Two of three group winners defeated

ImageThe first day of Euroleague Top brought at least one big surprise. Defending champions and one of the main contenders to win the title this year, Panathinaikos, left Istanbul with a loss. Greek giants were defeated 64:74 by Efes Pilsen. Drew Nicholas led the hosts with 29 points. Andre Hutson was the only other player for Efes to end the game in double digits.

Mike Batiste and Šarūnas Jasikevičius were the top scorers for Panathinaikos with 12 points each. However, Vassilis Spanoulis (10pts) was top ranked with 15 ranking points. This victory gives an advantage against other teams in Group D for the Turkish side. An extra win against champions and arguably the best team in the group is a very useful point.

Trajan Langdon's buzzer beater three-point shot declined another potential shock. Russian champs and Euroleague runners-up were forced to chase Lotomatica for most of the time. Italian team which qualified as the best 6th placed team were getting on Messina's nerves as they were leading 67:56 with less than 2 minutes to go. A tight defense and fast offensive plays put the Russians just 2 points behind. Roko-Leni Ukic and Ibrahim Jaaber had the chance to increase the lead but they couldn't make all their free-throws. With 5 seconds to go CSKA were behind by 2 points. Trajan Langdon made an uncontested shot from way down town to avoid an upset.

Group B winners Lietuvos Rytas had to taste a loss at home against TAU Ceramica. The game was very close right from the start. In the 2nd quarter Spaniards started to run and had a constant lead since then. Lithuanian club managed to reduce the deficit from 11 to just 2 points. Hollis Price made a very costly turnover with less than 10 seconds to go when Rytas were 2 points down. Despite that he was the one who still had a chance to win the game but his shot, with 3 opponents chasing him, wasn't accurate. Every single player that appeared on the court scored points for TAU with Tiago Splitter leading the charts with 17 points. Hollis Price had 23 and Marijonas Petravičius 18 for Lietuvos Rytas.