Euroleague Top 16: CSKA stuns Madrid

Euroleague Top 16The Euroleague Top 16 entered its second week for the 2015/2016 season and as always at this stage every encounter was mouthwatering. Each contest lived up to billing as there was plenty of hot hoops on display in Europe’s elite competition on Thursday.

There was just a single game in Group E, with Cedevita Zagreb claiming the spoils with a road success over Darussafaka Istanbul.

A quiet Group E meant a near full schedule in Group F, with the pick of games seeing CSKA Moscow crush Real Madrid at home in a clash of Euroleague Top 16 giants. Elsewhere Olympiacos stayed unbeaten with an away win over Laboral Kutxa Vitoria, and Barcelona swamped Khimki Moscow Region at home to kick start its Top 16 campaign.

Group E
Darussafaka Istanbul vs. Cedevita Zagreb, 72-79
The sole game in Group E saw Cedevita Zagreb grab its first Euroleague Top 16 win with a road success over winless Darussafaka of Istanbul. The hosts had carved a 26-19 lead through ten minutes, but the Zagreb guests struck back in the second frame and headed into halftime with a 39-40 lead. In the third act Darussafaka restored parity with a 19-18 run that locked the scoreboard through thirty minutes, 58-58. In the deciding fourth quarter Henry Walker drained from downtown with 33 seconds left and the visitors moved to victory.

Jacob Pullen produced the offensive impetus with 25 points and 5 assists, while Walker added 13 points and Miro Bilan went close to a double-double with 11 points and 9 rebounds.

Semih Erden topped the losing effort with 13 points, followed by Scottie Wilbekin with 12 points and Manuchar Markoishvili with 11 points.

Group B
CSKA Moscow vs. Real Madrid, 95-81
In a contest between two clubs looking to the title, CSKA Moscow crushed reigning champs Real Madrid in the Russian capital. Madrid has been shaky at home and abroad this season, while CSKA seems to have the edge when it counts and will be dreaming of the title after this Euroleague Top 16 success. Early day’s maybe, but CSKA looked slick here, staying one step ahead of Los Blancos with solid offensive plays. Indeed, the Army Men managed to top 20 points in each quarter to seal a message sending win, while putting one over an old rival is always welcome.

Nando De Colo put in a scoring school as he plundered 28 points, while also finding the time to dish out 7 scoring passes. Milos Teodosic was also good for 7 assists on his way to a 23 points haul, while Kyle Hines offered 14 points from the bench.

K.C. Rivers kept Madrid fighting with 23 points, and Gustavo Ayon doubled up with 14 points and 10 boards.

Laboral Kutxa Vitoria vs. Olympiacos, 76-82
Olympiacos remains the only unblemished club in Group B after coming away from Vitoria with a road win. The Greek giant built the victory thanks to a strong first half, winning the opening frame 18-24 and the second stanza 16-19 for a 34-43 lead through the long break. Laboral Kutxa Vitoria rallied in the third act with a 22-19 winning period, but Olympiacos had the legs and a locked 20-20 fourth quarter meant the visitors left Spain in celebratory mood.

Vassilis Spanoulis turned back the clock with a vintage display that yielded 19 points for the winners, while Othello Hunter produced 17 points, Georgios Printezis 15 points, and Vangelis Mantzaris 13 points.

Mike James led Vitoria with 16 points and Ioannis Bourousis had a quite game but still managed 12 points and 7 rebounds.

Barcelona vs. Khimki Moscow Region, 87-70
After losing last week Barcelona was under a cloud, while Khimki was flying high thanks to its victory over CSKA Moscow. Ironic it was then that roles would be reversed here as Barcelona thrived and thumped Khimki in Spain to collect its first Top 16 win of the season. The hosts poured in 49 points during an impressive first half, which was just as easy on the eye in defence as Khimki managed just 29 points. Barca’s 20 point advantage was too much for the visitors and in the second half Barcelona eased to success.

Juan Carlos Navarro and Pau Ribas turned it one for Barca with 14 points each, while Tomas Satoransky added 13 points and Ante Tomic 12 points.

Tyrese Rice kept it respectable for Khimki with 14 points and 7 assists, followed by Alexey Shved with 13 points.

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