Aftermath (Top16 11g.) – Fight till the end

2014-03-22T00:14:53+00:00 2015-05-23T16:15:53+00:00.

Aris Barkas

22/Mar/14 00:14

Eurohoops.net

The 11th gameday was more than emotional, specially at OAKA, however it’s also a part of the unpredicted ending of a thrilling roller coaster ride in Euroleague’s Top16. Unbeaten Barca, great Real, big wins for Greens, Reds, Milano and Galatasaray

By Aris Barkas/ barkas@eurohoops.net

The 11th gameday was more than emotional, specially at OAKA, however it’s also a part of the unpredicted ending of a thrilling roller coaster ride in Euroleague’s Top16. Want a proof for that? Real Madrid beat by 14 points CSKA Moscow and the two teams are sharing the top spot of Group F (9-2) with a totally tied points difference in the two games between them. So we will have to wait until the last moment and the total goal average of the two opponents for the 1st place to be decided.

In Group E, Barcelona is still unbeaten (11-0), but after there is chaos. ΕΑ7 Milano is second with a 8-3 record and needs one more win in order to secure a play offs birth. Panathinaikos is third (6-5), followed by Olympiacos, Fenerbahce/ Ulker and Unicaja Malaga (5-6). Anadolu Efes and Laboral Kutxa (2-9) are out of the play offs race. In Group F, behind the two top teams, Maccabi Tel Aviv is third (7-4) and there is a three way tie in the fourth spot between Galatasaray, Bayern Munich and Lokomotiv Kuban (5-6). Partizan (3-8) and Zalgiris (1-10) have the two last spots.

MVP

Rudy Fernandez

In a relative quiet season so far, he shined against CSKA Moscow. Rudy exploded for 28 points in the game he was really needed by his team and turned out to be the best performance of Real Madrid until now in the season, the 93-79 win over CSKA Moscow. The Spaniard was unstoppable and in 34 minute of action he had 9/16 field goals, 6/6 free throws, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assist with not even one turnover. That’s impressive.

Best five

  1. Carlos Arroyo: He had 0/5 threes, but also 16 points and 11 assists on the way to the 76-69 win of Galatasaray over Bayern Munich, like a true leader should.
  2. Rudy Fernandez: Yes, he played like MVP.
  3. Mike Bramos: A personal best in Euroleague with 23 points on 7/8 threes. Yes, Panathinaikos defense was once again the key, but with the Greens struggling to score this season, Mike was the key to a good offensive night and killed Fenerbahce (76-67).
  4. Samardo Samuels: Curtis Jerrells was decisive in the end, but Samuels with 14 points and 12 rebounds kept alive EA7 Milano and permitted to the team without injured Langford to reach  the final 76-69 win over feisty Anadolu Efes.
  5. Ante Tomic: His choice is also automatic. Barcelona is still unbeaten after prevailing in Malaga (77-61) and he had one more double double (12 p., 10 r.) in just 17 minutes of action.

Best losing performance: Sonny Weems

The American forward of CSKA Moscow was the answer to Rudy by scoring also 28 points on 9/12 shots against one of the best defenses in the league. He also had 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 turnovers. He did the best he could in order to save the day in Madrid for the Russians but in the end he was not enough.

Biggest win: Real Madrid

The top spot of Group F is not decided yet and the total goal average will decide the final standings because the two teams have the same points difference in the two Top16 game between them, but even if Real ends up in the second place A) it will also have the home court advantage in the play offs and B) the Spanish champions terrorized Europe with a more than great performance. It’s not just the 93-79 win, but the impressive concentration of the winners who dished 19 assists and had just 2 turnovers, the least ever in the modern era of Euroleague. Yes, Barca may be perfect in Top16, but Real is still the team to beat.

Τhe explosion: Olympiacos

Vasilis Spanoulis returned to action and his aura was enough for the rest of Olympiacos to gain confidence. The result was a 89-59 win. The back to back champions returned to victories, even against a team that has no real hope for the play offs and one thing is certain. The Reds will fight until the end for the play offs in order to defend their titles in Milan.

The upset: Partizan

The Serbs were playing for their pride, the Israelis for their lasts chances to hunt the second place in Group F and the home court advantage in the play offs. Maccabi had a comfortable lead for the first three quarters, but Partizan at home can’t be underestimated even at the last second. If you do that, then be prepared to be “killed” by a three pointer of Bogdan Bogdanovic and go back to Tel Aviv with a 72-70 defeat.

The lucky: Lokomotiv Kuban

You have in your roster Saras Jasikevicius and he takes the last shot. What best can you expect? Still, time doesn’t do favors to anyone, Saras missed and Lokomotiv Kuban survived in Kaunas for a 86-85 escape. In sports you need also luck and it smiled to the Russians who played with fire against a team which is out of the play offs race, but didn’t get burned.

Last word: Return of Zoc

You seen the pictures, you seen the videos, you know the result. The 20th of March 2014 is now part of Panathinaikos’ lore, a prized moment for those who were at OAKA. Don’t worry Fenerbahce’s fans, Obradovic has a two years contract, but you can’t deny him the throne he build for himself in Athens.

Euroleague 2013-2014 – 21th Day
Unicaja Malaga 61-77 F.C. Barcelona
Olympiacos 89-59 Laboral Kutxa
EA7 Milano 76-69 Anadolu Efes
Panathinaikos 76-67 Fenerbahce
Real Madrid 93-79 CSKA Moscow
Partizan NIS 72-70 Maccabi Tel Aviv
Zalgiris 85-86 Lokomotiv Kuban
Galatasaray MP 76-69 FC Bayern