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Fabio Anderle's Euroleague Roundup


The Euroleague undefeated teams’ number was cut to three when Lithuanian Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (4-0) upended greek Aris Saloniki (3-1) 77-70 thanks to the performance by former South Carolina alum Marijonas Petravicius, who was the top scorer of the game with 22 points (11-for-14 shooting). Partizan Beograd (2-2) suffered its second consecutive loss in Spain at the hands of Real Madrid, one of the undefeated teams. Big man Nikola Peković suffered his first off day of the season scoring just 6 points in 25 minutes marred by foul trouble. Milt Palacio was the only one to step up for the Croatians: he scored 24 points on 10-for-18 shooting and was the top scorer in the 64-75 defeat. In the "clash of the ex-Celtics", Unicaja Málaga (3-1) defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv (2-2) 93-70. Jiri Welsch scored 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting and grabbed 5 boards as the Spaniards used a 28-13 run in the last quarter to pull the win. Estéban Batista had 9 points and 6 boards in 18 minutes of play for Maccabi, while Will Bynum added 14 losing effort points. Lottomatica Rome (1-3) easily upended German Brose Baskets (0-4) 81-57 to gain its first Euroleague win. Allan Ray scored 10 points on 2-for-9 shooting. 



As expected, Maccabi Tel Aviv (3-0) continued its domination over arch-rival Hapoel Jerusalem with a 96-85 win at Nokia Arena. Former Bull Marcus Fizer scored 28 points (11-for-12 from the field) in 28 minutes, while Estéban Batista scored 5 points (2-for-3 shooting) and grabbed 8 rebounds in just 8 minutes of play.  


Montepaschi Siena (10-0) doesn’t skip a beat and keeps widening its lead in the standings: Siena faced Solsonica Rieti (5-5) and the game was already over at halftime, with the Tuscanian team leading 64-25. In the second half Siena went on cruise control breezing to a 100-64 triumph, with Lithuanian forward Kzystof Lavrinovic scoring 28 points, grabbing 9 boards and registering 5 steals in just 28 minutes of play. Jumaine Jones exploded for 29 points to lead Eldo Napoli (3-7) to a 95-84 win over Tisettanta Cantù (4-6). Jones sank 9 of the 14 shots attempted, was perfect from the line (9-for-9) and snatched 7 rebounds in 33 minutes. For Eldo, Jamel Thomas added 6 points and four rebounds. Angelico Biella (6-4) wasn’t able to preserve a late lead and was nipped by Siviglia Wear Teramo (6-4) 111-101 in overtime. Kevinn Pinkney scored 14 points and grabbed 5 rebounds but fouled out trying to stop former Nugget Nikoloz Tskitshvili (25 points). Teramo exploited Pinkney’s absence to take the lead for good, and Brandon Hunter’s 7 points and 9 rebounds weren’t enough to give Biella the win. Five players scored in double figure as Lottomatica Rome (7-3) defeated AJ Milan (3-7) 80-74 . Allan Ray (10 points, 8 rebounds) was one of them, even if he hit the wall of another awful shooting performance (2-for-8). Italian 19 years old rising star Danilo Gallinari (a silky 6-8 guard) scored 13 points for Milan. 


The three teams sitting atop the Spanish league keep roaring, and the rest of the league barely tries to keep their pace. Real Madrid barely survived to Iurbentia Bilbao (5-3), one of the real surprises of the "temporada" (season),  edgeing the Basques 74-69 after a hard fought battle in which center Felipe Reyes (17 points and 7 rebounds) was a key factor. DKV Joventut Badalona conquered the Madrid Arena defeating Estudiantes (1-7) 85-70 while stars Rudy Fernández and Ricky Rubio scored 15 and 13 points respectively. Jerome Moiso added 5 points (2-for-5 shooting), 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots (or "tapones", as they call them in Spain).

When Danny Ainge sent Antoine Walker to Miami in 2005, the Celtics received the rights to Albert Miralles, Qyntel Woods and two second round picks, and another player who is roaming the Spanish hardwood: Curtis Borchardt. Curtis’ 15 points and 11 rebounds weren’t enough to lift C.B. Granada (4-4) to a win over Barcelona (7-1), though. The Catalans won 71-68 to stay atop of the ACB. Pamesa Valencia (5-3) wasn’t able to sustain the momentum brought by a four games winning streak and had to bow to Fuenlabrada Madrid (3-5) 69-64. The signing of former Clipper Zeljko Rebrača wasn’t enough to overcome bad outings by Albert Miralles (5 points and 1 rebound in 15 minutes of play) and Shammond Williams (9 points on 3-for-11 shooting. Unicaja Málaga keeps its incredible season going: one of the best teams in Euroleague (3 won – 1 lost) is mightily struggling in the Spanish League (2-6). In the last game the "malagueños" were trounced by Tau Cerámica Vitoria (6-2) 84-62. Jiri Welsch managed 9 points on 2-for-9 shooting, while San Antonio Spurs’ first round pick Tiago Splitter scored 5 points and grabbed 1 rebound in 22 minutes of play for Tau.  


Just a handful of games were played in Russia, and only one saw some "ex-Celtic action":  Spartak Primorie Vladivostok (3-5) flied 4,000 miles to reach Moscow and to challenge local team Triumph. J.R. Bremer went 4-for-9 from the field (9 points) and added 6 assists, but Spartak couldn’t stop local stars Henry Domercant (30 points on 10-for-16 shooting for the Eastern Illinois alum) and ex-Atlanta Hawk Travis Hansen (17 points, 6-for-12 from the field) as Triumph Moscow (8-1) prevailed 88-81. 


Partizan’s (9-1) Euroleague rocky road is somewhat sweetened by another Adriatic League win. Beograd’s most storied team stays on the top of the league after nipping Montenegrin Budućnost Podgoriča (4-6) 85-80 thanks to Milenko Tepić’s 19 points and to Milt Palacio’s 12 points (4-for-6 shooting) and 4 assists. Črvena Žvezda (Red Star) Beograd (8-2) barely kept the pace, nipping KK FMP Beograd (5-5) 86-83 after a furious comeback. Omar Cook was a key factor, scoring 19 points, registering 6 steals and playing solid basketball in the clutch: he sank 6 points in the final 13-1 run which put Črvena Žvezda ahead for good. KK Split (5-5) was able to edge Slovenian Olimpija Ljubljana 76-75 in spite of Marlon Garnett’s abysmal performance. Garnett shot 3-for-10 and turned the ball over 5 times, but Split survived thanks to Croatian young big man Andrija Stipanović, who scored 18 points going 8-for-12 from the floor. 

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