By Antigoni Zachari / email@example.com
FC Bayern Munich stood strong against Zenit to grab the most crucial win for Round 19 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague paced by a clutch performance by Wade Baldwin in the final possessions. This result places the German team at the fourth position of the EuroLeague standings after a rocky past few games, behind leaders CSKA Moscow (15-4), FC Barcelona (13-6) and Real Madrid (12-6) which they face off on Friday.
MVP: Nemanja Nedovic – Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
Nedovic set the mood for a big-time performance right from the first half, bending ASVEL with a total of 33 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds and a PIR of 40, all of which he achieved in 28 minutes on the court. The 29-year-old guard had his second-best game in EuroLeague this season, after a 39-point performance in a loss to Maccabi on the road. What a way to celebrate the Serbian New Year’s Eve!
- Kostas Sloukas: It was an intense OT battle in Tel Aviv, though Kostas Sloukas paced Olympiacos against Maccabi with a double-double of 21 points and 11 assists
- Nando De Colo: Our MVP for Round 19
- Nemanja Nedovic: Panathinaikos‘ avid shooter was red-hot in the first half against ASVEL and finished the game with 33 points, as the Greens put an end to their three-game slip.
- Gigi Datome: Olimpia Milano nearly let Valencia slip away with the win, though the Italian forward stepped up to hand the victory to his team while matching his career-best with 27 points.
- Nikola Milutinov: The experienced Serbian took full control of Zalgiris’ paint and produced a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds as CSKA cruised to the win to bounce back from last week’s defeat.
Coach of the week: Andrea Trinchieri – FC Bayern Munich
Bayern started the week with a statement victory and bounced back from a tough loss in Piraeus with Wade Baldwin leading the way for Trinchieri’s squad with 17 points. It was a much-needed victory both for the team and Baldwin himself, who wanted to redeem for the game against Olympiacos. “I owed it to my team”, he said after the win. Despite the “grimy” game as Trinchieri called it, it could mean a turning point for his team by the end of this week.
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The first two-round week of the year began spectacularly with a club assist records set in two games. The first record came as Nick Calathes dished 15 assists in FC Barcelona’s road win against Khimki and Fenerbahce recorded 29 assists in its win over Baskonia while remaining in playoffs sight. A special game for Fenerbahce, as they also crossed the 90-point barrier for the first time this season and saw De Colo rising to season-high numbers. A sign of recovery? Time will tell.