Unics Kazan stunned Real Madrid and breathed new life into their Euroleague campaign by beating the Liga Endesa side 85-75 in the Spanish capital.
The Russian side move to 3-4 in Group A, while Real Madrid miss the chance to progress to the Top 16 as they lose their first game at home since 2013, a run of 21 straight home wins.
D’or Fischer took over against his former team and led the winners with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks, Curtis Jerrells added 23 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists with Keith Langford also getting in on the act with 14 points.
“It was a crucial game for us,” Kazan coach Evgeny Pashutin said. “Every win, in our situation, is like winning a final in this race to reach the Top 16. We played a great game and that is the only way to win in a place like this.
“The key was playing at a slower pace than Madrid usually plays. We managed to do it in the first quarter, but not in the second. We played a good third quarter, really focused on controlling the game rhythm. We also managed to be really effective from beyond the three-point line. That helped, but our win was based on good defence. This is an amazing win for us because we beat Real Madrid, one of the strongest teams in Europe.”
Sergio Rodriguez led Real Madrid with 12 points.
A vital game in Group D saw Red Star Belgrade defeat Neptunas 79-62 as the Serbian side move to 4-3, while dropping their Lithuanian counterparts to 3-4.
Trailing by double digits from long spells of the first half, Neptunas exploded for a 19-0 run to take a surprise 37-35 lead at half-time. But the superior height difference for Red Star was key as 7’4” Boban Marjanovic paced the winners with 24 points on 11-of-13 two-point shooting plus 12 rebounds.
“I think we played good defence and did what we said in the locker room,” Marjanovic said. “We put everything on the court and played a bad second quarter but did well in the rest of the game.”
The other game in Group D saw Laboral Kutxa comfortably see-off Olympiacos 89-70 in Vitoria. The Reds are already through to the Top 16, but drop to 6-1 with this result.
For the Liga Endesa strugglers, they go to 3-4 and with this win, keep their chances of progression to the Top 16 alive.
Thomas Heurtel netted 18 points to lead Laboral Kutxa, cancelling out the new member of the Euroleague’s 2,500 points club, Vassilis Spanoulis, who hit 27-points.
Reggie Redding beat the buzzer and lifted ALBA Berlin to a vital 79-78 Group B win over Unicaja Malaga at the O2 World.
The visitors were in control until a 14-2 fourth-quarter run put ALBA up 70-65. Unicaja came back, tied it on Fran Vazquez free throws with 26 seconds left. When Jayson Granger stole a pass and drew a foul with the score tied and 6 seconds left, the momentum was all Unicaja. But Granger split the free throws and Redding came out the hero with the game-winning layup.
Redding led the ALBA attack with 17 points as they move to 3-4, while Kostas Vasileiadis and Ryan Toolson scored 15 each for Unicaja, as they slipped to 4-3.
“I have to give credit to Unicaja Malaga,” said Berlin coach Sasa Obradovic. “In my whole career as player and coach I have very rarely seen a team scoring so many points out of almost nothing. Of course they defended very well, but we did also, and they hit so many tough shots.
“But we did not fall, and we came away with a very big win that gives us realistic chances to reach the Top 16. I am very proud of all my players.”
The other Group B game saw CSKA Moscow move to 7-0 after easing past champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 84-61 at the Nokia Arena.
A three-pointer on the first quarter buzzer from Nando De Colo gave the Muscovites a 25-12 lead and from there, they never looked back as Maccabi, who needed to win to inch closer to Top 16 qualification showed no real fight in front of their home fans.
Sonny Weems led CSKA with 19 points. Devin Smith led Maccabi with 14 as they go to 4-3.
The lone game in Group C saw Fenerbahce beat PGE Turow 89-74 in Istanbul. The win pushes the Turkish side closer to the Top 16 on a 5-2 record with Turow dropping to 1-6 as they might still be mathematically in the hunt, but are realistically out.
Andrew Goudelock led the winners with 21 points.
Notes: Before all Euroleague games this week, there was a minute of silence for Red Star fan Marko Ivkovic, who was stabbed to death before his side’s game away to Galatasaray … The names on the back of all Euroleague jerseys were replaced with “One Team” for this week’s games to promote the Euroleague’s partnership with the Special Olympics.