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EuroLeague Diaries: Kostas Sloukas wins it against former team; Maccabi stuns club legend Sarunas Jasikevicius, FC Barcelona

Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

As the action in the EuroLeague continues this week with Round 7, Olympiacos stunned Fenerbahce with former player Kostas Sloukas hitting the winning shot over Jan Vesely.

Maccabi Tel Aviv used its home court advantage to succumb FC Barcelona to its first defeat, while Darrun Hillard did it all to lead FC Bayern over fellow German powerhouse ALBA Berlin.

Kostas Sloukas came back to haunt Fenerbahce

Olympiacos completed its perfect double-week in EuroLeague with a close win over Fenerbahce in Peace and Friendship Stadium.

Despite amassing a 13-point lead in the second half, the “Reds” needed a huge fourth quarter and a winning shot from Kostas Sloukas to prevail at the end.

Sloukas was the only Olympiacos player to score in the last 5 minutes of the game, providing a three-point play to tie the game at 62, then a triple to make it 65-62 with 1:39 remaining, plus the winning dagger with two seconds remaining.

Sloukas spent five seasons playing for Fenerbahce from 2015 to 2020. During that stint, the Greek guard won the EuroLeague in 2017 and was named to the 2018-2019 All-EuroLeague First Team.

The veteran guard finished with 14 points, five assists, four rebounds, three steals and a 20 PIR on Thursday night to lead his team to the second consecutive victory.

Fenerbahce unable to produce at the end

Fenerbahce was able to get out of a 13-point hole in Piraeus, but they could not close the game, losing by two points at the end of the contest.

In the last three games, the Turkish giants have been defeated by an average of less than three points, while only two games ended up being blowouts.

Fener has one of the worst points production in the EuroLeague averaging 72.2 per game. On the other hand, they are the best defense in the league, allowing just 69 points per contest.

“We fought but we have to be smarter and understand the game when it comes to the line. Great shot of Sloukas, good defense, good offense, they did it, so congratulations,” Fener head coach Sasa Djordjevic said on his team’s questionable decision-making at the end of the game.

Achille Polonara registered the only field goal of Fener in the last five minutes of the game to tie the contest 65-65, before Sloukas finish the contest with a huge shot over Jan Vesely.

Darrun Hilliard leads Bayern Munich to win over rivals ALBA Berlin

Darrun Hilliard was the most important player for Bayern Munich, as the German Cup holders prevailed over ALBA Berlin to secure their third win in a row.

He proved he was unstoppable both inside and outside in leading Bayern to the win. He constantly drove to the basket, and also made four threes.

Hilliard scored a game-high 25 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists. He snatched three steals while drawing 6 fouls for an index rating of 29.

Bayern utilized Hilliard’s ability, withstanding a 25-point performance Maodo Lo, who spent a good amount of time of his career in Munich.

“We just wanted it more. Coach came into the locker room and told us it’s a great opportunity for us – go seize it. It was a great opportunity.

Berlin is a great team. Coach is great, great players. We just wanted it a little bit more,” Hilliard said after Bayern’s win over easyCredit BBL rivals. 

Maccabi stuns club legend Sarunas Jasikevicius, FC Barcelona

Maccabi Tel Aliv stunned the star-studded roster of FC Barcelona Thursday night. FC Barcelona head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius faced his former team.

He played for Maccabi between 2003-2005, moving from the Catalans, in whom he stayed for three seasons (2000-2003), before leaving for Israel.

With the help of 10,500 fans, Maccabi dominated the Spanish club, succumbing to its first defeat in the EuroLeague for the season.

“They were clearly better. For me, you know how much I love and appreciate this place and how much I understand this place. It was a classic way to lose the game in Tel Aviv,” Saras said after Round 7 matchup.

“If you come out in the first quarter you don’t even get to the bonus and Maccabi scores 31 points and the whole gym is jumping and they’re happy and they’re full of confidence and you finished the game with 18 turnovers, 13 assists. Just making absolutely childish mistakes,” he continued.

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