Madrid, CSKA, Milan and Olympiacos win

Round 5 of the Top 16 is underway in the Euroleague with four games held in Groups E and F on Thursday. There was only one road win on the night as three teams collected victories at home.

Madrid

Tomorrow there will be a further four games as Panathinaikos welcomes Barcelona to Greece and Laboral Kutxa Vitoria hosts Anadolu Efes in Group E. In Group F Galatasaray will be at home against Zalgiris with Lokomotiv Kuban traveling to Serbia to play Partizan NIS Belgrade.

Group E

Olympiacos Piraeus vs. Unicaja Malaga, 73-55

Olympiacos kept pace in Group E with a resounding victory over Spanish club Unicaja Malaga in Greece. The current Euroleague champions now moves to a record of 3-2 in Group E although the club remains in fourth spot. Malaga remains in touch in fifth at 2-3 but the club will have to bounce back next week against Panathinaikos.

Unicaja started the brighter of the two sides and leapt into an early 8-13 lead, but Olympiacos came back as the first quarter wore on to tie the game at 17 apiece after 10 minutes. The game stayed tight during the first half of the second period, but the hosts picked up the pace as the first half drew to a close to lead 37-31 at the midway point. During the third the Greek home team pulled further ahead with a 9-0 run to take full command of the match and head into the final quarter leading 55-41. Olympiacos kept the tempo high in the final 10 minutes and got the deficit to 20 points before winning the game comfortably.
Olympiacos destroyed Malaga off the glass and collected a club high 22 rebounds on the night.

Georgios Printezis hauled 17 points for the winners, while Bryant Dunston claimed 12 and Stratos Perperoglou 11 points.

Nik Caner-Medley grabbed 14 points for the Spanish team and Vladimir Stimac picked up 8 points and 14 rebounds.

EA7 Milan vs. Fenerbahce Ulker, 90-85

Fenerbahce´s season continued to crumble on Thursday as the Turkish club fell to Milan in Italy. The club had performed so well in the Regular Season that the team was being touted as potential Euroleague contenders, but now Fener sits last in Group E with a 1-4 record after being ravaged by injuries. The win improves Milan to third place with a 3-2 record.

Fenerbahce took early control of the contest and kept Milan at bay for much of the opening quarter to lead 18-25 after the first. With a seven point cushion Fenerbahce crumbled in the second quarter and allowed Milan to carve open the defence to snatch a 49-40 lead at halftime. The third quarter saw Milan open a 15 point advantage, only to let the Turkish visitors back into the game with the score at 64-58 after thirty minutes. Despite Fenerbahce knocking on the door for much of the fourth, the hosts held on to take a vital win in the Top 16.

Daniel Hackett logged 17 points and 7 rebounds in the Milan team, while Curtis Jerrells hit 9 points (15 overall) in the fourth to help seal the win.

Linas Kleiza hit 26 points for the losing team, with Nemanja Bjelica netting 15 points and Emir Preldzic getting 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Group F

FC Bayern Munich vs. CSKA Moscow, 61-86

CSKA Moscow kept up momentum after last week’s huge win over Real Madrid by recording this crushing road victory over Bayern Munich. The Russian club takes over first place in Group F with a 4-1 record, equal with Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Madrid. Bayern´s early Top 16 form is fading as the team slips to 5th and 2-3.

CSKA outscored the hosts straight from the tip off and raced into an early 2-10 lead. Bayern soon started scoring but could not prevent the visitors holding a 14-23 advantage after the first period. Minutes 10 to 20 went much the same way as the Russian team continued to exert its dominance on the game, and by time the halftime buzzer sounded there was 17 point difference with the board reading 23-40. The Moscow players never looked back as they outscored the Bayern team by 22 to 20 in the third to lead 43-62 with just 10 minutes to play. With the game all but won, Moscow eased off late in the fourth but still cruised to a routine away win.

Milos Teodosic was deadly from beyond the arc for CSKA, netting six triples on his way to a game high 24 points. Nenad Krstic helped out with 14 points for the winners.

Malcolm Delaney stood out for Munich with 16 points.

Real Madrid vs. Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv, 74-68

Real Madrid got back to winning ways after the disappointing defeat to CSKA in Round 4. The Spanish giant reasserted its claim for the Euroleague title this season by downing a Tel-Aviv team that had won its last eight encounters in the competition. Madrid moves to 4-1 in Group F on the same record as CSKA Moscow and Tel-Aviv.

Madrid started the game in solid form and opened an eight point gap midway through the first, with the score at 16-8. However, Electra responded to take the first quarter, with the board showing 19-20 in the Israeli team´s favour. The game was proving to be a tight contest and there was never much daylight between the teams, although Madrid used the second quarter to create a 39-35 advantage at halftime. The hosts could not pull away early in the third and once again Tel-Aviv came back and snatched the lead after thirty minutes (56-57). In the final stanza Madrid found an extra gear and while the Spanish club was never certain of the win, the players held on to claim victory.

Sergio Llull hit 20 points to pace Madrid, while Rudy Fernandez took 16 points and 8 rebounds.

Sofoklis Schortsanitis and Guy Pnini were the high scorers for Electra with 15 points each.

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