Behind the Turks of Fenerbahçe, the only leaders with two successes in advance (8-1) after their victory in extremis at Monaco Tuesday evening (96-93), it jostles at the gate. Tuesday night’s results have resulted in a group of four pursuers with six wins and three losses on the clock – awaiting Zalgiris Kaunas, who could join the party if they win in Vitoria on Wednesday.
The Monegasques, who could have found themselves at the top of the Euroleague, are now neck and neck with Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Olympiakos. The Greeks made the bad operation of the evening by losing to Tel Aviv (84-90). The Israelis, led by five lengths at the start of the money-time, caught fire by Jarell Martin (13 points), Lorenzo Brown (16 points, 6 assists) and Wade Baldwin (22 points, 8 fouls caused), passed a 27 to 15 in the last period, put an end to a series of three defeats and put their record back in the positive (5-4).
The two Spanish cadors, Madrid in Valencia (80-73) and Barcelona against Partizan Belgrade (79-68), enforced logic by winning. Real was carried by the record offensive performance of its Bosnian fullback Dzanan Musa, author of 28 points (10/13, 6 rebounds) in a game whose suspense was stale from the first quarter (31-19) while the locals were without their best player, Chris Jones. The Frenchies of Real, with the exception of Guerschon Yabusele, still injured, held their rank (5 points and 3 rebounds for Fabien Causeur, 10 and 4 for Petr Cornelie, 4 and 4 for Vincent Poirier).
In a game where they locked in defense, Barcelona made the difference against Serbs Partizan in the second (22-11) and third (25-17) quarters, relying on Nicolas Laprovittola (13 points, 6 assists) , Tomas Satoransky (11 points, 3 assists) or even Oscar Da Silva (5 points, 10 rebounds). Opposite, the Belgrade of Mathias Lessort (5 points, 5 rebounds, his two smallest marks of the season) and Danilo Andjusic (23 points at 6/8) collectively shot at 34%.
In the other two matches of the evening, Milan – fifth defeat in a row – and Berlin – sixth defeat in a row – continued their fall. The Italians, after holding the shock for a half (34-34), were crushed at home (51-80) by the double title holder of Efes (46 to 17 after returning from the locker room) and Will Clyburn ( 24 dots).
“If we continue to play like this, I will go to Mr. Armani and tell him that they need someone else to lead the project”
Rodrigue Beaubois scored 8 points for the Istanbul club. Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, for his Euroleague debut with Milan, totaled 6 points (0/4 to 3 points) and 1 rebound in 19 minutes. The crisis is palpable, to the point that legend Ettore Messina admitted at a press conference to considering leaving his post.
“This match gives us the feeling of having gone back two and a half years, explained the coach with four European titles. I clearly have a responsibility. If the team plays without heart, I feel responsible for not having been able to create a group that manages to play together. I want to bring this back but if we keep playing like this I will go to Mr Armani (club sponsor) and tell him they need someone else to lead this project.”
Finally, the Alba, since its three initial successes, no longer knows how to win and has borne the brunt of the awakening of the Red Star, cornered for two matches by Dusko Ivanovic and winner in Germany after extra time (88-84, 21 points for Luca Vildoza, 17 for Nemanja Nedovic).