Panathinaikos - Zalgiris 67-66 Panathinaikos Athens closed Top 16 Round 1 with a thrilling win in front of 16000 fans in Arena O.A.K.A. The Greek side grabbed a 67:66 win in their opener. Panathinaikos Athens won the first two quarters and led 10 points at the halftime. Zalgiris Kaunas however did not give up and looked better in the second half although they could not win the game. Mindaugas Kuzminskas tied the game at 56:56, while Marko Popovic (185-G-82, agency: Alti Sport, college: S.Idaho JC) gave the guests 62:58 lead with 4 minutes. Marcus Banks later tied it all at 66:66 and Stephane Lasme (203-F-82, college: Massachusetts) gave Panathinaikos 1-point lead with less than a minute to play. Darjus Lavrinovic had a chance to upset 16000local fans in Greece but missed a Two Pointer with the buzzer. Jason Kapono (201-F-81, college: UCLA) top-scored for the winners with 16 points and Michael Bramos delivered 15. Stephane Lasme poured in 14, while Marcus Banks added 8. Ksistof Lavrinovic answered with 13 points in defeat, while Tremmell Darden (194-G/F-81, college: Niagara) scored 12. Paulius Jankunas added 9 and Ibrahim Jaaber notched 8.
ALBA - Real Madrid 63-77 Real Madrid celebrated the opening win at the EuroLeague Top 16 stage. The Spanish powerhouse tamed Alba in Berlin tonight to improve at 1-0 record in Group E. Sergio Llull (192-SG-87) came up with 15 points to pace the Madrid outfit. Real Madrid jumped to an early lead. The visitors unloaded 26 points in the opening quarter to take a 6-point lead. Alba cut the deficit in the second frame. Sasa Obradovic team got within four points at the interval 34:38. But Real maintained the advantage throughout the third quarter. The Spaniards entered the fourth term up by 6 points 60:54. Alba could not challenge the margin in the final period. The hosts scored just 9 points in the fourth term and surrendered at the end. Rudy Fernandez, Nikola Mirotic and Jaycee Carroll netted 13 points each for the winners. Albert Miralles (208-C-82, agency: Interperformances) answered with 14 points for Real Madrid. Je'Kel Foster (191-G-83, college: Ohio St.) had 10 points in the loss.
Unicaja - Brose Bask. 85-82 Unicaja survived a tough test against Brose Baskets to ensure the opening win at EuroLeague Top 16 stage. The Malaga outfit came from behind to edge Bamberg by three points in Group E. Marcus Williams (191-G-85, college: Connecticut) was pivotal with 19 points for the hosts. Brose Basket marked their ambitions early in the game. They went on a 19:15 run in the first term. Bamberg withheld all comeback efforts from the hosts in the second term. Brose Baskets ensured a 45:39 halftime advantage. The teams traded baskets throughout high-flying third term. The tension grew high as the teams entered the fourth frame with the visitors still up by 6 points. But Unicaja quickly denied the deficit. Marcus Williams put the hosts in front 76:74. Anton Gavel (188-PG-84, agency: Pro One Sports) answered with three free throws to regain the lead for Brose Baskets but not for long. Urtasun connected from beyond the arc to put Unicaja in charge. Sharrod Ford tied things up at 80 with a triple but Vazquez dunked the ball and then Andy Panko and Marcus Williams followed with three free throws to seal the victory for the home team. Andy Panko provided 16 points and 7 rebounds, while Luka Zoric had 9 points for the Spanish team. Sharrod Ford answered with 16 points for Brose Baskets. Anton Gavel had 15 points in the loss.
CSKA - Anadolu Efes 90-71 CSKA opened their EuroLeague Top 16 campaign with home win tonight. The Russian champions outscored Anadolu Efes in Moscow. Nenad Krstic (212-C-83) and Sonny Weems stepped up with 22 points each to pace the winners. CSKA led by just a single point after ten minutes 25:24. Anadolu Efes denied the deficit in the second frame. The Turkish team levelled things up at 42 after twenty minutes of action. CSKA managed to pull ahead in the third term. The Russian side accumulated a 5-point lead heading into the fourth frame. Sonny Weems and Nenad Krstic teamed up for 22 points in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the hosts. Milos Teodosic, Dionte Christmas and Viktor Khryapa produced 11 points each for the winners. Jordan Farmar answered with 24 points and 6 assists for Anadolu Efes. Semih Erden (211-F/C-86) and Kerem Gonlum had 9 points each in the loss.
