The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague playoffs took a dramatic turn on Thursday night as a couple of teams were able to come away with upset victories. Of the two, the most surprising was Zalgiris Kaunas stealing a Game 2 win over Fenerbahce Istanbul on the road 80-82. This is the first home loss for Fenerbahce all season, proving that the Lithuanian club should not be underestimated or taken for granted. In the other game, Kirolbet Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz evened up their quarterfinals series with a 68-78 win over CSKA Moscow.
Zalgiris powered through in the second and third quarters to set up a massive lead. Fenerbahce would mount their comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late. Zalgiris played to their strengths and shot a blistering 24-of-34 from 2-point range. Edgaras Ulanovas exploded for a game-high 20 points with seven rebounds. He was virtually unstoppable, making 9-of-10 shots from 2-point range. Despite Fenerbahce making three more 3-point shots than their guests, Zalgiris’ dominance in the low-post was enough of defining factor to swing this game in their favor and come through with an upset.
Baskonia Vitoria gave CSKA Moscow a taste of their own medicine in this one as they used a high-powered offense to thwart their hosts. It was “go, go, go!” from the opening whistle and Vitoria managed to end the first quarter up 18-27. CSKA Moscow would cut into the lead in the second period but a strong third quarter would give the Spanish team the advantage they needed to come away with the eventual win.
Darrun Hilliard paced Vitoria-Gasteiz with 16 points, while teammate Vincent Poirier dominated in the paint with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double performance.