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Barcelona crush Baskonia as Monaco blow Bayern out in EuroLeague Round Nine

Monaco's Mike James drives towards the hoop against Bayern Munich. Photo: AS Monaco Basket

Barcelona pushed aside fellow Spanish side Baskonia last week as Monaco continue to impress, this time with a blowout victory over Bayern Munich. The Times of Malta reviews Round Nine of the 2021-22’s edition of the EuroLeague.

Nikola Mirotic starred as Barcelona beat Baskonia 93-67 on Thursday to take second place in the EuroLeague standings with a 7-2 record behind leaders Olimpia Milano (8-1). Mirotic, who took the round’s MVP award, led Barca with 25 points, eight rebounds, and two assists. Nicolas Laprovittola and Brandon Davies both added 11 to form a double-digit trio. For Baskonia, Stephen Enoch scored 22 points as Rokas Giedraitis added 14. Barca led throughout with Baskonia only taking the fourth quarter with the game already won as Šarūnas Jasikevičius’ men maintained a 26-point lead.

Similarly, Monaco, who are one of the teams to watch this season after their promotion from the EuroCup, beat 2020/21 playoff side Bayern Munich 94-71 on Friday. The Monegasque side – in eighth place on a 5-4 record – had the usual Mike James to thank as he led the side with 18 points and four assists. Dwayne Bacon and Danilo Andusic put up 16 each, while Leo Westermann and Will Thomas added 13. Bayern hitman Vladimir Lucic led the side with 15 points and four rebounds, Othello hunter adding 14. This was a game which despite being a pretty balanced encounter, saw Monaco have the edge during the opening three quarters. Numerous point-streaks in the fourth quarter confirmed the W for Zvezdan Mitrović and his clan.

EuroLeague leaders Olimpia Milano showed why they are the top team at the moment as they restricted Fenerbahce (3-6) to just three points throughout the entire first quarter and went on to win 43-68 on Friday. Shavon Shields scored 13 points as Luigi Datome added 11 for Milano. For Fenerbahce, Pierria Henry led the side with 12 points while star Nando de Colo only managed two points in a game where he was kept quiet.

Statement win for Efes

Last season’s champions Anadolu Efes made a statement 63-90 win against Alba Berlin on Thursday, with both sides holding a 3-6 record so far. After a shaky start to the season for Efes, Ergin Ataman will be hoping that this win inspires his players for more. MVP Vasilije Micic led the game in scoring with 19 points, going close to a double-double with nine assists. Krunoslav Simon followed with 18 points as Tibor Pleiss added 16. For Alba, Oscar Da Silva led with 13 points – the only player in double digits on the night.

Real Madrid leveled with Barcelona on 7-2 after beating lowly Zalgiris 95-82 in the last game of the week. Guerschon Yabusele led for Real with 15 points and six rebounds. Sergio Llull added 13 as Thomas Huertel and Vincent Poirier both scored 12. Zalgiris’ response came from Tyler Cavanaugh who led with 14 points and four rebounds, as well as Lukas Lekavicius and Niels Giffey who both added 12 points.

Fall of Greece

Fourth place Olympiacos found the going tough against seventh place Zenit who beat them 84-78 on Friday. Zenit took three of the four quarters with Kevin Pangos replacement Connor Frankamp scoring 16 points to lead his side, as Billy Baron added 14. For Olympiacos, Thomas Walkup scored 17 points as Moustapha Fall and Kostas Sloukas added 13. 

Further disappointment came to fellow Greek side Panathinaikos who fell to UNICS Kazan on Thursday 72-74. UNICS, who are on a 4-5 record added to Panathinaikos’ woes as they stand second to last in the standings on 2-7. Andrey Vorontsevich and Isaiah Canaan led UNICS with 15 points each as Lorenzo Brown added 13 and eight rebounds. Daryl Macon and Georgios Papagiannis both scored 14, the latter also getting a double-double with an enormous 17 rebounds. 

Tenth place Red Star took the spoils on Thursday as they beat sixth place ASVEL 73-67. Nikola Kalinic led the game with 22 points and four rebounds. Fellow Nikola (Ivanovic) added 14 points for the Serbian side. For ASVEL, Elie Okoba scored 16 points as Christopher James Jones JR added 14 and Youssoupha Fall 11 and ten rebounds.

The opening game of the game week was the closest encounter as CSKA Moscow edged Maccabi Tel Aviv 74-73 on Thursday. Iffe Lundberg led for CSKA with 14 points and four rebounds, Joel Bolomboy added 12 and Marius Grigonis scored 10. Derrick Wiliams led the game in scoring with 20 points for Maccabi as former Cleveland Cavalier Ante Zizic added 16. 

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