FCB Regal - Fener.Ulker 100-78 FC Barcelona Regal handles Fenerbahce Ulker in Spain. The hosts posted a 3-digit number victory and celebrated a 100-78 win in front of almost 5000 local fans. FC Barcelona Regal played poor in ABC league, but needed to prove the fans that the team continues their winning streak in EuroLeague. They started with 24-13 in the first period and never looked behind after. The Spanish side added a 30-22 rally and enjoyed a 54:35 lead at the halftime. Both teams nailed 25 points in the third period as Barcelona led 19 points after 30 minutes. They posted a 21-18 in the last stanza as Marcelinho Huertas (191-PG-83, agency: Edge Sports) brought 100th point with 30 seconds to go. Marcelinho Huertas and Juan Carlos Navarro top-scored for the winners with 14 points each. Erazem Lorbek (209-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.), Pete Mickeal and Ante Tomic delivered 12 points each in a win. Bojan Bogdanovic delivered 19, while Romain Sato had 15 points in defeat. Mike Batiste brought 13 and Baris Ermis added 9.
Caja Laboral - Olympiacos 82-74 Caja Laboral made sure they open EuroLeague Top 16 with victory. The Basque team shot down visiting Olympiacos in Group F opener for both sides. Maciej Lampe (211-F/C-85) delivered 25 points to pace Zan Tabak team. Olympiacos looked better in the opening minutes. The Reds gained a 24:19 lead after ten minutes. Caja Laboral however managed to slow their opponents down in the second term. The hosts cut the margin at 4-point mark at the interval 40:44. Caja Laboral went off the dressing room firing from all guns. They dominated in the third term completing a 27:11 rally and taking a 12-point lead into the fourth stanza. Olympiacos stopped the bleeding but could not overcome a deep deficit losing the game at the end. Brad Oleson provided 15 points, while Thomas Heurtel (188-G-89) added 13 points and 7 assists for Caja Laboral. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) answered with 18 points for Olympiacos. Pero Antic had 13 points in the loss.
Montepaschi - Maccabi T-A 79-69 Montepaschi Siena clinched the first win in EuroLeague Top 16 round. They knocked down Maccabi Tel-Aviv at home court in Group F. Tomas Ress was responsible for 18 points in the victory. Montepaschi Siena led by five points after ten minutes of action 20:15. The hosts stretched the lead to 9 points at the interval 44:35. Things got just worse for the visitors in the third term. Montepaschi controlled the tempo and kept the Israeli champions at distance. Siena entered the fourth term up by 10 points. The gap grew at 14-point mark before Maccabi went on a 7:0 run to narrow the gap. However Daniel Hackett (200-PG-87, agency: Two Points, college: USC) went perfect from the charity stripe and then Carraretto drilled a three-pointer to seal the victory for the hosts. Bobby Brown produced 16 points and 7 assists, while David Moss added 13 points for the winners. Shawn James (207-C-83, agency: Z.A.G. - Law Offices, college: Northeastern) answered with 18 points for Maccabi. Lior Eliyahu had 13 points and 7 boards in the loss.
Besiktas - Khimky 75-80 Khimky victoriously opened their EuroLeague Top 16 campaign. They knocked down Besiktas in Istanbul. Vitaliy Fridzon (195-G-85, agency: Alti Sport) knocked down 20 points, grabbed 5 boards and made 5 steals to pace the winners. Besiktas ensured a confident start to the game. The Turkish team dominated in the opening frame and posted a 20:14 lead ten minutes into the game. But Khimky turned on offensively in the second period. The visitors dropped impressive 31 points in the quarter to spur ahead for a 45:39 halftime lead. Khimky kept Besiktas at bay throughout the third term. The Russian team entered the fourth period up by 10 points 67:57. Besiktas got as close as three points midway through the final frame but Khimky connected on several three-pointers and cleared off for good in this one. Paul Davis delivered 17 points, while Zoran Planinic (198-G-82) added 13 points and 9 assists for the winning team. Patrick Christopher responded with 20 points for Besiktas. Daniel Ewing (191-G-83, agency: Alti Sport, college: Duke) netted 15 points in the loss.
