Justin Doellman’s heroics handed Barcelona an 87-86 win over rivals Real Madrid in a pulsating Euroleague, Top 16, Group F encounter.
At the same time, Barca’s win was also part of a remarkable turnaround, as the current Euroleague champions, Real Madrid were up by as many as 16 points at one stage of the contest but led by Doellman, the Catalan side came roaring back and he had the final word with an off-balance buzzer-beater to cap it off.
Both sides now own 2-2 records in Group F with Doellman leading all scorers on the night with 24 points, going a perfect 6/6 from three-point land.
“It was a very important win for us,” he said afterwards. “We were very close to being 1-3, but now we are 2-2, which is very important for us. It was a great team win tonight and we are happy with it. My team-mates find me in the right position and I give them credit.
“It was a team win, I am very happy with it and there at the end, we were able to get a victory, which is very important for us. Hopefully we will continue this rhythm.”
Sergio Rodriguez paced Real with 18 points.
Laboral Kutxa derailed CSKA Moscow in the other Group F game, as the Liga Endesa side claimed a deserved 81-71 win in Vitoria.
A 19-point, 13-rebound effort by Ionnis Bourousis added by a 12-1 finish was enough for Laboral Kutxa, as they move to 2-2, along with CSKA who were led by Milos Teodosic’s 18 points and seven assists.
While Group F is nicely poised, Lokomotiv Kuban continues to be a force in Group E as they beat Panathinaikos 76-67 in Krasnodar.
Lokomotiv go to 3-1 in the group, while Panathinaikos drop into early trouble at 1-3.
Dontaye Draper led Kuban with 20 points as they took full advantage of four straight missed shots by the Greens in the final two minutes.
It’s another very important win for us, the third against Panathinaikos this year,” Kuban coach Georgios Bartzokas said. “Everybody knows that Panathinaikos is very experienced, and I mean not only players and coaches, but the club in general is very experienced in this competition. For Lokomotiv it’s just the second season in Euroleague, and to beat Panathinaikos three times is something amazing.”
The other Group E game saw a sweet Jacob Pullen step-back jumper for Cedevita Zagreb seal an eventual 84-80 win over Anadolu Efes.
Pullen’s jumper with 9.7 seconds left over returning home town hero Dario Saric iced what was a close encounter in Zagreb.
Miro Bilan and Marko Arapovic each had 16 points to lead Cedevita as both teams own 2-2 records in Group E.