Round 4 of the 2013/2014 Euroleague was completed on Friday night as teams from Group A and Group C took to the court. There were few surprises on the night as in form team Fenerbahce continued to lay down a claim on the Euroleague title with a tricky road win over Partizan NIS Belgrade. Elsewhere in Group A, Barcelona recovered from last week´s loss to record a morale boosting victory over CSKA Moscow and Nanterre run out comfortable winners against Kiev.
In Group C, reigning two time champions Olympiacos defeated Italian champions Siena on the road, while Bayern Munich continued to surprise with an energetic home win over Malaga. Lastly Galatasaray took a closely fought road win against Gora.
Partizan NIS Belgrade – Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, 78:88
Turkish Powerhouse Fenerbahce have started this year´s competition on fire and this win over Partizan Belgrade put the Istanbul club 4-0 at the top of Group A. Partizan made this a closer game than form suggested it would be, but ultimately fell to one of the league´s best teams and the club now sits bottom of the group with a 1-3 record.
The game started well for the Serbian club as the team snatched the first period 17-13 and increased the deficit by half-time to 38-30. In the second half Fenerbahce increased the tempo in the third quarter by knocking down 30 points to Partizan´s 19. In the fourth the Turkish team hit a further 28 points to seal a double digit turnaround and the win.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 26 points; Bo McCalebb (178 cm, New Orleans´08) hit 14 points for Fener, while Nemanja Bjelica added 12.
Joffrey Lauvergne was the standout player on the night; the Partizan power forward recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
FC Barcelona – CSKA Moscow, 79:70
Barcelona steadied the ship on Friday night with a win over Russian giants CSKA Moscow. The win levels Barcelona´s rocky form and puts their Group A record at 2-2, while CSKA´s defeat also places them on 2-2 in the standings.
It was the Russian giants who got off to the better start, claiming the first 10 minutes by 20 points to 18 and by the midway buzzer CSKA led by five with the scoreboard reading 35-40. However, Barcelona emerged for the third quarter like a new team and put 17 points on the board to Moscow´s 2 to put the scores at 52-42 heading into the last period. During the fourth Barcelona kept cool despite a brief rally from CSKA Moscow to take the spoils.
Veteran guard Juan Carlos Navarro led the way for FCB with 20 points, while Marcelinho Huertas chipped in with 16 and Ante Tomic recorded 13 points and 7 rebounds.
Vladimir Micov posted 14 points for Moscow.
JSF Nanterre – Budivelnyk Kiev, 80:61
Nanterre proved last week´s surprise victory over Barcelona was no fluke as the French team once again won at home. The victory over Kiev put the team at 2-2 in Group A, a standing that looks much better than the 0-2 from just two weeks ago. Budivelnyk Kiev continues to struggle in this season’s competition and the defeat sees the team slip to 1-3.
Nanterre recorded the biggest margin of the night and it was the home team that emerged quickly from the tip off. Indeed the opening quarter was played with stunning intensity from the French team as the players opened up a huge 27-8 after the first 10 minutes. That period proved the foundation for the rest of the game as Nanterre powered forward in the second quarter to reach half-time leading Kiev 51-23. The Ukrainian team organized defensively in the second half but it was never enough to catch the home side.
Forward Will Daniels (203 cm, Rhode Island´08) contributed 14 points for the winners, with Je’Kel Foster (194 cm, Ohio State´06) netting 12 points.
DaJuan Summers (203 cm, Georgetown´09) nailed 12 points for Kiev.
Montepaschi Siena – Olympiacos, 62-70
Olympiacos recorded a fourth straight victory on Friday in a low scoring game against Montepaschi Siena. The victory puts the Greek giants and reigning champions at 4-0 at the top of Group C while Montepaschi´s disappointing start to the European season continues as the Italian club slipped to 0-4.
Olympiacos started the evening on a high and by time the first quarter ended at the Nelson Mandela Forum the Greek team held a lead of 20-11. A 16-12 run in the second 10 minutes put the champions in command as they went into the changing rooms with the scoreboard reading 23-36 in favour of the Greek club.
Montepaschi Siena recovered in the second half and won both the third and fourth quarters, but the margins were too small to trouble the lead Olympiacos had amassed in the first half and the Greeks emerged victorious.
The match proved a low scoring affair as no player from either team came away with double figures.
Stelmet Zielona Gora – Galatasaray, 75:78
Turkish club Galatasaray came through a tough test away to Polish team Stelmet ZG in the closest game of the night. The result puts Gala at 2-2 in Group C while Euroleague debutants Stelmet fall to 1-3 after a poor start to the campaign.
The game proved to be a narrow encounter throughout, but Turkish giants Galatasaray held the lead after the first quarter by 25 to 22. It was much the same during the second 10 minutes as Galatasaray posted 18 to Gora´s 14 to lead by 43-36 at half-time. By the end of the third quarter the home team had slipped further behind with Galatasaray leading by 61 to 52. A late rally by Stelmet in the fourth put the scores even at 72 apiece before Gora went 75-72 ahead with 42 seconds on the clock. Pops Mensah-Bonsu (206 cm, George Washington´06) and Carlos Arroyo went to the line and slotted their free throws under pressure to give the visitors a narrow win.
Ersin Dagli finished top scorer with 21 points, while Mensah-Bonsu added 15 for Galatasaray.
Erving Walker was on form for Stelmet with 17 points and was aided by Vladimir Dragicevic with 13 points.
Bayern Munich – Unicaja Malaga, 82:68
Bayern Munich continued to display poise belying the clubs Euroleague inexperience as the debutant recorded a comfortable win over Spanish team Unicaja Malaga. The result puts the German team 3-1 in Group C while Malaga falls to 2-2.
The outcome was never in doubt as the BBL team went for the jugular in the first quarter and finished the ten minutes with a healthy 11 point lead (26-25). Visiting Malaga found the going tough throughout the second period as Bayern maintained the 11 point gap heading in at the buzzer. In the second half the German team continued its dominance by recording scores of 24-22 in the third and 15-14 in the fourth.
Malcolm Delaney (191 cm, Virginia Tech´11) top scored for the winner with 19 points, while Nihad Djedovic netted 16 for the home team.
A disappointing night for Malaga ended with Jayson Granger 14 points and Earl Calloway on 12.