Five games took place last night (13 of December), all reviewed below:
EA7 Emporio Milan – Brose Baskets 74-73
Two free throws from Alessandro Gentile with 17 seconds left EA7 Milano’s progression to the Euroleague Top 16 after they edged Brose Baskets 74-73 at the Paladesio. With the win, Milano moves to 5-4 with a game to spare. Bamberg still has a shot of advancing, but the odds are long as they drop to 3-6.
“It’s a big win for us, we’re very happy for our achievement, because we are now in the Top 16, and for the first time in a long time,” Gentile said. “We’re a team that never gives up, we fight all the time, and this thrilling victory is a big prize for our work. I forced a three-pointer, but I felt it. Then I made the decisive free throws, and this is basketball.
“We have a big heart, and I want to congratulate Curtis Jerrells for his last steal. We made a great defensive effort on the last possession of Bamberg. Now we have to continue working to improve, because we have many things to work on.”
Real Madrid – Strasbourg 79-66
Real Madrid hold an amazing 9-0 record thus far in Euroleague, this time defeating Strasbourg 79-66. On the other side, the French club lost their chance and finally got eliminated from the Top 16 of the competition. Mirotic led his team since he scored 22 points and helped defensively.
After the end of the game Pablo Laso, Real Madrid coach, stated: “I’m thrilled with the win. We played three really good quarters of basketball and sentenced the game in that time.”
Finally, coach Laso was asked what he thinks over the possibility of breaking the record for the most consecutive wins, set back in season 60-61. He replied “I don’t think much about it and I’m only worried about the upcoming Obradoiro game. I always say: we have to take it game by game. It’s our obligation to improve every day. But obviously I’m happy about the records”.
Lokomotiv Kuban – Panathinaikos 63-82
For first time this season in Euroleague, Panathinaikos showed what he is capable of achieving, by totally outplaying the Russian side and securing their promotion to the Top 16. Ukic had a great game for the “Greens”. He scored 17 points and shared 5 assists. Diamantidis started the game strong and helped his teammates in every aspect of the game. Now Panathinaikos will try to climb second during the final week, while Lokomotiv remain second in Group D with 6-3 record, and needs the win next week to secure their position.
Argiris Pedoulakis stated after the match: “Today we won because of our defensive game. Lokomotiv is a great attacking team and it is very important that we did not allow many points to our opponent.”
On the other side, coach Pashutin appeared to be disappointed since his players did not manage to play as aggressively as he wanted them to.
Galatasaray – Zielona Gora 76-57
Galatasaray easily defeats Zielona Gora, and reach the 6 wins in 9 games. They are currently placed second in Group C behind undefeated Olympiacos, while the Polish side waste their last chance for promotion to the next round.
The game leaned towards the home side, because of their domination inside the paint. Zoran Erceg had a great game, scoring 19 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. But MVP of the game was Aldemir who scored 11 points, adding 16 rebounds for the double-double.
Coach Ataman was very happy during the post-game interview, praising both his players and the fans: “ I want to congratulate my players. Despite the fact that we had already been promoted to Top 16, my players did their best to secure the second position.” He also added: “We played well, we played as a team and that gives us strength to continue”
BC Budivelnyk – JFS Nanterre 97-87
Friday the 13th proved to be an unlucky day for Nanterre who lost the chance to climb 4th in Group A and overtake Partizan, since they lost against the already eliminated Budivelnyk, the same time the Ukrainian side recorded their second win.
MVP of the game was the outstanding Darius Lavrinovic who scored 29 points, collected 10 rebounds and had 4/5 behind the arc. With that one-man show from the Lithuanian Center, Nanterre had no chance and finally came up short.
After the game, coach Bagatskis appeared satisfied: “We played well offensively and “almost well” in defense. It feels good for us that we showed we can be strong.”