We are getting to the business end of the Regular Season in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and each game is becoming vital. On Thursday, Khimki Moscow Region will host Milan in a bid to enhance its position. Maccabi Tel Aviv travels to bottom club Anadolu Efes with 8th place on the line, while Valencia hosts Baskonia in an important all-Spanish game. Finally, Real Madrid welcomes Panathinaikos in a game both club could do with winning.
Khimki Moscow Region vs. AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
Khimki Moscow Region (14-10) lost last week, but will have the comforts of home against struggling Milan (8-16), although the Italian champs did win last week. Indeed, Khimki has won its last three games at home and will be looking to continue that run. Milan is on the edge of elimination, but showed last week it is willing to put in the effort despite playing just for pride. Despite this, the hosts will look to Alexey Shved to push the Italians aside with his talismanic scoring (22.0 ppg).
Anadolu Efes Istanbul vs. Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
Both of these teams lost last week, but are in different situations. Former Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champ Maccabi Tel Aviv (12-12) needs a win to stop a two-game losing streak and continue to stay in the hunt for the play-offs. Anadolu Efes (6-18) is bottom of the standings and are all but eliminated. Only playing to stop the humiliation of finishing last remains for the Turkish club, and the acquisition of Sonny Weems may help. Weems drained 18 points on his debut and makes this an interesting game where either team could win.
Valencia Basket vs. Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz
Valencia (9-15) is fighting for its Turkish Airlines EuroLeague future with qualification hopes fading. A win over Bamberg a week ago helped and the Spanish champs will need to put together a run to make the play-offs. Baskonia (11-13) is also outside the qualification positions, albeit with more breathing space. In this all-Spanish game, one club will put itself into a better position to fight for the coveted 8th place.
Real Madrid vs. Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens
A huge game between two EuroLeague winners and icons. Both clubs are currently knotted for fifth place, but the winner here will take sole possession of the position. Madrid (14-10) and Panathinaikos (14-10) are in poor form, with Los Blancos winning just one of its last four and Panathinaikos winning just two from seven. Both clubs need a win, so expect this to be a huge game.