Five games closed Round 20 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague on Friday and we can now look ahead to the final ten games of the Regular Season. After two-thirds of the season, the standings have taken shape and the form of teams is mostly set. However, there is still plenty to play for as each club fights for a place in the next round where they will play knockout hoops.
CSKA Moscow vs. Brose Bamberg, 81-72
CSKA Moscow solidified its position at the top of the standings further with a routine win over Bamberg in the Russian capital. The win leaves the Army Men with a 16-4 record, two wins ahead of any other club. Bamberg is up and down all season and drops to 7-13 on this loss. The visitors actually led 18-19 after ten minutes, but CSKA roared back with a 21-11 second quarter and a 39-30 halftime lead. From there, the hosts controlled the game as the teams tied the second half 45-45.
Fenerbahce Istanbul vs. Barcelona, 86-82
In a clash of two Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champs, it was highlighted the contrast between these giants. Reigning title holder Fenerbahce picked up a win to move to 14-6 record in second place, a consecutive title is not out of the question. Former champ Barcelona is as far away as it has been in years. After a shocking 2017, the team has not picked up this year. The transition period continues and Barca now drops to 7-13. Still, this was a close game as Barcelona rallied in the fourth quarter to make it interesting down the straight.
Crvena Zvezda Belgrade vs Olympiacos Piraeus, 89-78
Olympiacos has started 2018 in awful form. Just three weeks ago the club was joint top of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, but has since lost three from four. On this loss, the Greek former champ slips to 13-7 in third place. As for Crvena Zvezda, a tough season continues, but here the team played well and moves to 8-12. The hosts already led 43-34 through the long break but was pegged back by a massive 14-29 Olympiacos charge in the third act. The visitors led 57-63 after thirty minutes, but Crvena Zvezda drained 32 points and stopped the Greek contingent at 15 points in the fourth quarter. That was enough to wrestle the momentum and take the win.
Valencia Basket vs. Khimki Moscow Region, 85-83
Valencia picked up an important win over dark horse Khimki. This victory send the Spanish champs to 7-13 alongside a growing number of clubs. As for Khimki, the club continues to operate in the upper reaches of the league despite the loss, now on an 11-9 record in seventh place. The visitors were up 63-64 after three periods, and it stayed tight in the fourth. However, Valencia shaded at the end as Khimki failed to convert a free throw plus rebound score play in the final second.
Milan vs. Maccabi Tel Aviv, 102-111
Italian champs Milan are a good scoring team, but often lack in defence. This was highlighted in an all-time EuroLeague classic on Friday. Through four quarters, Milan and former winners Maccabi Tel Aviv conspired to score 213 points between them. Tel Aviv won the game as both teams threw caution to the wind and treated fans to all the action at the bucket. This was the highest scoring EuroLeague game in over half a decade, and was the fifth highest non-overtime haul in competition history.