The first day of EuroLeague Round 8 had some huge matchups that were decided at the end. Nando De Colo and Fenerbahce snapped a three-game losing streak, while Armani Milano climbed at the top of the standings.
The Italian club prevailed over FC Barcelona and succumbed the Spanish giants to their second loss in the competition. Moreover, Panathinaikos had a nightmarish game in Belgrade.
Nando De Colo prevail over his former team
Fenerbahce snapped a three-game losing streak thanks to Nando De Colo’s heroics at the end of the game vs. CSKA Moscow.
The French veteran rose to the occasion for the visitors by hitting two huge threes in the last two minutes of the game. De Colo finished with 18 points to achieve another great milestone.
According to journalist Yiannis Psarakis, De Colo climbed to third place of the European Cups’ All-time scorers list, surpassing Dejan Bodiroga. He needs another 400 points to surpass EuroLeague legend Vassilis Spanoulis.
“Most important today is to go back with the win because lately, we were close, but we couldn’t get it. I think tonight we did a great job, a solid game and this is what’s most important,” De Colo said after the big win.
“The key was supposed to be how we controlled the rebounds, but we didn’t do a great job over there. But we stayed together. All game long we fought until the end and we played good defense for 24 seconds and on offense we just tried to play as a team.”
Panathinaikos sets record for biggest loss ever in club’s EuroLeague history
Panathinaikos experienced a night to forget in Belgrade, as the Greens lost to Crvena Zvezda by 33 (81-48) points to add to their defeat tally in this season’s EuroLeague.
The 33-point loss is the biggest suffered ever for Panathinaikos in 520 Euroleague games this century. That was also the lowest scoring night in Panathinaikos history this century, but it was in danger on Thursday.
At the same time, Dimitris Priftis’ team PIR of 35 was also its second-worst ever after just 20 in a heavy loss in a 2014 playoff game against CSKA.
“It was a bad night, maybe the worst so far for us. It’s very embarrassing what we did, the way we played tonight. There are a lot of things I can say but I prefer to talk to my team first. Congratulations to Red Star.
The tempo of the game was very high and the combination with the atmosphere made it difficult to play and to compete for us,” Panathinaikos’ head coach said after the game.
Armani Milano uses sturdy defense to “break” FC Barcelona
In the battle of the two best EuroLeague teams so far, Armani Milano was able to surpass FC Barcelona due to the team’s great defensive effort.
The Italian club has one of the best defenses in the competition, allowing just 73 points per game. More specifically, Milan’s perimeter defense emerged against the Catalans’ explosive three-point shooting.
The Spanish side was only able to convert 3-of-16 long-range shots (18.8%), its lowest total in nearly two years. Milan forced 13 turnovers during the game, as they clamped up Cory Higgins, Kyle Kuric and Nicolas Laprovittola, who combined for seven misses from beyond the arc.
“[Being in first place] means we are working hard and the players are putting the best effort, and nothing more than that. It’s too early. We’ve played home games and now we need to win on the road.
It’s a long story but we’ve beaten a lot of good teams. That has to give us confidence in what we’re doing,” Armani Milan’s head coach Ettore Messina said on his team’s record.
Chris Jones sets career-high as LDCL-ASVEL wins its third straight
LDLC-ASVEL has been the surprising story of the EuroLeague this year. The French powerhouse added another win to its winning column thanks to Chris Jones, who had a career-night in Lyon.
Jones put up 25 points on 8 of 10 two-pointers, 1 of 4 threes and 6 of 7 free throws. He had 15 points in the first half, before making crucial plays in the fourth quarter to score seven points.
The American guard also collected three rebounds, dished three assists, added a steal and committed three turnovers, finishing with an index rating of 27. He bested his previous coring record by one point (24 vs. ALBA in round 2).
I feel good. I have great confidence from my coach, my teammates. I have great players around me and they make it kind of easy on me. Winning is my main concern and the guys did a great job tonight,” Jones said as ASVEL improved to 6-2.