Top eight teams in Europe have less than two weeks to prepare for the most important battles this season so far. There were only two play-off spots to be taken in the last game of the Top 16 with five teams having the chance to move to the next round. Serbian giants Partizan will be fighting for a place in the Final Four once again despite losing away at Barcelona. Panathinaikos won by three points against another Greek club Maroussi and this result opened the door for Partizan.
In Group H three teams (Caja Laboral, Cibona and Khimki) had chances to finish second behind Olympiacos and qualify for the play-offs. Khimki played very well at home against the Greek giants winning the game by 13 points after being ahead in double digits for the major part of the game. Despite showing the best performance according to Sergio Scariolo, Russian club was eliminated as their main competitor for a play-off spot, Caja Laboral, managed to win against Cibona by the margin they needed in order to finish on top of Khimki.
Spaniards could have lost at home against Cibona easily as they were down by 12 in the second part of the fourth quarter. However, they managed to close the gap and force an overtime. Caja Laboral used the additional five minutes of the game to increase their lead to 12 points – a margin which was more than enough to beat Khimki in final standings of Group H as Russians had points differential of -11 after the win against Olympiacos. Meanwhile, a 12-point win by Caja Laboral gave them a -6 points differential.
Ettore Messina's Real Madrid failed to win the battle for the first place in Group F after losing a low scoring game against Maccabi. Thanks to this result Israeli club will avoid facing Barcelona that is been playing probably the best basketball in Europe at the moment. They will face a surprise package Asseco Prokom. Barcelona will take on arch rivals Real Madrid in fight for a place in the Final Four in Paris. Barca has already beaten Real Madrid in the ACB rather easily this season.
All quarter-final (best of five) pairs:
|CSKA Moscow||–||Caja Laboral|
*Thursday, April 1
*Wednesday, April 7
|* if necessary|
Here are the video highlights from Top 16 Game 6:
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