Anadolu Efes topple Olympiacos in Istanbul - 1 hour ago
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Anadolu Efes - Olympiacos 64:60 Anadolu Efes gained 2-1 lead in the quarterfinal series versus Olympiacos. The Turkish side outgunned their opponents in Istanbul tonight to inch closer to Final Four. Bryant Dunston (203-C-86) provided 16 points and 9 rebounds to lead the hosts. Olympiacos snatched a narrow 17:14 lead after the opening frame. Anadolu Efes picked up defensive intensity in the second period. They held Olympiacos to just 10 points to take a 33:27 halftime lead. Anadolu Efes... [read more]
Anadolu Efes - Olympiacos 64:60
Anadolu Efes gained 2-1 lead in the quarterfinal series versus Olympiacos. The Turkish side outgunned their opponents in Istanbul tonight to inch closer to Final Four. Bryant Dunston (203-C-86) provided 16 points and 9 rebounds to lead the hosts. Olympiacos snatched a narrow 17:14 lead after the opening frame. Anadolu Efes picked up defensive intensity in the second period. They held Olympiacos to just 10 points to take a 33:27 halftime lead. Anadolu Efes maintained the lead throughout the third term. The home team entered the final quarter up by 14 points 51:37. But Olympiacos refused to give in. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-SG-82, agency: BeoBasket) helped the Greek team pull within one late in regulation. Thomas Heurtel (189-G-89, agency: BeoBasket) and Tyler Honeycutt followed with three free throws for the Istanbul team to ice the victory. Thomas Heurtel delivered 13 points, while Derrick Brown (203-F-87, college: Xavier) added 12 points for the hosts. Vassilis Spanoulis responded with 15 points and 7 assists for Olympiacos. Georgios Printezis (204-PF-85, agency: Octagon Europe), Evangelos Mantzaris (196-G-90) and Erick Green (190-PG-91, college: Virginia Tech) had 8 points each in the loss.
From know on, no accomplishment of this true mastermind of the benches, named David Blatt , will ever qualify as a surprise. Before the Playoffs I had even highlighted that he brings out his best self when he's in an 'outsider' position. Therefore, after the first week of Playoffs, the man to be getting the 'most exciting hero' title for the first two games in my own ceremony wouldn't be my all-time favorite soloist Bogdan Bogdanovic but Princeton's genius, this deeply spiritual sportsman. [read more]
From know on, no accomplishment of this true mastermind of the benches, named David Blatt , will ever qualify as a surprise. Before the Playoffs I had even highlighted that he brings out his best self when he's in an 'outsider' position. Therefore, after the first week of Playoffs, the man to be getting the 'most exciting hero' title for the first two games in my own ceremony wouldn't be my all-time favorite soloist Bogdan Bogdanovic but Princeton's genius, this deeply spiritual sportsman.
Many times during this week I have exclaimed my admiration for the computerized basketball of the Serbian wing and the perfect accuracy of execution on a defense which (unfortunately) we witnessed a lot; On Friday night, however, I understood that for the way I personally view the sport (and so expressing a clearly personal opinion) nothing is more thrilling than the speed with which Blatt plays the match in his mind, alternates his thoughts and adapts to what's happening, being constantly ahead, preparing with precision the next offense, the next defense.. Watching a complex defense, strictly structured for a particular situation in Real's offense, with specific, short-terms goals, to be lining up by switching from zone to man to man defense in the last seconds is something that encloses all the charm of this (not simple in the least but) complex sport. ld School coaching translated in the basis of contemporary basketball. A Chesterfield sofa and a Francis Scott Fitzgerald book inside a spaceship..
