There was high drama in Group D on Thursday night while Anadolu Efes continued a fine start for the Turkish contingent in Euroleague.
A dramatic finish saw Lietuvos Rytas scrape past Panathinaikos 84 – 83 thanks to Renaldas Seibutis sinking a jumper with 5.5 seconds remaining in overtime in the Eurolague Game of the Week. Neither side had more than a 6 point advantage throughout the game, meaning it was all drama from start to finish.
It took a three-pointer 18.8 seconds from the end from Panathinaikos’ Dimitris Diamantidis to sent the game into overtime, but it was Seibutis who was the star of the show, hitting two almost identical jump shots from 5 meters in the final 90 seconds of the extra session. He finished the game with 19 points while his teammate Darius Songaila collected 13 points and 8 rebounds.
All of Group D was out in action and Lokomotiv Kuban who marked its Euroleague debut with a 84–87 victory over Crvenda Zvezda Telekom Belgrade. The Eurocup champions grabbed the victory thanks to Marcus Williams who scored 23 points, including 5 of the 6 free throws in the final 13 seconds to seal the win, Richard Hendrix added 19 points and 9 rebounds while Simas Jasaitis added 12 points to its tally.
The final game in the group, between Laboral Kutxa Vitoria and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv rounded off a night of excitement in Group D as the Basque side won 84–80. The hosts led by 10 points by half-time, but Joe Ingles brought Maccabi back into the game and by the final quarter, they took the lead. However, Maccabi’s luck ran out as Laboral’s Thomas Huertel got two major buckets that proved to be the difference.
Lamont Hamilton was Laboral’s top scorer with 15 points and 8 rebounds, Tibor Pieiss added 12 points and 8 rebounds while San Emeterio scored 12 points, helping to seal the victory.
The most impressive display however came from the lone Group B game of the night as Anadolu Efes recorded a comprehensive 87–67 victory over EA7 Emporio Armani Milan. Efes saw four of its players score more than 16 points to give them the victory. Dusko Savanovic and Scotty Hopson scored 22 points each, Jamon Gorden contributed 16 points, 6 rebounds 7 assists 4 steals and 2 blocks in a stunning display while Kostas Vasileiadis came off the bench to score 16 points.
Efes held the lead for most of the first half but it was the third quarter that saw them take full control of the game. Once Efes recorded 13 points to Milan’s 2, it became too much for Milan to return despite a spirited fourth quarter.
- Quinton O’Reilly @qoreilly