Round 5 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague was brought to a close over three games on Friday, following the five games on Thursday night. The big story of the evening’s action and indeed this week is that the last of the unbeaten records has fallen. Olympiacos could have topped the table outright with a win, but the Greek giant fell to a resurgent Barcelona.
It’s probably testament to the quality of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague that no elite team was able to stay unbeaten even through five rounds. Elsewhere on Friday, CSKA Moscow defeated Zalgiris, while Unicaja Malaga grabbed a much-needed with over Anadolu Efes Istanbul.
FC Barcelona Lassa vs. Olympiacos Piraeus, 73-51
A clash between two former Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champs ended unexpecdetly. Olympiacos held a 100% record heading to Catalonia to play a Barca team reeling from three consecutive defeats. However, form went out of the windows as Barcelona hit top hear and took apart the Greek visitors. The teams tied 14-14 after 10 minutes, but the hosts opened a 32-16 halftime lead and never looked back. As 24-10 fourth act where Olympiacos basically already packed its bags for Greece was merely the icing on the performance cake. Barcelona won without any individual really blitzing the nets, with Kevin Seraphin leading the way with 13 points.
CSKA Moscow vs. Zalgiris Kaunas, 94-91
CSKA Moscow joined Olympiacos, Real Madrid, and Khimki at the top of the standings with 4-1 records after taking out Zalgiris Kaunas. As for the Lithuanians, after a solid start to the season the club has now lost two on the bounce. However, it is worth noting the team showed enough in Moscow to suggest it could surprise many this campaign. CSKA led by 15 points through the long break (51-36), but Zalgiris chipped into the deficit in the third act. However, the hosts held on from the onslaught and secured the win in the final seconds. Kaunas drained 55 second half points to test CSKA to the last buzzer. Will Clyburn topped The Army Men with 26 points, while Nando De Colo doubled up with 25 points and 10 scoring passes.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul vs. Unicaja Malaga, 74-79
Anadolu Efes cannot buy a win, while Malaga got a confidence boost. That would be the story of this game. The Turkish club remains the only team without a EuroLeague win this season, while EuroCup champs Malaga secured its first victory since Round 1. Through halftime, the teams could not be separated and shared the scoreboard 35-35. A 24-18 run in the third quarter seemed to have given Efes the momentum, but Malaga stole a march in the fourth act and used a 15-26 run to stun the home crowd and take the win.