Finally. Crvena Zvezda MTS Beograd can breathe a collective sigh of relief after dispatching with Germani Brescia in convincing fashion, 103-67, and advance to the 7Days EuroCup top-16. Their 5-4 finish after Round 9 gives takes them to second place in Group A. The loss for Brescia may have been heartbreaking but leaves them with a narrow window to still make it through to the next stage. In Round 10, they get to face off against Ratiopharm Ulm, with the victor getting to move on. Talk about do-or-die.
Joe Ragland came through for Red Star in this game with an impressive double-double, dropping 16 points and 10 assists to lead his team. They came out of the gates with guns blazing and ran up a 31-14 lead at the end of the first quarter and did not look back from there.
The second quarter was when Crvena Zvezda busted the game wide-open and out of reach of Brescia, “dumpstering” their guests with a 34-8 quarter. As hard as Brescia tried in the second half, the lead was too much for them to overcome.
In other Group A action, Monaco defeated Galatasaray Istanbul 76-71 in a non-bearing game, taking them to a commanding 7-2 record and pole position in the group.
In Group B, Lokomotiv Kuban downed Cedevita Zagreb 80-76. No hearts were broken in this one as both teams are already slated to advance onto the next stage.
Group C had a critical game, as Turk Telekom Ankara managed defeat Dolomiti Energia Trento 84-77, which improved their record to 4-5, allowing them to challenge Zenit Saint Petersburg for the last remaining spot coming out of the group.
Lastly, Group D the Fraport Skyliners Frankfurt beat Mornar Bar, 83-87, in a game that had no impact on the top-16 as the team from Frankfurt have already their tickets punched. Mornar Bar are out of the running with a 2-7 slate. In a battle to settle the top spot of the group, Unics Kazan edged out Unicaja Malaga, 87-84 to claim that distinction and a laudable 8-1 regular season record.