After a really interesting opening to Round 5 of the Euroleague Top 16 on Thursday, there was plenty to live up to on Friday, with three games wrapping the week’s action. While not throwing up as many clear talking points as yesterday, Friday managed to keep the quality high as Barcelona got back on track with a home win over Zalgiris Kaunas.
In the other games, Panathinaikos Athens had too much for Galatasaray in their Group E clash, while Group F was concluded for another week with Fenerbahce piling the misery on an out of sorts Unicaja Malaga.
After two defeats in the opening three rounds, Barcelona has got back into the groove over the last two weeks to win a couple on the trot. The Spanish giant moved to 3-2 and a share for third place in Group E with a comfortable 89-72 home win over Zalgiris Kaunas at home. As for the Lithuanian visitors, Zalgiris has plenty of work to do and will have to close the Euroleague Top 16 on fire to stand a chance of qualifying.
An 18-2 run in the first quarter set Barcelona on the road to victory and a 29-13 lead after ten minutes. From there the Catalan giant strode to victory and picked up 87.1% (27 from 31) buckets from the charity strip. Ante Tomic was once again the go to guy for Barca in defence and attack, grabbing 16 points and 9 boards through the contest.
Panathinaikos Athens kept pace with Barcelona and moved to 3-2, putting away the memory of last week’s defeat at Real Madrid. The Greek club downed Galatasaray 86-77 to send the Turkish club to sixth place with a 2-3 record. The visitors did well to keep pace with Panathinaikos, but The Greens were hot at the bucket as a collective, with six players for the Greek hosts registering double figures on the final scoreboard. Antonis Fotsis grabbed a double-double in the winning effort, taking 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Unicaja Malaga’s pursuit of a first Euroleague Top 16 win this season goes on as the Spanish club slipped to a fifth consecutive defeat. Malaga has now lost ten games on the spin in this competition and is in the Top 16 thanks to a blistering start to the campaign. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul scraped by the Spanish club with a 60-68 road win on Friday. Fenerbahce’s win pushed the Turkish team to 3-2 with the same record as compatriot Anadolu Efes Istanbul, making next week’s clash between the two clubs all the more interesting.