Euroleague Home Club Sweep, Greens Upset

Week 1 of the Euroleague Top 16 is in the books with the completion of Day 2 matches. It’s been a thrilling week as the Euroleague Top 16 got underway and Friday was no exception with three home club victories and what many would consider an upset in Athens as the Panathinaikos Greens outlasted Zalgiris Kaunas 67:66 in a contest that wasn’t decided until the final shot at the buzzer. CSKA Moscow picked up their first win with a decisive decision over Anadolu Efes, 90:71 and FC Barcelona Regal pounded Fenerbahce Ulker, 100:78. Ante Tomic of Regal tallied up a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds (adding five assists) and a performance index ratio of 27, which should be enough to make him the MVP of the week.

Panathinaikos – Zalgiris Kaunas, 67:66
Panathinaikos welcomed Euroleague regular season Group C winner Zalgiris to the O.A.K.A. and a crowd estimated at 16,000, coming away with a huge 67:66 win.
The Greens found that their recent acquisition of Jason Kapono was more than worth the wait as the American dropped in a game-high 16 points on four of six shooting from behind the arc. The also had to play the last three quarters of the contest without floor leader Dimitris Diamantidis, who went out with an injury early on. The hosts got out to an early lead, taking the first quarter 22:13. In the second Zalgiris cut that gap to two with a 3:10 run, but Kapono put the team on his shoulders and ran off 11 unanswered points of his own with three consecutive three-balls and a baseline jumper, followed up with another jumper from teammate Jonas Maciulis to finish off a 13:0 run for the hosts. The clubs traded hoops to close out the half, giving Panathinaikos a 10-point advantage heading into the dressing rooms, 43:33. The Lithuanian club cut the margin in half in the third frame to set up a thrilling final 10. The visitors opened the last quarter with a 2:10 run to take a 56:59 lead with less than half the frame to complete, but Panathinaikos pulled even at 66 with just over a minute to play. On a Greens possession they worked the ball around until they found a wide-open Stephane Lasme under the basket. As he went up for the shot, Tremmell Darden got his arm on the ball from the top to block the shot. The official standing directly in front of the play on the baseline signaled a jump ball, the official standing on the right wing called a foul, which sent Lasme to the line for two shots. In what would prove to be the game-winner, he split the pair to give the hosts a 67:66 lead. Zalgiris would get a chance for a final shot with 6.7 seconds left. With the ball in Popovic’s hands he drove the lane and looked like he was going to toss up a 12-foot floater, but dumped it to Darjus Lavrinovic just inside the arc and his jumper hit off the front of the rim, giving Panathinaikos their first win of the Top 16. Kapono led the Greens with 16, Lasme and Michael Bramos added 15 to the winning effort. K. Lavrinovic dropped in 13 for Zalgiris and Darden added 12.

CSKA Moscow – Anadolu Efes Istanbul, 90:71
CSKA Moscow got their trip through Group E off to a positive start with a 90:71 victory over Anadolu Efes in front of an estimated 4,200 friendlies at the Universal Sports Hall in Moscow Friday. Efes gave their hosts a game through three quarters, playing even through the first half (42:42) and dropping to a five-point deficit at the end of three, 63:58. CSKA got consecutive baskets from Sonny Weems (three-pointer) and Nenad Krstic (jump hook in the paint) to double the margin to 10. Seems dropped in four more on a pair of singles and a deuce and closed off a 19:2 run that put the contest on ice as the hosts continued to build the advantage through the end. Weems and Krstic dropped in 22 each, with 24 and 25 PIR, respectively. Jordan Farmar tallied 24 points and a 25 PIR for Efes.

FC Barcelona Regal – Fenerbahce Ulker, 100:78
FC Barcelona Regal completed the home win trio on Day 2 with a 100:78 pounding of Fenerbahce Ulker in Barcelona. Regal got out to a 24:13 advantage after the first 10 and extended the lead to 19 at the half, 54:35. The two played even in the third to head into the final frame 79:60. Barcelona added three more to their advantage in the fourth to wrap up the 22-point win. Ante Tomic paced Regal with 12 points and 11 rebounds to complete the game with a PIR of 27 and lead the week. Marcelinho Huertas and Juna Carlos Navarro dripped in 14 each to lead the scoring for Barcelona, but the hosts had six players in double figures. Bojan Bogdanovic had a game-high 19 points for Ulker and Romain Sato dropped in 15 points and a PIR of 21.

Group E

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Group F

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