CSKA Moscow are the first team through to the top-16 of the Euroleague after a hard-fought 95-82 win over Zalgiris.
CSKA improved to 6-0 following this result but without Andrei Kirilenko in their line-up were made to work hard against a struggling Lithuanian side.
Nenad Krstic led the victors with 21 points, supported by Russian international Alexey Shved with 16. Sonny Weems led Zalgiris with a game-high 22 points.
After trailing 25-24 after one, CSKA reclaimed their lead in the second period. It was Weems though that brought Zalgiris back into it again, as he dragged Kaunas to within two with a bucket inside and it was Tomas Delininkaitis who tied the match at 45.
The hosts responded with an 11-0 run to take the lead again, and this time, it was for good. The visitors got as close as four points (66-62), but it wasn’t enough.
“I can’t say that the game was easy mentally,” CSKA coach Jonas Kazlauskas said afterwards.
“We missed Lavrinovic and Kirilenko who played key roles in our first meeting in Kaunas. Besides, Zalgiris has nothing to lose, so it was clear that they will fight until the end.”
Zalgiris are 1-5 and one more defeat would see them eliminated.
Unics Kazan surprised Montepaschi Siena with a 79-73 win in Italy behind a 24 point haul from Henry Domercant.
It was a lacklustre Siena performance where only Bo McCalebb and Rimantas Kaukenas stoodout, as they scored 22 and 13 points respectively.
Unics relied on a 22-12 fourth quarter to seal the win, as they trailed Siena 61-57 going into the final ten minutes.
Before the game, the Italian club honoured retiring guard Terell McIntyre, who in his four seasons at Montepaschi was named in the all-Euroleague team twice.
There was a much needed win for Olympiacos as they improved to 3-3 with an 88-81 success over Gescrap Bilbao in Piraeus.
Vassilis Spanoulis hit 29 points, a career high for him as they got revenge on Bilbao’s opening night victory against them.
“We knew the importance of this game, because in the case of a defeat, we would risk to be eliminated from the top 16,” Spanoulis said.
In the other game in the Euroleague, Anadolu Efes scored a vital win over Partizan, ending their winning streak of three.
Sasha Vujacic led the victors with 21 points, Milan Macvan paced Partizan with 15.