By Niki Bakouli/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Olympiacos got a crucial win in Tel Aviv, Fener got its first Top16 win for the season, Juan Carlos Navarro became the first player to score 3.000 points in Euroleague and Alba Berlin won the duel in the first ever all German Top16 encounter. It was a night to remember.
- Olympiacos played with fire, but got the win 78-77 at the home court of Maccabi Tel Aviv. Vasilis Spanoulis scored 24 points, however the biggest play of the game came in the last three seconds. Kostas Papanikolaou had the opportunity to give a three points lead to the Reds, he missed both free throws and the host team had three seconds to win the game. Darko Planinic was ready to dunk on transition, but the final buzzer sounded, the game was over and Olympiacos won.
- Fenerbahce Ulker got their first “W” at Top16, by beating Khimki 85-82. It was anything but easy, with Fridzon scoring 2/2 FTs and cutting Fener‘s lead to one point (81-80) in the last 20 seconds. Tripkovic did exactly the same thing (83-80) for the home team, before the Russians lost connection with the basket and Tripkovic again sealed the victory with another pair of FTs (85-80), which was actually the end of it all. It was a very close game, with Bogdanovic being the top scorer (26, with 10/10 FTs) and McCalebb with Peker being responsible giving a crucial lead to Fener (77-73) at 1.43’’ to the end.
- In Vitoria, Juan Carlos Navarro became the first Euroleague player to score 3.000 points (at 4.49 in the game) and Barcelona left the building with the 90-79 win, after a 12-2 run from 34.44’’ to 37.32’’ (85-72). Caja Laboral was close till halftime (47-50), but in the first three minutes of the third period “blaugrana” got their first double digit difference (51-61, in the middle of the third quarter). Of course, Jan Tabak’s players had something more to say: they made a run at the end, but It wasn’t enough to keep them undefeated (it was the first loss at Top16 and the first one after 17 straight victories for Euroleague and Liga Endesa).
- Alba Berlin lived an historical moment, after the 82-63 win over Brose Baskets. It was the first victory of the club in Euroleague’s Top16 in the first ever all German duel in the second phase of the competition. Brose Baskets was considered the better team before the tip off, however Nihad Dedovic killed the German champions with a big game (20 p., 8 r., 4 st., 3 as.).