploded with a 19-5 run that took Malaga apart and secured the win. The Russians can secure second place this week if Panathinaikos loses tomorrow.

Malcolm Delaney doubled up in the win with 15 points and 10 assists in a solid offensive display. Matt Janning matched Delaney through the nets to score 15 points, while Ryan Broekhoff and Victor Claver plundered 14 points apiece.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas was the sole double digit scorer in the losing effort, grabbing a game high 16 points.

Crvena Zvezda Belgrade vs. Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul, 61-80

Crvena Zvezda has home court advantage as it looked to progress to the Euroleague Playoffs this week, but the Serbian giant blew its chance. Eliminated Darussafaka went big in the second half with nothing to lose and stunning the Serbian champions with 45 points that made it a cruise. All is not lost for Crvena Zvezda, the club is in fourth place and could progress tomorrow is Anadolu Efes Istanbul loses. If the Turkish team win, Belgrade still has its destiny in its own hands and will qualify with a win next week.

Scottie Wilbekin led the scoring with 19 points, followed by Jamon Gordon with 14 points, and Milko Bjelica with 13 points.

Quincy Miller managed 18 points and 7 boards for the hosts, while Nemanja Dangubic hit 14 points.

Group F

FC Barcelona Lassa vs. Brose Baskets Bamberg, 75-57

Barcelona’s inconsistent season fell on a good week in Round 13 it seems, with the Spanish team punishing Brose Baskets in Spain. The win enhanced Barcelona’s chances of qualification and a win over Zalgiris Kaunas next week will guarantee a Playoff berth. Bamberg can also sneak into contention next week, but needs several results to go its way. Barcelona scored 43 points in the first half, but was excellent in defence and only let in 23 points to build a lead that Bamberg never recovered from.

Alex Abrines topped the win with 13 points, while Ante Tomic and Justin Doellman hit 12 points each.

Bradley Wanamaker paced Bamberg with a game high 16 points, while he also grabbed 8 rebounds off the glass.

Khimki Moscow Region vs. Olympiacos Piraeus, 98-66

Khimki’s alarming recent form has been corrected as the Russian club tore apart former champions Olympiacos by more than thirty points. Khimki can now qualify with a win next week, and while Olympiacos is still in the hunt, its destiny is in the hands of others. Indeed, it is increasingly looking like a transitional season for the Greek giant in the Euroleague this season. Here the Piraeus club was outthought at every turn by a hungry and dangerous Khimki performance.

Petteri Koponen led the win with 21 points, while James Augustine had a double-double of 18 points and 10 boards. Alexy Shved contributed 19 points to the success.

Othello Hunter stood out for the losing effort with 14 points and 7 rebounds.

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