Fenerbahce survived a fourth quarter scare to overcome CSKA Moscow 78-74 in the Russian capital as the Euroleague’s regular season draws to a conclusion.
Trailing by six early in the fourth quarter, Fenerbahce looked to Lithuanian Linas Klieza and Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic to provide the spark that they needed to push ahead again. CSKA regained the lead only for Bogdanovic, who scored 13 of his team-high 18 points in the final period to seal the win with 7.1 seconds to go for the Turkish side.
Fenerbahce now move to 7-1 in Group A while CSKA Moscow drop to 5-3. Both have secured their spot in the Top 16.
“The game was very difficult as we expected.,” Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic said. “We know CSKA’s level and we respect them. I asked my players to forget our first encounter. Now I would say that we are teams of the same level.
“Still I’d like to point out that this is just the beginning of the tournament. The Top 16 is ahead and anything can happen. I am proud of my team. The guys showed character, but at the same time we had some black moments.”
Sonny Weems led CSKA with 20 points.
The other game in Group A saw Barcelona squeak past Nanterre 82-78, led by 15 points from Juan Carlos Navarro.
It was a close one for the visitors as an 11-2 run from Nanterre gave them hope with under two minutes left, but the Catalan side held their nerve to go 6-2 in the group. The French side falls to 3-5 but still with a shot at making the Top 16.
“We are very happy with this win, which is very important for us,” Barca coach Xavi Pascual said. “We played seriously; it was a very intense game. The last three minutes were very tough, Nanterre played with a lot of pride.”
David Lighty had 18 for Nanterre.
Panathinaikos edged Red Star Belgrade 69-63 in Athens thanks to the fourth quarter dominance of James Gist and Michael Bramos.
The loss means that the Serbians will play out the remainder of their European adventure in the Eurocup ‘Round of 32’ as they drop to 2-6 in Group D.
Gist had 15 points and Bramos finished with eight but the Greens were led by Ramel Curry, who hit 16 points as they move to 4-4. DeMarcus Nelson led Red Star with 15.
Laboral Kutxa reached the Euroleague Top 16 and ensured that Lietuvos Rytas would not be advancing any further in the regular season by beating them 79-63 in Vitoria.
Fernando San Emerterio led the way with 12 points for the winners as they move to 5-3 while dropping the Lithuanian side to 1-7.
Brose Baskets upset Anadolu Efes 89-78 in Istanbul to keep its chances of a Top 16 place alive.
Jamar Smith netted 18 points to lead Bamberg as they go to 3-5. The Turkish side are on 4-4 in Group B.