Bayern Munich have breathed new life into their Euroleague last eight dreams by upsetting Real Madrid 85-83 at the Audi Dome in Group F of the Top 16.
The German side fought back from a double-digit deficit in the second quarter as they roared back into contention in the third quarter before taking the advantage in the final ten minutes of play. Madrid, who conceded 51 points in that second half, lost Rudy Fernandez midway through the third quarter as he collided with Munich’s John Bryant.
Sergio Rodriguez was sent to the line with 2.2 seconds left and Madrid down 85-82. He hit the first one, but purposely missed the second to allow the chance for his side to get the offensive rebound. That chance though didn’t plan out as Bayern celebrated.
“I am very satisfied. We expected that we could win this game with a good attitude and concentration,” Bayern coach Svetislav Pesic said.
“I knew my team would have that. You don’t play every day against Real Madrid; this is at the moment the best team in Europe. They only lost one game all season against CSKA. This is similar to the dominance of our football team. Winning a game is not only about a strong attitude. I am definitely happy.”
Madrid missed the chance to qualify for the quarter-finals but can do so next week with a win. Bayern go to 5-5 and sit in fourth place. Nihad Djedovic led the winners with 21 points with Rodriguez pacing Real with 18.
One team that are now through to the quarter-finals are CSKA Moscow as they eased to an 84-52 win over Partizan in the Russian capital.
After a close first quarter, CSKA raced clear as they held the Serbians to just 7 points in the second period, leading to a 38-22 lead at half-time. From there, the Russian champions, without Milos Teodosic were never troubled.
CSKA improve to 9-1 in Group F, as their Euroleague season continues. Partizan are all but out on 2-8.
“My players deserve my best congratulations,” CSKA coach Ettore Messina commented. “They played hard from minute one and till the final buzzer. They defended very good, intense, active, helped each other. They moved the ball really well, recording 23 assists.”
Sasha Kaun and Vitaly Fridzon hit 13 points each to lead CSKA Moscow to victory. Partizan, without Terrence Kinsey were led by Joffrey Lauvergne’s 17 points.
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv coasted to a 77-67 win over eliminated Zalgiris at the Nokia Arena as the Israeli giants remain on course for qualification to the last eight.
The hosts held Zalgiris scoreless for the first five minutes of the third quarter to extend their lead to double digits and effectively seal the win.
Tyrese Rice led Maccabi with 19 points as four players posted double figure scores in the win. Zalgiris were led by Robertas Javtokas, who scored 12.
A game-winning 13-1 run from Fenerbahce handed them a 69-67 win over Unicaja Malaga in Istanbul as both teams are now tied for third place in Group E with 5-5 records.
Nemanja Bjelica was instrumental in the fourth quarter run as he kept his side in with the hunt for a place in the Euroleague quarter-finals.
“It was a very important win against Unicaja Malaga,” admitted Fenerbahce coach Zeljko Obradovic. “This win keeps our chances alive for the top four spots in our group. Now we have four games ahead of us that each is more important than the next.”
Bjelica and Bo McCalebb led the winners with 13 points each, while Unicaja were paced by Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who also got 13.
EA7 Milano are on course for a spot in the quarter-finals after registering a fourth straight Top 16 win by beating Laboral Kutxa 83-65 in Spain.
A 20-5 run by the Italian side effectively ended the game as a contest as Laboral drop to 2-8 and are all but eliminated from Group E.
Curtis Jerrells led Milano with 17 points, cancelling out Tibor Pleiss’ 30 points and 13 rebounds for Laboral Kutxa.