Barcelona impressive in Moscow, Euroleague round-up

Barcelona sent a chilling statement to the Euroleague by thrashing CSKA Moscow in Russia 81-60.

Juan Carlos Navarro rediscovered his old magic by leading all scorers with 21 points as Barcelona ran rampant in the third to stretch a 38-35 half-time advantage into a 63-48 lead as the hosts looked on in disbelief.

Erazem Lorbek supported Navarro with 15 points.

Nenad Krstic led CSKA with 18 points as early candidate for Euroleague MVP Sonny Weems was held to just four points. This was the Russian champions heaviest defeat since 2002 when they were defeated 90-30 to Tau Ceramica (now Caja Laboral).

Barcelona are now 5-0 in regular season play and look like the favourites to top Group D as CSKA Moscow drop to second as they’ve suffered their first loss of the Euroleague season.

“We are happy to win such a prestigious game against very good team and even better coach,” Barcelona coach Xavi Pascual said.

“We played well today, especially on defence, controlling the defensive rebounds and transition offence. And we did not turn the ball over much.”

Mapooro Cantu surprised Fenerbahce by beating them 82-58 at the Pala Desio.

The fancied Turkish outfit had a night to forget as they never recovered from a 23-12 first quarter deficit, which included a 16-2 burst from the Italians to end the first.

Cantu still have work to do, but have improved to 2-3 in Group A while Fenerbahce drop to 3-2.

Jonathan Tabu led four Cantu players in double-digits with 16 points. He also added seven assists to his stats. Romain Sato was the only player in double-figure scoring with 10 for Fenerbahce.

Maccabi Electra survived a scare to remain undefeated in five game played as they beat Alba Berlin 78-76 in the German capital.

Heiko Shaffartzik had a chance to win it in the dying seconds for Alba, but his potential game-winner missed its mark as the Israeli champions breathed a sigh of relief.

“Like we expected, this game was a very difficult and challenging one to win. It was a very close battle between two good teams,” Maccabi coach David Blatt admitted.

Devin Smith led the victors with 20 points while Bosnian Nihad Djedovic had 17 points to lead Alba Berlin, who drop to 2-3 in Group B.

Euroleague champions Olympiacos were impressive in the fashion capital as they beat EA7 Milano 84-71.

Vassilis Spanoulis led the Reds with 23 points in a comfortable victory as they improve to 3-2 in Group C while Milano drop to 2-3 having lost their last three games.

Keith Langford led Milano with 17.

Unicaja Malaga won on the road in France as they defeated Elan Chalon 88-78 to go to 4-1 while Chalon drops to 1-4, as they have lost their last four games.

Luka Zoric led the Spaniards with 17 points and seven rebounds. Blake Schilb had 24 points, six rebounds and four assists in vain for the French.

Besiktas got back to winning ways with a narrow 73-67 win over Lietuvos Rytas in Vilnius. This win improves the Istanbul outfit to 3-2 and within touching distance of the Top 16.

The Lithuanian side drop to 1-4 and have it all to do in Group D.

Curtis Jerrells led Besiktas with 25 points and seven rebounds. Steponas Babrauskas led 14 for Lietuvos Rytas.