10- ZALGIRIS KAUNAS (LITHUANIA)
Right now Zalgiris Kaunas is a serious challenger for the Top16, taking advantage of their first road win in all the Tournament last night in Poland against Prokom Trefl Sopot. Right now the team of President Arvydas Sabonis is tied with Olympiacos at the third place of Group A
9- EFES PILSEN ISTANBUL (TURKEY)
Third consecutive win for Efes Pilsen, last night in Milan, over an Armani Jeans always in trouble. The Blues edged the Red Shoes 76-73, and despite the final score, they were in control all the game. Efes is continuing to improve, game after game.
8- LOTTOMATICA ROME (ITALY)
Last week Panathinaikos, this week Real Madrid, Lottomatica Rome is the only team who defeated both the most powerful teams in the entire Euroleague. A lot of injuries and a short rotation, but the Roman Centurions have a big big heart.
7- OLYMPIACOS PIRAEUS (GREECE)
An easy win for Olympiacos, abusing Union Olimpija at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, 113-80, no way for the slovenians. The key word for Olympiacos is “continuity”. They’re strong, they’re talented, they’re well coached. Just need continuity.
6- TAU CERAMICA VITORIA (SPAIN)
Dominating this week in Bologna over the poor Vidivici Bologna (without Dewarick Spencer and the fresh-waived Delonte Holland, and with Travis Best who cannot play in the Euroleague), Tau Ceramica grab a good win in Italy, reaching Montepaschi Siena at the second place of Group A.
5- UNICAJA MALAGA (SPAIN)
Sergio Scariolo and his Unicaja continue their silent and strong Tournament, still at the top of Group B tied with the surprising Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius. This week Unicaja Malaga defeated 76-62 Cibona Zagreb in Croatia.
4- AXA FC BARCELONA (SPAIN)
A strong 85-80 win in Istanbul over Fenerbahce Ulker for Barcelona. The Blaugrana with this W (the fifth in a row) confirm his second place in the Group C behind Panathinaikos and ahead the big rivals Real Madrid.
3- LIETUVOS RYTAS VILNIUS (LITHUANIA)
Right now, at the Week 9 of Euroleague, Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius is not just a surprise or an outsider, they are a great reality of the Group B. First place tied with Unicaja, with a big win over Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, for the israeli the first loss at their Yad Eliyahu Nokia Arena.
2- PANATHINAIKOS ATHENS (GREECE)
A kind of vacation for the Greens in Germany last night, where they easily edged 72-58 the Brose Baskets Bamberg. A Good game of Jasikevicius (21 points) and a minimum effort of the others to get the win, enough for mantain the first place in Group C.
1- CSKA MOSKOW (RUSSIA)
An impressive second half (Cska was down 33-43 at the halftime) to get this great 69-66 win in Siena, over an healthy (and still undefeated in the Italian League) Montepaschi. This is Ettore Messina’s Cska, an amazing, cynical and unmerciful basket machine.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
TIAGO SPLITTER (TAU CERAMICA VITORIA)
The basque center had 25 points, 10/14 from the field, 12 rebounds and 6 steals in the Tau’s road win over Vidivici Bologna. The italian defense suffered dramatically the game in the paint of the young spanish prospect. Tiago Splitter is the Euroleague Week 9 MVP.
NIKOLA PEKOVIC (PARTIZAN IGOKEA BELGRADE)
26 points, 11/18 from the field, 16 boards, 4 steals, 4 assists, 4 blocks in the 82-76 home win of Partizan Igokea Belgrade over Chorale Roanne. A powerful performance against a physical team like Chorale Roanne.
CHUCK EIDSON (LIETUVOS RYTAS VILNIUS)
The University of South Carolina’s product was the main man in the Lietuvos Rytas win in Israel last night, 28 points, 11/20 from the field, and a crushing in-between game. Hollis Price made the clutch basket, but Chuck Eidson made the rest.