Turkish Airlines EuroLeague: CSKA Marches On

Turkish Airlines EuroLeague

After stumbling in December, previous league leaders CSKA Moscow are marching on in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague with their second consecutive win, starting 2019 on the right foot. In Round 17 the Russian Army men easily dispatched with standings bottom dwellers, Darussafaka Istanbul 65-80. While the result may have been something that was expected, CSKA Moscow has used it to help them rise in the standings, moving up to third place with a 12-5 record.

CSKA can be dangerous opponents when their offense is humming, especially when they get a big game from Nando de Colo. Last night, he led his squad with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting with one 3-pointer and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. His efficient scoring was enough damage to keep their hosts at bay throughout the contest. Cory Higgins added 13 points, while veteran Sergio Rodriguez handled the playmaking duties with 11 points and six dimes.

Only Kartal Ozmirak was able to score in double figures for Darussafaka with 13 points, highlighting the talent gap between both clubs. They’ve really struggled in 2018-19 mustering just two wins in 17 outings.

Another riser in the standings this round is Panathinaikos Athens, who move into seventh place with an 8-9 record. They defeated FC Bayern Muenchen 77-67, kicking the Germans out of the top-8 in one of the more critical games of the round.

They controlled the game from beginning to end and looked sharp in front of a home crowd as homegrown Ioannis Papapetrou spearheaded the win with 18 points and eight rebounds. He led four other teammates to score in double figures, a stark contrast to Bayern Muenchen’s game, with Derrick Williams the only player to match that mark but carried the scoring load with a game-high 21 points. Strength in numbers outmatched once again the power of one in this affair. It’s a team sport and Panathinaikos used that mantra to good use in the win. That said, they’re still in an effective tie with Bayern Muenchen and AX Armani Exchange as all three teams have 8-9 records, keeping the race for those coveted playoff berths very tight and competitive.

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