March 19, 2015 / 11:19 PM / in 3 years

Barcelona through as Turkish fans again cause trouble

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Barcelona reached the Euroleague’s knockout stages with a 77-73 win at Red Star Belgrade on Thursday while Galatasaray fans were again involved in ugly scenes before the 75-68 defeat at Alba Berlin.

Police had to step in to restore order after dozens of Turkish supporters ran down a section of the venue, pushing their way toward another area before clashing with security staff and throwing seats on to the court.

The players and coaches had to return to the changing rooms and public announcements in Turkish urged the crowd to stop and go back to their seats as the start was delayed for an hour.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

It was the second serious incident involving Galatasaray fans this season after a Red Star supporter was killed in fighting between rival fans in Istanbul in November.

Elsewhere, Barca joined Real Madrid in the knockout stages after a rip-roaring contest in the Kombank Arena where Red Star were cheered on by a fervent but well-behaved 19,000 crowd.

“I want to congratulate Red Star for a good performance,” Barca coach Xavi Pasqual told a news conference. “We lost control several times but kept our nerve in the end.”

Towering center Boban Marjanovic tormented Barca, racking up 23 points and 11 rebounds, although he lacked support.

DIG DEEP

The Euroleague’s all-time leading scorer Juan Carlos Navarro netted 12 points for Barca while forward Tomas Satoransky produced flawless free-throw shooting.

Maccabi Tel Aviv had to dig deep to beat Zalgiris Kaunas 79-72.

The champions were led by playmaker Jeremy Pargo, the former NBA campaigner claiming 26 points and fellow American Devin Smith adding 19.

Maccabi are third in their group with seven wins and four defeats, behind Real (9-1) and Barca (8-3). Fourth spot looks a three-way fight between Panathinaikos, Alba and Zalgiris.

In the other group Anadolu Efes Istanbul beat Russians Nizhny Novgorod 79-75 thanks to Montenegrin forward Milko Bjelica’s 15 points and five rebounds.

Olympiakos Piraeus and Fenerbahce Istanbul can advance on Friday and join group leaders CSKA Moscow whose playmaker Milos Teodosic shone on his 28th birthday in a 95-77 victory at Unicaja Malaga.

The Serbian displayed a vast repertoire of skills, amassing 25 points and eight assists.

The top four in each group qualify for the best-of-five quarter-final series. The winners advance to the May 15-17 Final Four in Madrid.

Editing by Tony Jimenez

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