Laboral Kutxa wins the all-Liga Endesa battle, Euroleague Top 16 round up

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Laboral Kutxa were 79-74 victors over Unicaja Malaga in the all-Liga Endesa clash in Group F of the Euroleague Top 16.

Despite Malaga’s table-topping status, domestically, they drop to 1-6 in the Top 16 and are dangerously close to elimination. Laboral Kutxa move to 3-4 with this win.

Darius Adams led the winners with 20 points and it was he that got Laboral going in the first half, but they did not pull away until three consecutive three-pointers from Fernando San Emeterio, Adams and Fabien Causeur opened a 65-54 lead late in the third quarter.

“We feel happy because we were able to win a very difficult and a very important game tonight,” Laboral Kutxa coach Ibon Navarro said.

“We prevailed against a team that beat us five out of the last six games we played. They never give up, but even though we didn’t play our best game, we managed to keep playing tough and with strong personality.”

CSKA Moscow bounced back from last week’s loss to Olympiacos by coasting to a 97-75 victory over EA7 Milano.

Nando De Colo once again staked his claims for Euroleague MVP by leading CSKA with 18 points and 7 assists and 4 steals as the Russian side raced to an 8-1 lead early and never looked back.

CSKA move to 6-1 in Group F and tie for top spot with Olympaicos, while EA7 Milano slump to 1-6.

The all-TBL clash ended with Fenerbahce edging Anadolu Efes 77-71 at the Abdi Ipecki Arena.

What was otherwise a close and physical battle turned on its head in the last 32 seconds though where Fenerbahce pulled away thanks to Andrew Goudelock, who was quiet all game long, but came alive with a dagger triple that put his side up for good.

Fenerbahce improved to 5-2 in Group F as they took a vital road win back to the Asian side of Istanbul, while Anadolu stay in the European zone with a 4-3 record.

Nemanja Bjelica and Jan Vesely had 14 points each for the winners.

“It was very tough game like we expected before,” Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic said. “We won the game with our defensive resistance tonight. We turned the ball over too much at the beginning of the game.

“But we took the control at both ends in the second half by taking the rebounds. Both teams had the chance to win the game in the end. When we had a 2-point lead, we defended very badly and conceded a three-pointer. But after the timeout, we turned back with a triple by Andrew Goudelock, too. This was a good example of the beauty of basketball.”

The only Group E of the night was over in the first quarter as Panathinaikos beat Red Star 74-69 in Athens.

Despite the close scoreline, the Greens looked always looked in control, despite leading 52-51 after three quarters, they never looked like relinquishing their cushion.

A.J. Slaughter paced the winners with 16 points as they go to 5-2 in Group E. Red Star drop to 1-6 despite 17 points each from Boban Marjanovic and Charles Jenkins.

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