Barcelona ruined ring night for Anadolu Efes when they took the replay of last season’s EuroLeague Championship game to overtime and won it 93-95 on Friday. This was an emotional night for former Efes championship-winning center Sertac Sanli who had been with the Turkish club for the past three seasons.
Asked about the return by reporters after the games, Sanli said: “I don’t know how I feel after this kind of game. It was really hard for me to play but I need to be professional and I did my job. That’s all. I need to look at it this way.”
While Barca remain top, level on wins with rivals Real Madrid, who beat Maccabi Tel-Aviv on Thursday, fourth place Olimpia Milano may have found themselves in a rut as they lost their fourth-straight game on Friday, this time 81-76 against Alba Berlin, in the league’s final game of the week.
Barcelona needed a second-half miracle as they took their game against Efes to overtime from a halftime score of 47-37. Former Efes big man Sanli was the catalyst for Barca however, as he scored 24 points throughout the night as the Catalans won the game in overtime. Sanli led the scoring for Barca as Nikola Mirotic added 18 points and eight rebounds, with Kyle Kuric scoring 16 and Nicolas Laprovittola 14. For Efes, Vasilje Micic was at his usual best as he led the team with 26 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Adrian Moerman was second best as he scored 16 points and Shane Larkin added 14.
Olimpia Milano are struggling despite remaining in fourth place, as Ettore Messina’s side lost to Alba Berlin. Alba dominated throughout the game, taking three of four quarters. Marcus Eriksson led with 21 points on the night, as Maodo Lo added 12, five rebounds, and six assists. The closest Milano could get was through Malcolm Delaney who scored 12. Kyle Hines added another 10 points, but the side will have to do better with both Zenit and CSKA Moscow both level on wins.
Third place Olympiacos will also have overtime to thank as they beat UNICS Kazan 84-87 on Friday. The game appeared to be in the balance until the end of the fourth quarter and it had to be a low-scoring extra period to separate the two teams. For the Russians, Lorenzo brown topped the scoring with 21 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Isaiah Canaan added 20 as John Brown III and Marco Hezonja were level on 11 points, the latter grabbing seven boards. For the Greek side, Sasha Vezenkov led with 22 points and seven rebounds. Kostas Sloukas added 12 as Moustapha Fall and Giannoulis Larentzakis had a near-identical stat line as they scored 10 points each, and both grabbed six boards.
Zenit missed the chance to overtake Milano as they lost 58-69 to Red Star on Friday. The Serbians were on top throughout with Zenit only taking the final quarter. For Red Star, Nate Wolters scored 14 points with five rebounds and three assists. Nikola Kalinic and Ognjen Kuzmic both added 11 points and five rebounds. For the Russians, Jordan Mickey led with 16 points and five rebounds, as Conner Frankamp added 12.
Zalgiris continued to fight for survival as they beat Baskonia 72-68 in a basement battle on Thursday. For the Kaunas side, Lukas Lekavicius led with 13 points and nine assists, while Josh Nebo and Mantas Kalnietis both added 10. For Baskonia, a side still trying to find their rhythm after a change in coaching staff last month, Steven Enoch led with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Simone Fontecchio added 12 points as Jayson Granger scored 11 and gave six assists.
On the other side of the standings, Real Madrid kept the pace with leaders Barca with a 72-70 win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv. They will have their impressive start and finish for the win after Maccabi contained Pablo Lasso’s men around the halftime break. For Real, Thomas Heurtel and Guerschon Yabusele both led with 15 points and five rebounds, the former also giving five assists. Vincent Poirier added another 11 points and five rebounds. For Maccabi, Scottie Wilbekin led with 14 points and five assists as Keenan Evans and Ante Zizic both scored 10.
The widest margin last weekend went to CSKA Moscow, who beat troubled Panathinaikos 97-77 on Thursday. While CSKA stand in sixth so far, the Greek side languishes in the penultimate 17th place ahead of Zalgiris. Alexey Shved led for the Russian side with a double-double of 17 points and 13 assists. Semen Antonov and Will Clyburn added 16. For Panathinaikos, Okaro White led both club and game in scoring with 19 points as Jeremy Evans added 15, and Giorgios Papagiannis and Nemanja Nedovic scored 14.
Fenerbahce, also struggling at the moment, had a moment to savor as they beat Monaco 96-86, in a game that saw star player Nando De Colo become the all-time EuroLeague PIR leader. While De Colo scored 15, it was Jan Vesely who led on the night with a double-double: 20 points and 10 rebounds. Marko Guduric followed with 18 points. For Monaco, the usual Mike James led with an astounding 31 points, making him the top scorer of the week, as Yakuba Ouattara added 15 points and six rebounds.
Mid-table Bayern Munich recovered from their previous loss to CSKA, as they beat ASVEL 73-65 on Thursday. Augustine Ribit led with a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds as Vladimir Lucic added 18 points and eight rebounds. For French side ASVEL, Elie Okobo scored 14 points, five rebounds and five assists as Christopher James and James Gist added ten points each.