Thursday, February 14, 2008

Drew Nicholas Scores 29 in Big Win Over Sarunas' Team

Last night in Euroleague action, Efes Pilsen took on Panathinaikos, which is relevant to Terps hoops followers because Drew Nicholas plays for Efes, and Sarunas Jasikevicius plays for Panathinaikos.

Big win for Efes, 74-64; and Nicholas scored 29, a season high I believe. Sarunas, or Saras as he is known to the Euros, had 12 points.

Here's a link to the boxscore:

And here's a quick summary:
Efes Pilsen got the Top 16 off to exciting fashion in Group D by beating defending Euroleague Basketball champion Panathinaikos 74-64 on Wednesday night at the Abdi Ipecki Sports Hall in Istanbul, Turkey. Drew Nicholas scored 23 of his 29 points – equaling his career-best – in the first half as Efes took a 46-35 halftime lead and the hosts only added to that in the second half.

Here's how the wacky Euroleague works by the way. They start with 24 teams in about 30 countries (slight exaggeration).

Every team plays once a week on weekdays, because they play in their country leagues on weekends. For example, Drew's team, Efes, plays Euroleague games on Wed. or Thursdays, and plays games in the Turkish league on weekends.

The "regular season,"
is a Round Robin System with 14 games played by each club. There are 3 divisions of 8 teams. The Top 5 teams of each group plus the single
best sixth-placed team advance to the Top 16.

In the Top 16 round,
it's another Round Robin System with 6 games for each club in four, four-team divisions, so you play each team in your division home and away. The four group winners and the four second-place teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals.

Once it's down to the final 8, they start with a more American-stile, best 2 out of 3 playoff series. So there's four best-of-three quarterfinal playoff series between
first and second-place finishers from the Top 16. The four series winners advance to the Final Four.

Once there's a final four, it reverts to American style college hoops, a single elimination event held in a different city each year (potentially, but not purposefully, the home court of one of the teams involved.). This year, the Final Four is in Madrid. Last year it was in Athens, the year before that, Prague; and the year before that, Moscow. I went to that one. It was wild.

Hope you enjoyed this little euroleague education segment. You can catch the odd game on NBATV if you play attention.


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