Papagiannis and Kotsar share EuroLeague Round 31 MVP honors

2023-03-30T13:00:49+00:00 2023-03-31T21:50:23+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

30/Mar/23 13:00

Two huge performances connected to Maik Kotsar and Giorgos Papagiannis highlight the first half of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague double-game week

By Johnny Askounis/

Centers dominating Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 31 directly translates into Giorgos Papagiannis and Maik Kotsar sharing the MVP award.

Papagiannis and Kotsar were named co-MVPs of Round 31, Euroleague Basketball announced Thursday. Both got the MVP nod in Europe’s top-tier club continental competition for the second time in their respective careers.

Papagiannis, 25, went for 24 points behind 10/10 field goals and also pulled down 11 rebounds for Panathinaikos in the home win versus FC Bayern Munich Tuesday.

Kotsar, 26, posted a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double with Cazoo Baskonia outlasting ALBA Berlin also Tuesday. He made 9/11 shots and additionally tallied three assists, two blocks, and two steals.

Efforts amounting to a staggering PIR of 40 propelled them to MVP status at the top end of the last two-game week of the 2022-23 season.

Per the press release: “Two big men who propelled their teams to home victories to start the double-round week, Maik Kotsar of Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and Georgios Papagiannis of Panathinaikos Athens, are the co-MVPs for Round 31, the second such accolade for each in their careers. Their joint PIR of 40 was a career high for each. Kotsar led Baskonia in points (23), rebounds (10) and blocks (2) in 30 minutes of a pivotal 93-87 home win over ALBA Berlin. Papagiannis paced Panathinaikos Athens to an 86-76 success over visiting FC Bayern Munich. The big man led the Greens in points (24), rebounds (11) and blocks (3) in 28 minutes on court during which he did not miss a single shot: 7 of 7 two-pointers, 3 of 3 threes and 1 of 1 free throws. He had the highest PIR in Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for a player who shot perfectly in the same game.

The third-best Round 31 performance came from Kotsar’s teammate, point guard Darius Thompson, who set or matched career highs of 38 PIR, 21 points and 4 steals while also dishing 11 assists in Baskonia’s victory. FC Barcelona guard Nicolas Laprovittola followed with a career-high PIR of 32 in his team’s 80-89 road win at Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade thanks to his 25 points, including 11-for-13 free-throw shooting, and 7 assists. His teammate, forward Nikola Mirotic, came in fifth for Round 21 with a PIR of 27 based on his 19 points and 8 rebounds in Barca’s victory.”

Greek center Papagiannis also ranked first in the Top 10 Plays of Round 31. Additional credit to Paris Lee for brilliantly setting up the dunk for his Panathinaikos teammate.

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