Three games on Thursday opened the second half of the Euroleague Top 16 stage, with all clubs now on the back straight to reach the quarter-finals. Everything is still to play for, but games are running out and some clubs are pushing themselves further into contention for qualification.
Arguably the form team of the Euroleague Top 16 this season, Fenerbahce continued to look good for the Quarter finals with a win over Cedevita Zagreb at home in Group E.
In Group F, Real Madrid hosted Olympiacos in a clash of Euroleague titans, a game that went in favor of Madrid and could go a long way to sending the current champs to the next round. Another giant on course for the Quarter-finals is CSKA Moscow, the VTB United League champs took apart Brose Baskets Bamberg in the Russian capital.
Fenerbahce Istanbul vs. Cedevita Zagreb, 86-73
Turkish giant Fenerbahce fuelled talk that this could be a Euroleague title winning season by outgunning Cedevtia Zagreb in Istanbul to remain unbeaten in the Top 16 (5-0). Zagreb was on the back of a solid run at this stage, but had not answer for a Fener team that unloaded a 24-12 run in the fourth quarter to kill a game in which the hosts had controlled large spells.
Luigi Datome scored 19 points to pace the win, while Ekpe Udoh added 17 points, and Jan Vesely 12 points. Ricky Hickman and Kosta Sloukas both scored 11 points.
Miro Bilan and James White topped Cedevita with 13 points, with Jacob Pullen trailing close with 12 points.
Real Madrid vs. Olympiacos, 84-72
This clash between two Euroleague Top 16 veterans and multiple title winners was huge, with both teams struggling for consistent form. Current champs Real Madrid used home advantage to take the win and put itself back on track with a 3-2 record, while Greek club Olympiacos slipped to 2-3 and has to dig deep from here. Madrid was cruising 63-48 through three quarters but the Spanish team allowed the visitors back into the contest in the fourth. However, Los Blancos held on to cruise in the closing minutes.
Sergio Lull led the win with 18 points, while Gustavo Ayon had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Felipe Reyes and Sergio Rodriguez also logged 11 points in the victory.
Othello Hunter also claimed a double-double in the losing effort, tabbing 14 points and 11 boards. Daniel Hackett was also good for 14 points for Olympiacos.
CSKA Moscow vs. Brose Baskets Bamberg, 90-71
CSKA returned to home comforts, with the Russian giant hot at home this season. The club proved it with a huge win over Brose Baskets Bamberg that put the defeat to Laboral Kutxa Vitoria last week to rest. The hosts scored 55 points in the first half, including an impressive 30-11 second quarter built from a 13-0 run that made it 55-34 through the long break. CSKA continued to dominate in the third act, the lead reaching 28 points. It was enough to let the Russians shit out Bamberg in the fourth act.
Nando De Colo managed 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists in the win, followed by Milos Teodosic with 14 points and 6 scoring passes.
Nikos Zisis led the downed German visitors with 12 points, while Bradley Wanamaker and Elias Harris logged 11 points apiece.