By Antigoni Zachari / firstname.lastname@example.org
Another round is in the books and the battle for the playoffs is heating up. CSKA no longer reigns the standings alone, as it’s now joined by FC Barcelona, with both teams at a 15-6 record following the Army Team’s defeat to Fenerbahce in Moscow. Zenit stood strong against Anadolu Efes and locked the third place this week (13-6), leaving Olimpia Milano (13-7) and Real Madrid (13-8) behind.
Jan “Air” Vesely put up a dominant performance to lead Fener to a huge victory in Moscow against CSKA, with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and one steal of a total PIR of 32. A statement performance by the experienced big man, as Fener extended its streak to six games at a crucial part of the season against the competition leaders. He made all the big plays down the stretch and stole the number (and the spot in best five according to our not two players from the same team rule) from Nando De Colo, despite the 38 PIR of the Frenchman.
- Kevin Pangos: Zenit swept Efes at home for a victory to place them in the third place of the standings, as Pangos was among the top contributors with 13 points, 4 assists and 1 steal in 24 minutes
- Tyler Dorsey: The Greek-American guard scored a new career-high with 30 points, including 5 points in the final minute, to help Maccabi hold off Real Madrid 86-84. Dorsey signed off with 4 rebounds and 3 assists, for a total PIR of 34, also a new career-high for him.
- Simone Fontecchio: ALBA reached a tough victory on the road against Baskonia and Fontecchio produced 13 points with 3-4 from the three-point line to set the tone for his team.
- Konstantinos Mitoglou: In the Greens’ first homecourt game under the guidance of Oded Kattash, 24-year-old Mitoglou erupted with a new career-high night to pace his team to a 94-78 win against Khimki. Mitoglou posted a double-double of 29 points, 12 rebounds on 10-14 FG for a total PIR of 42.
- Jan Vesely: Our weekly MVP
Coach of the Week: Ettore Messina – Olimpia Milano
Milano completely obliterated Bayern in the first half to sweep their series in the regular season, leading from the first tip-off to the final buzzer. Messina’s squad executed his defensive plan to the letter, as Bayern hit a new low of points scored (55) while combining a total team PIR of 32 – a new team low. Adding up to Bayern’s woes, Milano’s first-half defense only allowed the visitors to hit 4-17 from middle-range and 2-9 from the three-point line, an overall nearly perfect game plan for the Italians.
Zenit, Fenerbahce in full course
After a convincing victory in the EuroLeague game of the week vs. Anadolu Efes, Zenit sits comfortably in the third place of the standings with no signs of slowing down. So far they are one of the “success stories” of the season, as they started with a lot of trouble and adversity and fought back, making their way to the top. With a double-game week ahead and a busy February ahead of them, it remains to be seen if they can keep up their momentum and live up to the high expectations they’ve set for themselves this season.
The same applies to Fener who managed to defeat leaders CSKA on the road to slowly climb back into playoffs sight with their six-game winning streak.