Round six of the Euroleague Top 16 tipped off on Thursday with a near full schedule of games in Group E and just one contest in Group F. We are nearing the end of this stage of the competition, and with just two rounds left before the quarterfinals, clubs are starting to move into position for the qualification berths.
In Group E, Panathinaikos put together arguably its best road performance of the season so far to move past Cedevita Zagreb, while Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar also won on the road, destroying Unicaja Malaga. History was also made in the group as Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul grabbed its first ever Top 16 win by downing Crvena Zvezda Belgrade.
The lone contest in Group F saw Brose Baskets Bamberg stun Barcelona at home to leave the Spanish team on the brink of elimination.
Cedevita Zagreb vs. Panathinaikos Athens, 60-78
Panathinaikos Athens produced a big road win over Cedevita to join Crvena Zvezda in the fight for the final qualification spot with a 3-3 record. Zagreb is still not out of contention at 2-4, but the Croatian champs were outdone here in most departments by the Greek giants of Panathinaikos. The Greens clicked early and led 22-39 through halftime, before easing to victory in the second half, paced by Miroslav Raduljica with 21 points. Fran Pilepic topped the losing effort with 16 points.
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul vs. Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, 69-66
Darussafaka Istanbul, in its maiden Euroleague campaign, has found the Top 16 a tough prospect. However, the Turkish club finally picked up its first win at this stage with a narrow home success of Crvena Zvezda Belgrade. The win moved the club to 1-5, while the Serbian champions slipped to 3-3. It was a close game throughout, but the hosts managed to hold on at the end as Crvena Zvezda missed two attempts are triples in the closing seconds.
Unicaja Malaga vs. Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, 64-82
Unicaja Malaga’s Euroleague campaign is crumbling as the Spanish team was humbled at home by a rampant Lokomotiv, the Russians winning to move to 4-2 in the group, claiming sole possession of second place. Unicaja remains a qualification possibility, but the club must rally from 2-4 in sixth place. It was close through the long break, 32-34, but the visitors built on their slender advantage in a strong offensive school in the second half. Malcolm Delaney led the winning team with 21 points and 7 assists, while Anthony Randolph plundered 18 points for Lokomotiv.
Brose Baskets Bamberg vs. FC Lassa Barcelona, 74-70
Brose Baskets Bamberg stunned Barcelona at home to enhance its chances of reaching the last 8, the Germans move to 3-3 and are alone in the all-important fourth place, for the time being at least. As for Barcelona, the Spanish giant is now in real danger of missing out, sitting in fifth place with a dismal 2-4 record. The hosts led for long periods, but it was close in the final quarter before Bamberg edged it with two free throws at the death.