Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

EuroLeague Round 8 came to a conclusion as Real Madrid prevailed in a matchup with a thrilling finale vs. Bayern Munich. Anadolu Efes’ effort to return to prominence has not been successful so far, after winning the last year’s competition.

The Turkish club suffered another painful defeat at home vs. Zenit St.Petersburg. ALBA Berlin returned to its winning ways as Marcus Ericksson made his second appearance in EuroLeague this season.

Guerschon Yabusele dominates Bayern Munich’s front line

Real Madrid has one of the best front lines we have ever seen in the European courts. With a “big” tantrum consisting of Walter Tavares, Vincent Poirier, Guerschon Yabusele and young prospect Tristan Vukcevic.

In Real Madrid’s close-fought battle vs. Bayern Munich, Yabusele had a night to remember as he led his team to a 76-80 victory. He finished the game with 21 points, scoring eight of those in the last 4 minutes of the game.

Yabusele made 5-of-6 two-point shots on the night, and 3-of-4 triples. He also added three rebounds and a steal to his stat line. The French forward has finished five of the last eight games in the EuroLeague in double-digits.

He averages 12.0 points on 54 percent shooting on two-pointers and an impressive 54 percent from beyond the arc. Yabusele is an important part of Madrid’s success this season, as the Spanish giants are holding a 6-2 record.

“It was a really tough game, a really tough win. We are really happy we got this game. We need to move on, go back home, learn and get better,” Yabusele said after the game

“Today my teammates did a great job of finding me on the court. Today it was me, tomorrow is going to be somebody else. We are just happy that we had teamwork today.”

Anadolu Efes in trouble

The reigning EuroLeague champions Anadolu Efes suffered another defeat in Round 8 game vs. Zenit St. Petersburg. Efes seems to be far away from the team that was able to win the EuroLeague last season.

The most peculiar thing about the Turkish club is that the team kept most of its championship core. After a poor effort in both ends of the floor during the second quarter, Efes could not get back in the game.

Efes is the second-worst defense in the competition, allowing 80.6 points through eight games. Ataman’s squad is also among the worst rebounding teams, being in the bottom-four of the competition.

The EuroLeague champions had some head scratching results during the first eight games of the season, including a 95-69 defeat to Panathinaikos, which is a team that is also struggling at the start of the year.

They’re also the worst team in defensing the three-point line, allowing their opponents to hit 39 percent of their three-point attempts.

Derrick Williams leads Maccabi to win over Baskonia

Derrick Williams has had several one-year stints with EuroLeague teams in the last four seasons, but his most successful stint may be his current with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

With Scottie Wilbekin out for most of the game vs. Baskonia, Williams took over to lead the Israeli powerhouse past Baskonia. He poured in 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including 3-of-7 from three-point range.

He also made both of his free throw attempts. Furthermore, the 30-year-old added 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals for a performance index rating of 26.

“I feel great. We won. That’s the main thing. Everybody who came into the game stepped up. Keenan played great. Zizic played great. James played great. Jalen played great,” Williams said after the game.

The list can go on. When we play a complete game like this, not too many teams can beat us. That’s how I feel. I was just taking and making good shots with my teammates finding me.”

Marcus Ericksson returns to action

ALBA Berlin returned to its winning ways as Marcus Ericksson made his second appearance with the German club this season. The veteran forward missed the last seven games in the EuroLeague due to injury.

In the win vs. Zalgiris, Ericksson showed his ability to add punch to ALBA’s offense in Friday’s game. He finished with 16 points on 3-of-7 three-point shooting.

ALBA sharpshooter made his 100th appearance in the competition, as he propelled his team towards its third win this season, succumbing Zalgiris to its eighth defeat in 8 games.

“It’s really good to be able to come back with a win. We knew it would be tough here. They’ve started the season not so good so we knew they’d be well prepared with their fans who are very supportive, so we’re very happy with the win,” Ericsson said.