By Antigoni Zachari / email@example.com
The first bit of the last double-game week for 2020 is now done and we are slowly reaching the halfway mark of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season. CSKA and Barcelona remain unshakable at the top of the standings, with Real Madrid, Valencia and FC Bayern Munich staying in close touch.
Walter Tavares, Real Madrid
It took two extra five-minute periods for Real to defeat feisty Panathinaikos, and Tavares left his heart on the court for 40 minutes. The Cape Verdean big man paced his team to victory with his best performance of the season so far, posting 20 points (9-13 FG) and 14 rebounds, along with 2 assists and 2 steals, and dominated the paint at OAKA.
- Maodo Lo: Lo posted his best performance of the season with 21 points and 6 assists in ALBA’s OT victory on the road to pace a great comeback effort for the German team.
- Billy Baron: Zenit needed a victory to return on the right track and Baron delivered in a comeback against Bayern. He added 20 points for the Russian side, hitting 4/5 from afar, also contributing two rebounds.
- Will Clyburn: Clyburn left the court with 24 points in 23 minutes, as the Army Team cruised to its ninth straight victory of the season, against last season’s favorites. For the 30-year-old forward, this also marks a strong return, after a couple of games that have not been his best so far in the season.
- Nikola Mirotic: Barcelona’s pillar led the team to a key victory at home with 22 points, 4 rebounds before the team hits the road for the few coming weeks.
- Walter Tavares: The Real Madrid big man obliterated Panathinaikos with yet another double-double performance of 20 points and 14 rebounds to pave the way.
Coach of the week
Aito Garcia Reneses, ALBA Berlin
The Germans started off the double-game week with a tough overtime victory in Belgrade to expand their streak to four games, making them arguably the team with the hottest momentum right now. ALBA rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to even the score and push for the extra five-minute period, overcoming a bad performance up to that point during which they struggled from the long-range.
Road winners feast
Playing under the current conditions with no fans in attendance takes the glam of a road win away slightly, but in such a challenging and demanding schedule, they are a must-do. Milano, ALBA, Real and Valencia were the big road winners of the road, while all of them still have one more trip to take this week for the next round’s games. At this point of the season, keeping up momentum despite the hefty traveling is key.