Round 17 of the 2018-19 season in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague tipped off on Tuesday with five games. Hands down, the most important result was Khimki Moscow Region’s 84-78 upset win over Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul. The league leader’s 12-game win streak, a club record, was snapped by a resurgent Khimki club. Fenerbahce still manages to cling to the pole position with their 15-2 record but have Real Madrid nipping at their heels in second place with their 14-3 slate. The win was no fluke though, Khimki has been building some steam lately, winning three of their last four games. It just was an unexpected result coming from the 11th-placed Moscow franchise.
Jan Vesely played well for Fenerbahce, as expected, delivering 17 points, four rebounds and three assists. Fenerbahce got an unexpected boost off the bench from Melih Mahmutoglu, who exploded for a team-high 18 points, accounting for four of the team’s seven total 3-pointers in the game.
Khimki played smart and relied on solid teamwork to successfully defend their homecourt. No player scored more than 13 points (Stefan Markovic), but the burden of putting up points on the box score was even distributed with four players hitting double figures and three others scoring nine points. Even with the 18 points from Mahmutoglu, Khimki’s reserves still managed to outscore Fenerbahce’s by a significant margin, proving once again that an unselfish approach in offense, partnered with sound defense shines as a recipe for success.
In the other games, Real Madrid defeated Herbalife Gran Canaria 67-75 in an all-Spanish affair. Anadolu Efes, now in third place, dropped Zalgiris Kaunas in a convincing blowout, 58-79. Olympiacos improves to 11-6 after beating Kirolbet Baskonia Vitoria 91-87.