Montepaschi break the Barca spell, Euroleague round-up

Montepaschi Siena ended Regal FC Barcelona’s unbeaten start to the Euroleague with a 77-74 victory at the Palaestra.

 

 

It was an unlikely win though. Siena were trailing 59-47 after the third quarter and a Chuck Eidson triple to begin the final period extended Barcelona’s lead to 62-47.

The hosts though found a way back into the contest and during the final nine minutes they chipped away at Barca’s lead as the ACB side struggled to make their shots.

The visitors had a 74-71 lead with 1.12 remaining, but from then were held scoreless as Montepaschi closed out the game with a 6-0 run to win it.

“We did something special tonight, always believing mentally in the possibility of getting back in the game,” Montepaschi coach Simone Pianigiani said afterwards.

“It was becoming tough to find the energy to attack at the end, but we not only tied but moved ahead with well-played shots.”

Both sides were already through. Barcelona secure top spot, with Montepaschi finishing second, regardless of what happens in week 10, next week.

Igor Rakocevic led the victors with 21 points, supported by Pietro Aradori’s 20. Erazem Lorbek led all scorers in vain for Barca with 22.

Unics Kazan set a new defensive record as they destroyed Asseco Prokom 68-41 in Russia.

Kazan held their Polish opponents to just 11 first half points, as Asseco Prokom never really got going in what was a one-sided contest.

Bosnian international, Henry Domercant led all scorers with 18 points for Unics.

Olympiacos sealed their passage to the Top 16 thanks to an easy 86-61 home win over already qualified Bennet Cantu.

Vassilis Spanoulis was once again the star man, as he posted 22 points and dished out five assists.

This win now means that there is a four-way tie for top spot in Group A, as these two clubs join Caja Laboral and Fenerbahce Ulker on 5-4 records heading to the final round of group games.

Maccabi Electra ripped through Anadolu Efes 96-57 in Tel-Aviv as they came back from 20-17 down after the first ten minutes to race away in the second period and never look back.

David Blu led all scorers, off the bench with 18 points for Maccabi. Sasha Vujacic was the only Efes player in double-digits, as he poured in 12, but it was a night to forget for the Turkish side.

Elsewhere in the penultimate week of Euroleague group games, there were wins for Zalgiris, as they defeated Brose Baskets 82-68. Sonny Weems and Mantas Kalnietis scored 14 points each for the victors, as they improve to 3-6 and need to beat KK Zagreb next week to ensure an unlikely Top 16 place.

Brose can still qualify for the next round, but they have the difficult task of having to beat Panathinaikos in Athens to do it. They also need KK Zagreb to beat Zalgiris.

Gescrap Bilbao recorded a 80-70 win over Fenerbahce in Istanbul. D’or Fischer leading the way with 16 points as the visitors bossed the opening exchanges and never let the hosts into the game, comfortably holding double-digit leads after all four quarters.