10-MONTEPASCHI SIENA (ITALY)
Montepaschi has lost his first game in the Italian League last week, and in Euroleague they took their revenge edging another italian team, the poor Vidivici Virtus Bologna. Montepaschi back in Tuscany with a convincing 77-64 road win, still at second place of Group A.
9-LOTTOMATICA ROME (ITALY)
What a game last night in Rome. Lottomatica, with this 88-87 thrilling overtime win, catch the solo-fifth place in Group C, with a negative 5-7 record but beeing at the moment qualified for the Top16. Coach Repesa is making a good job with his players.
8-EFES PILSEN ISTANBUL (TURKEY)
Defeat the best Eurolegue team of last two months is a great thing. Efes Pilsen edged Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius last night at Abdi Ipekçi Sport Hall in Istanbul, in a 90-84 key win for the David Blatt’s blue bunch. In the next Top16 all the teams have to considere the strength of the turkish.
7-TAU CERAMICA VITORIA (SPAIN)
Still a strong contender, Tau Ceramica Vitoria is second in Group A behind Cska Moskow and tied with Montepaschi Siena. The basque this week defeated 89-74 Union Olimpija Ljubljana at Fernando Buesa Arena, leading by twenty points at the halftime, an easy win.
6-LIETUVOS RYTAS VILNIUS (LITHUANIA)
Lietuvos Rytas this week had a little taste of the rough crunch time in Euroleague, tough fields, tough challengers, tough air in the arenas. This loss in Turkey cost the Lietuvos first solo place in Group B. A little taste of the real toughness of Euroleague.
5-REAL MADRID (SPAIN)
A fundamental and sweet win for Real Madrid at Palacio Vistalegre over the arch-rivals of Axa Fc Barcelona. A tight 82-79 win who put Le Merengues at solo-second place in Group C behind Panathinaikos.
4-UNICAJA MALAGA (SPAIN)
A fast redemption for Unicaja Malaga after the tough loss last week in Israel. An easy win over the worst team in Euroleague, Le Mans (still without wins with a 0-12 record), who gave to Sergio Scariolo andalusians the first place in Group B tied with Lietuvos and Maccabi.
3-CSKA MOSKOW (RUSSIA)
A symbolic win for Ettore Messina’s Cska in Lithuania over Zalgiris Kaunas, one of the best teams of the last part of Euroleague. A large victory for the russians (88-60), who virtually clinch the first place of Group A, waiting for the Top16.
2-MACCABI ELITE TEL AVIV (ISRAEL)
Tied with Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius and Unicaja Malaga at first place of Group B, right now Maccabi is one of the best teams of the Tournament. This week the israeli had a good game in Croatia, edging 81-76 Cibona Zagreb. Seven win in the last eight games for Maccabi, they’re hot.
1-PANATHINAIKOS ATHENS (GREECE)
Back at first place of the Top Ten, the Obradovic Greens are the only team in Euroleague with eleven wins and just one loss. Last night Panathinaikos easily won 102-78 on Chorale Roanne at OAKA in Athens, with a solid team effort.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
WILLIE SOLOMON (FENERBAHCE ULKER ISTANBUL)
In the unexpected Fenerbahce’s loss in Bamberg, Willie Solomon had a great game with 28 points (50% field goal percentage), 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 8 fouls drawn. A strong game for the former Clemson University, but not enough for the win.
MARKO MILIC (UNION OLIMPIJA LJUBLJANA)
The great crazy dunker Marko Milic had a big spot last night in the 74-89 loss of his team Union Olimpija. 23 points with 10/13 from the field, 10 rebounds and 4 steals for the Kranj’s (Slovenia, at the italian border) native, a flash in the Olimpija’s black night.
ROMAIN SATO (MONTEPASCHI SIENA)
The Central African Republic’s native (and former Musketeer at Xavier) drove Montepaschi Siena to a good win in Bologna, with 18 points, 8/12 from the field, 6 rebounds, 5 steals and 8 fouls drawn. Sato is one of the most solid players in the Euroleague.
Solomon, Milic and Sato are co-MVPs of the Euroleague Week 12.