By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The tension continues to rise even though the police investigation about the missing EuroLeague trophy seems to be at a dead end. While suspects are regularly captured, there’s no lead or evidence about the whereabouts of the stolen cup and – as usual – no progress is made toward apprehending anyone on a permanent basis for their crimes.
The latest five arrests didn’t change anything in the big picture. The mystery remains and you have to be more than alert when entering a Turkish Airlines EuroLeague arena, because you can only expect the unexpected.
Sergio Llull: It’s been quite some time, but this lightning-quick burglar is no stranger to the authorities. Working regularly for the “whites” of Real Madrid, this time he was caught in Spain after a 20-points and 9-assist tour-de-criminal-force against EA7 Emporio Armani Milan. He was also wanted from deeds done the same week in Germany, where he scored big with 26 points against the local crime leader, Brose Bamberg. Still, the case against him didn’t stick, even if his file is as thick as his audacity.
Krunoslav Simon: Just one week after his previous arrest, he was again behind bars, albeit for a very short time. The Croatian mobster of EA7 Emporio Armani Milan ambushed Olympiacos Piraeus with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists and dared to use the same trick against Real Madrid in Spain. He did his best, got 20 points, missed only three times, but the caper was left unfinished and he ended up in the hands of the police, if only momentarily.
Jan Vesely: He escaped custody for quite some time but this is just a testament to the versatility of this con artist. A member of the nefarious Fenerbahce gang, he started last week with 15 points in Russia against Unics Kazan and then exploded in the Istanbul showdown against Galatasaray Odeabank. With 20 points and 7 rebounds, the other side simply stood no chance against him. The respect he wanted was his again.
Marko Simonovic: This is not a surprise anymore. Crvena Zvezda MTS Belgrade is a name whispered in fear all around the old continent and he has some of the main responsibility for that. His long-range shooting is still making all the difference, as he proved at Vitoria against Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz with 23 points and then at his base against Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens. He got just 13 points, with only one long-range shot made, but it was the crucial one as the Serbs are marching and no one can stand on their way.
Kevin Pangos: The only new name that emerged this week is part of the Zalgiris Kaunas organization. He hails from Canada, of all places, and was arrested in Istanbul. After beating CSKA Moscow behind his 21 points, his crew moved to the South. He was precise and accurate with 14 points, covering his wounded accomplice, Leo Westermann, as Zalgiris shocked Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul. It seems that the Baltic gang is currently climbing the underworld ladder and Pangos has a lot to do with that.
Photo Credit: JPSportartBarcelona bounces back, takes down Baskonia on the road