10-EFES PILSEN ISTANBUL (TURKEY)
Edging Unicaja Malaga last night (a 91-75 convincing win at Abdi Ipekci in Istanbul), one of the hottest team in the Euroleague, Efes Pilsen has still chances to reach the Top16. Maybe the David Blatt’s work begin to be recognized.
9-FENERBAHCE ULKER ISTANBUL (TURKEY)
Strong victory for the Boscia Tanjevic’s turkish on the tough Black & White field, the Partizan’s Pionir in Belgrade. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul edged Partizan 76-72, improving their record to 4-3, a big step to the Top16.
8-UNICAJA MALAGA (SPAIN)
Despite the unexpected loss in Turkey this week, Unicaja is still at the top of Group B, tied with Lietuvos Rytas and Maccabi Elite. They undoubtedly belong to the Top16, but they have to be focused on the game all the time.
7-CSKA MOSKOW (RUSSIA)
Ettore Messina gets his revenge. His former team Vidivici Virtus Bologna (Messina with Virtus won the 1998 and 2001 Euroleague) is a poor squad right now and Cska is one of the big contenders for the title. The final 79-53 for the russians is the perfect picture of the value of the teams.
6-REAL MADRID (SPAIN)
Closed, very closed to beat Panathinaikos in Athens, demonstrating to be a strong team who can challenge every each opponent in the Tournament. Real has the same record (5-2) of the big rivals Axa Fc Barcelona, at second place of Group C.
5-LIETUVOS RYTAS VILNIUS (LITHUANIA)
Back on track after two losses in a row, Lietuvos Rytas is the co-leader of Group B, with Unicaja Malaga and Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, still beeing the surprise of the Tournament. This week they downed 93-59 Cibona Zagreb in a key home game in Vilnius.
4-AXA FC BARCELONA (SPAIN)
An easy win for the Blaugrana, downing Brose Baskets Bamberg 80-58 in their homeland Catalunya, a victory with tough defense and a right mental approach to the game, as coach Ivanovic wants. Tied with Real Madrid at second place in Group C behind the unbeaten Panathinaikos.
3-MACCABI ELITE TEL AVIV (ISRAEL)
Except Panathinaikos, maybe the israeli are the best team of this part of Euroleague. Maccabi won at home (they’re still unbeaten at Yad Eliyahu) over Aris TT Bank Thessaloniki, a strong 85-70 win who put the yellows at the top of Group B (tied with Unicaja and Lietuvos).
2-MONTEPASCHI SIENA (ITALY)
Undefeated in the Italian League and at home in Europe this season (12-0 in the Italian League and 5-2 in the Euroleague, with the two losses both on the road), Montepaschi Siena had a great game beating the strong Olympiacos, confirming as second force of Group A.
1-PANATHINAIKOS ATHENS (GREECE)
Amazing win in Athens on Real Madrid, fighting ’til the last second to grab the victory, who sounds like a consecration of their european dominion. Panathinaikos is the only unbeaten team in the Euroleague and in Europe.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
DANIEL SANTIAGO (UNICAJA MALAGA)
Despite his team’s road loss, Daniel Santiago has been named MVP of the Week 7 by Euroleague. 25 points, 8/12 from the field, 9/9 free throws and 8 boards. Santiago is still one of the most dominant centers of the Euroleague’s last years.
MARCUS BROWN (ZALGIRIS KAUNAS)
A great Marcus Brown. 27 points (6/6 from the three points arc) in the big win of Zalgiris Kaunas over Tau Ceramica Vitoria. This unlucky player ( he had some terrible injuries in last two years) has finally found his way to play ball as he knows.
MICHAEL BATISTE (PANATHINAIKOS)
A dominating big man in a guard’s team. In the fourth quarter of the last game he was on the field with Spanoulis, Alvertis, Diamantidis and Jasikevicius, all three points shooters. He made his game in the paint, 24 points in 26 minutes, the key of the Pana’s victory.