Darussafaka Dogus came good against local Istanbul rivals Fenerbahce 71-64 in a physical EuroLeague encounter at the Ulker Sports Arena.
The visiting team led for most of the second half, withstanding a powerful comeback by Fenerbahce thanks to top scorers Scottie Wilbekin and Will Clyburn, who finished with 22 and 20 points respectively.
“This was a step in the right direction for us,” Welbekin said. “We had a different energy level. The fans noticed that and pushed us even further. We didn’t get the win, but we feel like we have a lot to take from this game.
“I believe that if we keep going like this, and improve our weak spots, we can still turn around this season.”
Darussafaka improves to 7-6 on the season while Fenerbahce falls to 8-5. Kostas Sloukas led the hosts with 16.
Baskonia started slow but eventually overcame Barcelona 65-62 in Vitoria.
The hosts though got off to a terrible start, falling behind 14-4 en route to a 19-6 first quarter scoreline. Baskonia though fought back and once in the lead, looked good value for their lead.
However, back-to-back threes from Shane Larkin in the clutch put the game to bed as Barcelona drop to 5-8 and fall to an unfamiliar position of ninth.
“I am especially happy today because sometimes you are able to get a win playing better or speaking good things about our philosophy – running, scoring a lot,” Baskonia coach Sito Alonso explained.
“When things are going bad and we are not scoring or finding our mobility, when we are not comfortable, we have to defend and believe, play thinking about the victory without thinking about the things we usually do good.
“It is very important for us to learn this tonight. I am very happy; congratulations to my players and to our fans for showing a good lesson to everyone: when things are going bad, they supported us in a very good way. This victory is for them and for the players.”
Rodrigue Beaubois led the winners with 19 points as they improve to 9-4.
EuroLeague champions and current league leaders CSKA Moscow were pushed to the brink but ultimately, the Russians turned in an 80-76 win at Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv.
Despite playing without its top two scorers and All-EuroLeague guards Nando De Colo and Milos Teodosic, and falling behind by 18 points at one point, CSKA chalked up its sixth straight win to improve to 12-1 and remain in first place by a three-win margin.
Cory Higgins scored seven of his team-high 16 points in the final three minutes to propel CSKA to victory in a game that saw four ties and five lead changes in the fourth quarter. Maccabi drop to 5-8 with this loss.
A second quarter eruption from Panathinaikos was enough for an 86-72 road win over EA7 Milano.
The hosts led 21-16 after the first, but were restricted to just eight points in the following period as Panathinaikos raced to a 40-29 lead and the lead ballooned to 22 points after three quarters leaving Milano helpless as they fall to a sixth straight loss.
Mike James paced the winners with 19 points as they improve to 8-5 and a share of fifth place.