Real Madrid win in Athens, Euroleague Top 16 round-up
Real Madrid remains unbeaten in Group E after they edged Panathinaikos 58-54 at the OAKA in the Euroleague Top 16.
The Liga Endesa side restricted the Greens to just five points in the final ten minutes as they fought back from a double-digit deficit at half-time and a 49-44 third quarter scoreline to claim a big victory in-front of 20,000 in Athens.
The Whites now occupy first spot in the group with a 5-0 record while Panathinaikos drop to 3-2 and fourth place.
Felipe Reyes led Real Madrid’s scoring with 13 points while Michael Bramos was the lone double-figure scorer for Panathinaikos with 11. This game marked the return of Dimitris Diamantidis for Panathinaikos, and he posted three points, seven rebounds and six assists.
“We got a very important win against a great opponent,” Real Madrid coach Pablo Laso said. “It was not the best game for the spectators, but tactically both teams tried hard to limit each other.”
Elsewhere in Group E, Unicaja Malaga shocked CSKA Moscow by beating them in the Russian capital 94-81.
The Spaniards ended CSKA’s nine-game unbeaten spell and improved them to 2-3 in the group while the Russians fall to their first defeat.
Marcus Williams was inspired as he led Malaga with 28 points while Nenad Krstic led the CSKA charge with 23 points.
“It was a tough game for us and for me personally,” Williams said.
“We lost our last seven games. We just tried to play our game. It was tight. We got confidence, played well on defence in the second half.”
Anadolu Efes now stand at 4-1 in Group E after they edged Zalgiris 56-52 in Istanbul.
The Lithuanian champions drop to 1-4 after this defeat but they came close after leading 49-43 with four minutes to go. Anadolu Efes then went on a 10-0 run which put them up for good.
Sasha Vujacic led the Turkish side with 12 points. Tremmel Darden and Mindaugas Kuzminskas each had 10 for Zalgiris.
In the only game of the night in Group F, Montepaschi Siena’s good fortunes continued as they remained unbeaten by beating Besiktas 63-57 in Tuscany.
While Siena improves to 5-0, Besiktas are still yet to record a Top 16 win as they fall to 0-5. Viktor Sanikidze led the winners with 14 points with Bobby Brown supporting with 13.
Curtis Jerrells led Besiktas with 16 points.