The door on the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague could have been closed on this season, but the action will go to at least next week with one berth up for grabs. That’s because Crvena Zvezda Belgrade missed its chance to make the next round with a loss at the hands of FC Lassa Barcelona.
Elsewhere, Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul kept its qualification hopes alive with a win over Galatasaray Istanbul in a derby clash. CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid maintained their grip at the top of the standings, with CSKA defeating Unics Kazan and Madrid seeing off Olympiacos in a battle of the giants.
FC Barcelona Lassa vs. Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, 67-54
Barcelona is playing for pride. The Spanish giant and former Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champ is already eliminated after an awful campaign. With this win, the Catalan’s stopped Crvena Zvezda Belgrade from qualifying to the Play-Offs. The Serbian champ is one win (15-13) ahead of Darussafaka (14-14) and still has progression in its own hands. The visitors were plagued by an inconsistent attack, scoring just 25 points in the second half. That gave Barca a platform to build the win.
Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul vs. Galatasaray Istanbul, 73-67
Darussafaka needed a win to keep its hopes alive, but had to face a heated Istanbul derby to attain the victory. The hosts performed well to see off EuroCup champ Galatasaray in Turkey. The win keeps Darussafaka in the hunt for the Play-Offs, but the club is relying on Crvena Zvezda to slip up. The hosts were losing 37-39 through the long break, but turned it on in the second half to pick up the win. Brad Wanamaker paced the success with 22 points and 6 rebounds.
Olympiacos Piraeus vs. Real Madrid, 73-79
Real Madrid faced a tough trip to keep hold of first place, and a test of its title credentials with a visit to Piraeus to play Greek juggernaut Olympiacos. Los Blancos was up to that test and collected a road success to stay top, albeit on the same 21-7 record as CSKA Moscow. Olympiacos has long qualified for the Play-Offs and stays third on 19-9. After a 37-37 tie in the first half, Real Madrid found momentum and extended past the hosts in the second, led by Anthony Randolph and Sergio Llull with 21 points.
Unics Kazan vs. CSKA Moscow, 74-85
Unics Kazan hosts Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion and fellow Russian club CSKA Moscow. The game went as form suggested, this was top vs. bottom. CSKA was simply too good throughout, and never looked like losing this contest. The win keeps the champs with Real Madrid at the bottom, while Unics Kazan falls to 7-21 at the foot of the standings.