EA7 Milano kept their unexpected Euroleague Top 16 run going with a 90-85 win over Fenerbahce.
Hotly tipped Fenerbahce, who breezed through the Regular Season are struggling in Group E of the Top 16, like they did last season as they drop to 1-4 while Milano are sitting on a 3-2 record.
Leading 60-44 in the third quarter, the Italian side looked good value for the win, when Fenerbahce responded with a 13-0 burst that bridged the third and fourth quarters to leave the fans in the fashion capital nervous, as the remaining minutes ticked by.
Curtis Jerrells though replied with a pair of three-pointers to seal the win for Milano.
“We started slow, especially on defence, then we switched our intensity during the second and third quarters on the defensive side, and our confidence raised minute by minute,” said Milano coach Luca Banchi.
“It was a complicated game to read, because they played without big men, but we were capable to contain Bjelica and Kleiza, sometimes we played without centers, and we played very well. I’m happy we find every game different protagonists, tonight Kangur and Jerrells; this means we’re still growing.”
Daniel Hackett led the winners with 17 points, 10 of those coming from the foul line. Linas Kleiza had a game-high 26 for Fenerbahce.
Group E’s other clash saw reigning champions Olympiacos ease past Unicaja Malaga 73-55 in Greece to go 3-2 in the group.
Georgios Printezis had 16 points to lead the hosts as Vassilis Spanoulis had a night he would personally like to forget, as he went just 1/12 from the field for a career low 2 points.
Nik Caner-Medley led Malaga with 11 points.
In Group F Real Madrid edged past Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 74-68 in the Spanish capital.
Considered by many as the favourites for this year’s Euroleague title, Madrid broke clear in the final period with Sergio Llull scoring the winners’ last eight points as both teams finished the night on 4-1 records.
Llull paced Madrid with 20 points.
“I am happy with the win and above all, I want to thank our fans, who sold out Palacio de los Deportes,” Llull said. “They push us to win games like this. We were aware that we couldn’t win all the games in the season and lost against a great team like CSKA.
“We have to move on and carry on. Maccabi is always a tricky team on defence and managed to stop us during some moments of the game, but we managed to win.”
CSKA Moscow, fresh of last week’s win over Madrid showed no signs of taking the foot off the accelerator as they thrashed Bayern Munich 86-61 at the Audi Dome.
Moscow held Bayern to just nine points in the second to lead 40-23 and from there, the Russian giants breezed the last two quarters for the win.
Milos Teodosic had six three-pointers on his way to 24 points for the winners. Malcolm Delaney had 16 points for the Germans.