Real Madrid Hosts CSKA as Euroleague Returns to Action
The Euroleague basketball tournament returns to action with attractive games that will help determines the teams’ path to the final. Here’s a look at the duels taking place during this week of competition.
Anadolu Efes vs Galatasaray (Thursday)
This is a match between two Turkish teams that are fighting for two very different objectives: while Anadolu (7-8) is looking to regain its spot in the playoffs, which it lost after losing to Real Madrid, Galatasaray (4-11) is trying to win to climb its way out of the last place in the standings.
Brose Baskets vs Barcelona Lassa (Thursday)
Barcelona’s basketball team (7-8) returns to action with the objective of improving its performance away from home. If the quarterfinals started today, they would not be among the teams making the postseason. They have to start earning points on the road right away if they are to improve their position in the standings. Brose (6-9) is always complicated when they play at home, but Barcelona has won its last two games and the motivation is at the top to try to earn a road win that will get them closer to the postseason.
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Darussafaka Dogus (Thursday)
Second match between these two teams that provided a very entertaining game the first time they met. In that occasion, Istanbul’s Darussafaka (8-7) mounted a spectacular comeback against a struggling Maccabi (5-10) team that is now two games out and has lost six in a row.
Baskonia Vitoria vs Unics Kazan (Friday)
Baskonia (10-5) will try to keep up with the leaders of the competition and stay as a top four team as they host Unics Kazan (6-9), just two days after defeating Real Madrid in their domestic competition. The first time they met this season Baskonia won 91-92 on the road with two free throws in the final seconds of the game.
Fenerbahce Istanbul vs Emporio Armani Milan (Friday)
This is a game between a solid Fenerbahce (9-6) team and a disastrous Milan (4-11) team that is amid an eight-game losing streak. The Italians currently sit as the second worst of the competition, but will face a Turkish side that has lost three of its last four games. Head coach Zeljko Obradovic could recover Bogdan Bogdanovic, something that could help the Turks win this game and be more competitive during the rest of the tournament.
Zalgiris Kaunas vs Belgrade Red Star (Friday)
This will be an interesting game between two teams that are pleasant surprises this season because not much was expected of them. Both of them still have a chance to reach the postseason although right now Belgrade has the advantage. Its 8-7 record would send Belgrade to the playoffs as the eighth seed, while Zalgris Kaunas is still two games out of the playoffs. The Lithuanians have improved in the last few months and they earned a tough road win against Milan in their last game.
Olympiacos Piraeus vs Panathinaikos Athens (Friday)
This is not only a classic in Greece, but also one of the classics of Europe. These are two teams that contend for all the trophies season after season and that reach this match just one game apart. Olympiacos (10-5) already defeated Panathinaikos (9-6) on the road (77-79) with a late basket by Printezis. If Piraeus, currently third in the table, wins again it’ll have a two-game cushion and stay among as one of the top four clubs in the competition.
Real Madrid vs CSKA Moscow (Friday)
If there is a game that could very well be played in the final is this one. Fans are anxiously awaiting this clash in Spain between Real Madrid (10-5) and leaders CSKA Moscow (12-3). The second battle between the last two champions of the Euroleague features a Madrid team that is looking to reduce its distance with the leader and avenge a 91-90 loss in Moscow. The Merengues will try to take advantage of the difficult moment the Russians are going through as they lost their last two games against against Fenerbahce and Red Star Belgrade. This will be an interesting battle between the duos of Madrid’s Luka Doncic and Sergio Llul against CSKA’s Nando de Colo and Milos Teodosic.