By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Sasha Vezenkov was named the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 13 MVP, Euroleague Basketball announced Saturday.
Vezenkov, 26, claimed the award for the third time after landing it twice late in the 2020-21 season. The ongoing 2021-22 season is his seventh in Europe’s premier club competition and fourth as a member of Olympiacos.
His late surge at Basket Hall Kazan Friday powered a game-high 22 points and the away overtime win for Olympiacos over UNICS Kazan. His 36 PIR was the best among all players in action the past couple of days.
Scottie Wilbekin of Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv and Tornike Shengelia of CSKA Moscow, are the only players named MVP of the Round twice this season. The remaining distinctions have gone to Will Clyburn of CSKA, Brandon Davies and Nikola Mirotic of FC Barcelona, William Howard, Chris Jones, and Elie Okobo of LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, Daryl Macon Jr. of Panathinaikos OPAP, and Lorenzo Brown of UNICS.
Per the press release: “Olympiacos Piraeus forward Sasha Vezenkov stepped up in late stages to lead his team to an 84-87 overtime road win against UNICS Kazan and earn the third MVP of the Round honor of his Turkish Airlines EuroLeague career. Vezenkov scored 11 of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He was 3-for-3 on two-pointers, 3-for-7 on threes, and made all 7 free throws he tried. Vezenkov also pulled down 7 rebounds and had a career-high 5 steals to go with 3 assists and 1 block. His performance index rating of 36 was the highest of Round 13 and of any Olympiacos player this season. The round’s next-best PIR belonged to AS Monaco guard Mike James, who posted an index rating of 33 in his team’s 96-86 loss to host Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul. James had 31 points, 4 assists, 4 steals, 2 rebounds and 9 drawn fouls. In that same game, Fenerbahce center Jan Vesely had a PIR of 32, collecting 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Following them with an index rating of 31 was Anadolu Efes Istanbul guard Vasilije Micic, who compiled 26 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in a 93-95 overtime home loss to FC Barcelona. Rounding out the list of this week’s top performers with PIRs of 25 were Barcelona center Sertac Sanli and Fenerbahce guard Pierria Henry.
Individual leaders: Alexey Shved, CSKA, 13 assists
Mike James led all scorers in Round 13 with 31 points. Elie Okobo of LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne leads the scoring rankings with 18.5 points per game. CSKA Moscow center Nikola Milutinov was this round’s top rebounder with 13 rebounds. Panathinaikos center Georgios Papagiannis is overall rebounds leader with 8.0 per game. CSKA guard Alexey Shved tied his career high with 13 assists, more than any player so far this season. Nick Calathes of FC Barcelona tops the assists charts with 5.7 per game. Vezenkov and Henry each had 5 steals to lead all players this round. John Brown of UNICS is the leader in steals with 2.6 per game. Ante Zizic of Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv had 3 blocks, more than any other player in Round 13. Real Madrid center Walter Tavares is the shot-blocking leader with 1.8 blocks per game. Four players achieved double-doubles this Round: Vesely, Shved (17 points, 13 assists), Augustine Rubit of FC Bayern Munich (19 points, 12 rebounds), and Steven Enoch of Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (13 points, 10 rebounds).”
Lukas Lekavicius directing Josh Nebo to a massive Zalgiris Kaunas dunk highlighted the Top 10 Plays of Round 13.
Round 14 of the Regular Season is scheduled next Thursday through Friday.