FC Barcelona becomes first team to officially qualify for the EuroLeague playoffs

FC Barcelona became the first team that officially secured its place in the EuroLeague playoffs, after Zalgiris Kaunas’ loss to Anadolu Efes.

After surviving a late thriller over arch rivals Real Madrid on Thursday (76-81), FC Barcelona improved to 21-8 and remained on top of the EuroLeague standings.

Furthermore, the defeat of Zalgiris Kaunas ensured the Catalans can’t drop outside the playoff zone in the remaining five games.

Anadolu Efes dominated Zalgiris from start to finish and cruised to an easy victory at Sinan Erdem Dome (89-62).

The Turks took a double-digit lead early in the game and exceeded to 20 points later in the first half to seal the deal, as the Lithuanians nevere recovered.

Anadolu Efes improved to 18-10 on the table, after winning its seventh straight EuroLeague game. On the other hand, Zalgiris dropped to 15-14 and is one win outside the playoff zone.

Baskonia maintained a EuroLeague playoff push, thanks to its 78-71 win over Bayern Munich at Fernando Buesa Arena.

The Basques used a 27-2 run in the third quarter to take a double-digit lead and control the game. The Bavarians came as close as six points, but couldn’t turn things around and were defeated.

Baskonia remained close to the playoff zone, improving to 15-14. On the contrary, Bayern dropped to fifth place in the EuroLeague standings, at 18-11.

Olympiacos came back from a 17-point deficit late in the first half and rallied past Zenit Saint Petersburg at home (75-61).

The “Reds” trailed by 17 (22-39) and 16 (30-46) points, respectively, but outscored their opponents 45-20 in the second half to cruise to the win.

Thanks to captain Vassilis Spanoulis’ season high (16 points), Olympiacos won its second straight EuroLeague game and remained alive in the playoff race (13-16).

On the contrary, Zenit lost for the sixth time in its last nine EuroLeague games and dropped to 16-12.

Valencia extending its home winning streak in the EuroLeague to three games, after dominating Fenerbahce (66-52).

The Spaniards relied on their defense and led for the majority of the night to cruise to the victory, as the Turks played badly offensively.

Valencia swept the EuroLeaue regular season series against Fenerbahce (2-0) and improved to 15-14. On the other hand, Fenerbahce dropped to 17-12, but remained within the EuroLeague playoff zone.

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