Euroleague: Fener and CSKA lose

The Euroleague Last 16 Round 3 ended on Friday with four games. On Thursday all the road teams claimed victory but that trend was reversed tonight as it was a case of home comforts with all the hosts grabbing wins.

Unicaja Malaga sunk Fenerbahce in an intriguing looking Group E, while EA7 Milan also tasted success while hosting Laboral Kutxa. Also in action in Group E were Panathinaikos and Efes, with the Greek team winning at home. There was a lone contest in Group F as CSKA Moscow narrowly lost on the road at Partizan NIS Belgrade.

Group E

Unicaja Malaga vs. Fenerbahce Ulker, 89-75
Malaga snatched a hugely important win by defeating Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce at home, but the Spanish team only took victory after a stirring fourth quarter comeback. The Spanish team has now won the last two and sees its record improve to 2-1, enough to see the team take 4th place in Group E. Fenerbahce´s Euroleague season is in disarray after such a promising Regular Season. The club has now lost three in a row to go 0-3 at the bottom of the Last 16 group after another disastrous collapse in the dying stages of a game.

The teams could not be separated in the opening stages as both sets of players fought for the lead, and after the first 10 minutes the scores were tied at 19 apiece. Linas Kleiza hit three from beyond the arc in the second quarter to give Fenerbahce a small advantage, with the Turkish team holding out to lead 37-39 at the midway point. The visitors continued to press after the break and led by six points in the closing stages of the third quarter, and while the hosts managed to cut the advantage it was still the away team that was in charge with one quarter left (62-66). In the fourth quarter Fenerbahce started to wane while the Spanish hosts clicked into gear and started pulling away. In a solid quarter for Malaga and a disappointing one for Fener, the home team secured the victory in fine fashion.

Zoran Dragic helped Malaga to victory with a game high 24 points alongside Ryan Toolson with 12, Carlos Suarez with 11 and Vladimir Stimac with 10.

Melih Mahmutoglu led Fenerbahce with 19 points and was 100% on three pointers (5-5). Linas Kleiza added 17 for the visitors while Bo McCalebb scored 16 points and also bested his personal Euroleague record with 8 assists.

Other Group E games
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan vs. Laboral Kutxa, 83-76
Panathinaikos Athens vs. Anadolu Efes, 78-64

Group F

Partizan NIS Belgrade vs. CSKA Moscow, 73-72
CSKA Moscow slipped to a shock defeat on the road to Partizan NIS Belgrade in a very close encounter. It was a fantastic last gasp win for Partizan as the Serbian giant held off one of the favourites for the Euroleague title this season. The victory moves Partizan up into sixth place in Group F with a 1-2 record, while Russian powerhouse CSKA slips to fourth at 2-1.

A very close and tense first quarter placed the teams as equals on the night and set up what was a close game throughout. After the first period the home team held a slender 15-14 advantage. In the second quarter CSKA began to show the kind of class that has them as one of the Euroleague favourites, but Partizan kept on the Russian team´s tail to trail at halftime by just one point (34-35). During minutes 20-30 the game closed up as both teams jostled for the lead, which was traded numerous times throughout the period. After 30 minutes nothing could separate the players on the court as the score read 50-50. The fourth quarter followed in the same vain as neither club could carve out a defining advantage. With just 24 seconds on the clock CSKA led 71-72, but the ever impressive Bogdan Bogdanovic stepped up to the free throw line to sink his baskets and give Partizan a very close fought win.

Bogdanovic was once again outstanding for Partizan and picked up 27 points against CSKA. Tarence Kinsey was also on hand for the winners with 15 points as was Joffrey Lauvergne with 11 points and 8 boards.

Nenad Krstic joined Bogdanovic on 27 points in the losing effort, while Sonny Weems collected 16 in defeat.

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