Euroleague: Siena tops Olympiacos, sits at 4-0

For fans that like watching blow out hoop contests, this week had some of the best Euroleague play of the season. If not, then the game that did it for you was the last game on the schedule; the one that wasn’t decided until the last seconds of the competition when Montepaschi’s Bobby Brown took the ball coast-to-coast and dropped it in with 1.7 seconds to beat defending Euroleague champion Olympiacos Piraeus on their home court.

BC Khimki MR – Maccabi Electra, 88:67
BC Khimki Moscow Region earned the only home win of the week when they pounded Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, 88:67, to push their record to 3-1. It also gave Electra another set back in this leg of the Euroleague journey, dropping them to 1-3 on the Top 16.

Khimki was playing with a group of athletes that earlier in the week announced that they were officially on strike over unpaid wages, but they committed to playing on Friday citing that the team was bigger then players and that they all know that they have the opportunity to put together an season to remember. They practiced on their own and they showed up at the Basketball Center of Moscow Region looking to improve their record and stay within reach of the Group leaders. Arguably the team members had extra motivation to send a message to the club management and local politicians that have been working on a resolution, that the squad is a contender.

Maccabi got out to an early led, building a 19:25 advantage in the first quarter, but then Khimki took complete control of the contest in the second frame. Building off a 16:0 run the hosts covered the six-point deficit from the front 10 and added 12 points to the left side of the board to head into the break up 46:34.

The third stanza was much of the same as the second, with the hosts kicking on 12 more points to their lead, they put Maccabi in a 20-point hole to dig out of that they had no chance of covering in the last quarter.

Kelvin Rivers led Khimki with 20 points, Paul Davis added 16 points and 9 rebounds to put together a PIR of 29 on the game. Petteri Koponen contributed 15 to the win.

Lior Eliyahu dropped in 17 for Maccabi, Shawn James added 14 and Devin Smith tallied 12.

Fenerbahce Ulker – Caja Laboral, 75:97
Caja Laboral became the fourth undefeated team in the Euroleague Top 16 with a 22-point rout of Fenerbahce Ulker at Ulker Sports Arena. The win improves Caja to 4-0, while the loss puts Fenerbahce against the wall with a 0-4 record and a matchup in Week 5 with Khimki.

With the score knotted at 28 three minutes into the second quarter, Caja put together an impressive scoring run that put the game away. When the half was over they had outscored their hosts 4:20 and owned a 32:48 advantage.

In the third Ulker put together a solid quarter early on and cut 13 points off their deficit, only to have the visitors get it all back by the time the horn sounded to end the third, 51:71. Caja cruised to the win in the final frame, even looking at times like they were just going through the motions, but every time Ulker picked up a couple of back-to-back buckets Caja would turn up the heat and get the points back.

The story of the game was Caja dropping in 11 of 24 (45.8%) from behind the arc, while Fenerbahce could only connect on 4 of 15 (26.7%). The visitors also out rebounded their hosts 36-23 on the night.

Andres Nocioni was game-high with 19, Nemanja Bjelica added 16, and Fernando San Emeterio and Maciej Lampe added 13 each.

Bojan Bogdanovic and Emir Preldzic paced Fenerbahce with 16 each.

Olympiacos Piraeus – Montepaschi Siena, 72:74
Not much more should be said than – 72:74 at Peach and Friendship Stadium, Siena 4-0…

The defending champions fall to 1-3 on the loss, while Siena becomes one of four that are currently undefeated.

The host club got out to the early advantage, winning the initial frame 25:20. Siena used an 0:8 run to take the second 10, 11:18, and head into the dressing room at the half up by two, 36:38.

The largest margin either team could come up with in the third quarter was the three points that Siena had with less than a minute left. Piraeus cut that to one with a lay-up right before the buzzer to set up the final 10 with the lights showing the guests up 51:52.

The forth quarter was much the same with lead changes, dunks, layups, triples, jumpers, they were all in there. Neither team was capable of extending a lead larger than three points, until Vassilis Sanoulis decided he had had enough and took over for his club. After Siena’s Daniel Hackett cut the middle and dropped in a layup to knot the score at 67, Spanoulis drained a three-ball to put the champs up, 70:67. Hackett had a rough time the next trip down the court coming up empty on a triple, then getting fouled and missing both singles. Spanoulis came down and sank a deuce to push the gap to five-points, 72:67, with under a minute to play. Siena’s Tomas Ress countered immediately with a dunk to cut the lead back to three.

With 19 ticks on the clock, Montepaschi’s Bobby Brown looked to even the score with a long-ball. He didn’t connect, but Pero Antic did, with Brown, committing a personal foul behind the arc, sending the last guy you want to put on the charity stripe, on the charity stripe, for three shots. After Brown cooly connected on all three of his singles, he increased his Top 16 streak of free throws to 29 and bumped his season numbers at the line to 85 of 94 (90.4%). With the score tied and 19 seconds left, Olympiacos set up for their final shot. The hosts worked the ball around and got it into Kyle Hines, who missed a layup that was snagged by Brown with mere seconds left on the clock. He took off down the right side of the court, got a step on his defender and got the layup to fall through the cords with the clock reading 1.7 to play. The hosts got the ball in Law’s hands, who had enough time for a catch and shoot, but Hackett got a hand up and blocked Law’s attempt, giving Siena a huge road victory.

Brown knocked down 22 points and dished off six assists, Hackett contributed 11 points and Ress accounted for 10.

Olympiacos got 13 from both Spanoulis and Hines, who also nabbed nine rebounds.

Group E

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