Blatt pulled out from the edge of the bench a dusty Luke Harangody (202-PF-88, college: Notre Dame) (leaving aside Moerman, just 13 in total in two matches) who brings in mind the player Doc Rivers used to have in the starting unit in training, next to the Big-3 to avoid getting one of them injured. The Notre Dame graduate has 9.5 points with 100% in three pointers (5/5) in the first two matches, but his altruism and 'play to the max' character has inspired his teammates. Darussafaka has built its entire tactics within the Small ball context (Clyburn/Anderson often at '4', important in rotation even though Slaughter is not ready, Two-guard units); they also use 1-3-1 (sometimes offensively with traping and sometimes not) as their combat vehicle on defense while synchronizing the trap they are setting against Llull's man to man in the main lane (after the first dribble, precisely at the time of the decision in order to have help in the first step and a hand in the face if his goes up for a three pointer without fearing penetration). Against Blatt's 1-3-1 (Clyburn at the 'head' against Llull, Wanamaker -the player combining running and IQ better than anyone else- as the last player in the baseline for the sprints along the base line) Madrid hasn't reacted properly. They haven't found Short Threes from the corners with Carroll, they are unable to combine passing the ball from side to side and Skip passes to force the zone into constant shifting, they don't use back screens to hit on the back of the defense. At the same time, Blatt is laughing, exchanging High Fives with his assistants in the bench.. Darussafaka withstood the offense from the Madrilenos' heavy artillery when Llull scored 5 three pointers during the third period and remained standing with Wilbekin scoring a huge basket at the end, which is telling of how much he has matured and improved this year.
It goes without saying that the Madrilenos are still the front runners of the competition, but they are now aware that things have changed. Objectively speaking, it is difficult for Darussafaka to beat Madrid three times in a row, but the next match is the key. Coach Laso's team shot 8/15 three pointers on Wednesday but only 9/30 on Friday, which (together with the rebounds) determined the context within the four lines. The third game is a great test for Madrid (they have proved that they can win such matches away from home and this is the reason they are still the front runners) against an opponent with more limited quality depth but very well prepared for war on a tactical and psychological level..
32-year old Italian international power forward Andrea Bargnani (213-113kg-85) left Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (Liga Endesa). In 14 games he had 11.5ppg and 2.5rpg this season. He helped them to make it to the semifinals. Bargnani also played 15 games in Euroleague where he recorded 8.8ppg and 1.8rpg. The last season he played at the Nets in NBA. In 46 games he averaged 6.6ppg and 2.1rpg. In 2006 Bargnani was drafted by Toronto Raptors (NBA) as #1 pick overall. The list of the past achievem... [read more]
32-year old Italian international power forward Andrea Bargnani (213-113kg-85) left Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz (Liga Endesa). In 14 games he had 11.5ppg and 2.5rpg this season. He helped them to make it to the semifinals. Bargnani also played 15 games in Euroleague where he recorded 8.8ppg and 1.8rpg. The last season he played at the Nets in NBA. In 46 games he averaged 6.6ppg and 2.1rpg. In 2006 Bargnani was drafted by Toronto Raptors (NBA) as #1 pick overall. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Europeans Honorable Mention back in 2009, 2012 and 2013. Bargnani has been also a member of Italian international program for some years. He has regularly played for Italian senior team since 2004 and previously for U18 National Team in 2002. Bargnani represented Italy at the European Championships two years ago. His stats at that event were 8 games: 14.8ppg, 3.6rpg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 47.6%, FT: 92.3%. Bargnani has played previously professionally in NBA (New York Knicks) and Italy (Benetton Treviso, Mens Sana 1871 Siena and Roma S.Azzurra). On Bargnani:
Reminds a lot Gregor Fucka, has long legs and arms, loves to play front to the basket; if he will add a reliable outside shot, his future is at 3 position;
Outlook (by NBADraft.TK):
Strengths: Great body and very good athleticism for a player of his size. Very skilled offensive player with a lot of solutions to score: shoots well from any distance, hit the three with good accuracy, can beat his defender off the dribble and finish a fast-break after running the court well. Fluid shooting mechanics. Has a quick release. Can play NBA SF position due to his great ball-handling qualities and very good speed. Smart moves in front of the basket: he likes to start out at the 3pt line, beat his defender with his first step and finish with a one-hand slam. Patient offensively, knows when to make the pass and when to take the shot. On defence he's a good shot-blocker under the basket. Hard worker and determined player.
Weaknesses: Needs to gain some more weight to play PF. Not a very good rebounder despite his height so he has to improve his skills. Does not get good position while rebounding. Is too weak to get good position under the basket. Needs to improve his low post moves. Has to improve his defence on small forwards. He gets beat off the dribble easily by quicker players. Needs to play focused all the time.
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