Thursday, March 12, 2009

Euroleague Top 16: Part III

Euroleague LogoThe Euroleague Top 16 round drew to a close, with Terence Morris's (1997-2001) CSKA Moscow and Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) and Drew Nicholas's (1999-2003) Panathinaikos of Athens both finishing 5-1 and in first place in their respective groups. So all three of our former Terps will continue on to the next round. If both teams win out, they would not meet each other until the finals.

When we last left Panathinaikos, they were undefeated in Group G. But that ended in week 5, as they lost on the road to Partizan of Belgrade, Serbia, 63-56. Drew Nicholas did not score (despite starting and playing 18 minutes), finishing with a mere 2 steals, 1 assist, and 1 rebound. Sarunas did little better, scoring 3 points to go with 3 turnovers and 4 fouls. The loss left Panathinaikos and Partizan tied atop the Group G standings. But in week 6, Panathiakos turned things around with a dramatic overtime win at home, 103-95, versus Unicaja, of Malaga, Spain. Panathinaikos blew a 22 point second half lead (sound familiar, Terp fans?), but Nicholas scored 11 points in overtime, including three 3-pointers, to pull out the win. Nicholas finished with 15 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Jasikevicius had 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists. Panathiakos finished 1st in Group G (after Partizan lost their last game), and will have home-court advantage for a best-of-5 series against Montepaschi Siena in the quarterfinals, March 24 - April 8.

After splitting games 3 and 4 with Montepaschi, CSKA Moscow stayed in control of Group H in weeks 5 and 6. In week 5, CSKA defeated Fenerbahce Ulker of Istanbul, Turkey, 77-60 to clinch a quarterfinal berth. Terence Morris had 5 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. In week 6, CSKA clinched home-court advantage for the quarterfinals by winning on the road, 73-63 over Cibona in Zagreb, Croatia. Morris had 4 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. CSKA will play their best-of-5 quarterfinal series against Partizan in the quarterfinals.

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