TOP 16 TOP 5
5-OLYMPIACOS PIRAEUS (GREECE)
Defense. This is the word for Panagiotis Giannakis’s bunch. Olympiacos of “the day after” (Gershon) wasn’t so solid and strong. Right now Olympiacos seems like a defensive team built on some great offensive players. The quarterfinals are so near, if they continue on this defensive way.
4-PARTIZAN IGOKEA BELGRADE (SERBIA)
Predrag Danilovic has to be proud of his team. As a player he was a fighter, and the Partizan of this Euroleague is a tough fighter team. Next week in the last Top 16 game, Partizan will host Panathinaikos at Pionir, no tomorrow, an elimination game. We are sure those game will be the most intense game in the Euroleague Top 16.
3-MACCABI ELITE TEL AVIV (ISRAEL)
Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv earned the Euroleague Quarterfinals last night at Palacio Vistalegre in Madrid, defeating 103-100 Los Merengues in a thrilling overtime. The yellow israeli have to beat Zalgiris Kaunas in the last Top 16 game next week to be at first place of Group F. Maccabi Tel Aviv, the tradition continues.
2-CSKA MOSKOW (RUSSIA)
Unicaja Malaga had a great night last week winning in Andalusia over Axa Barcelona, but last night in Moskow they seems like an army without weapons and shells, in presence of Cska. With this 93-70 win the russians clinched the first place in Group G, waiting for the last Top 16 week to know their opponents in the Euroleague Quarterfinals.
1-TAU CERAMICA VITORIA (SPAIN)
Who can stop Tau Ceramica in this part of season? It seems like anyone can beat the basque, who had their seventh straight home win last night (35-1 from january 2005 at the Fernando Buesa Arena.. impressive) over Aris TT Bank Thessaloniki, clinching the first place in Group E. Tau Ceramica is on fire, watching south-east they see Madrid, and the Final Four.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
JEREMIAH MASSEY (ARIS TT BANK THESSALONIKI)
One-man-band show in greek yellow-black uniform last night, as usual Jeremiah Massey from Aris TT Bank Thessaloniki. In the Aris 74-90 loss, the former Kansas State University had 26 points with 11/17 from the field, 7 rebounds and 3 steals, a solid and strong game, but not enough to grab the victory for Aris.
JAMES “SCOONIE” PENN (EFES PILSEN ISTANBUL)
Great game for the former Boston College and Ohio State player, and respect for him, the only Efes Pilsen american player to be in Belgrade two weeks ago, despite the troubles in Serbia for the american citizens. Last night he scored 33 points with 11/17 from the field (7/10 from the three points line), Efes Pilsen lost the game, but respect for Scoonie.
FELIPE REYES & AXEL HERVELLE (REAL MADRID)
In the bloody Real Madrid’s loss last night, Reyes and Hervelle played a great honorable game. 21 points (7/12 from the field), 11 rebounds and 3 assists for the spanish, and 20 points (6/11 from the field), 11 rebounds and 8 fouls drawn for the belgian, two big performances but with a loss for Real Madrid, who risk the access to the quarterfinals.
TERENCE MORRIS (MACCABI ELITE TEL AVIV)
All around game for the Maryland University product, driving Maccabi to the key win in Madrid. 23 points (only 8/17 from the field but 4/5 from the three points line), 13 rebounds, 2 assists 3 steals and 2 blocks for Morris, who’s been the revelation of the israeli Top 16.