By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The playoff race heated up after the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 29 affairs and also produced the first team clinching a playoff berth in FC Barcelona on the back of its latest El Clasico triumph. Most of the remaining eight leading teams inched closer with AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milano completing the biggest step by getting the job done on the road against CSKA Moscow.
A career-high 32 points generated by Kevin Punter at the Russian capital allowed the Italian powerhouse to climb up to second place behind Barca. Our MVP fired up with seven first-quarter points and already had 17 at the break holding off CSKA. Ettore Messina’s players, including the former Tennessee standout, are gearing up in style to extend their campaign past the Regular Season.
1. Peyton Siva: He put up 21 points marking a personal-best in EuroLeague, seven assists, four rebounds, and two steals lifting ALBA Berlin on the road.
2. Kevin Punter: Our MVP carried his side to a major win.
3. Nikola Mirotic: The former Real Madrid star produced 13 points, five rebounds, and five assists as Barcelona clinched.
4. Konstantinos Mitoglou: Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv was all but eliminated at the hands of Panathinaikos OPAP as the Greek forward registered 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
5. Tonye Jekiri: Big win for TD Systems Baskonia with the Nigerian center piling up 15 points, nine rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
Coach of the round: Jaume Ponsarnau
Valencia remains in the playoff hunt as our coach of the week masterminded the key victory over visiting Fenerbahce Beko. Jaume Ponsarnau’s defensive strategies held the Turkish outlet to 3/23 triples and 52 points. Excluding Jan Vesely and former Valencia player Nando De Colo, the remaining Fener stars were limited to performances below par.
Struggling Zenit lays out playoff paths elsewhere
Similar to Valencia, Baskonia secured its 15th win of the 2020-21 season this week. The two Spanish clubs tied with Zalgiris Kaunas in ninth place with their 15-14 records seem the only chasing teams able to sneak in the top eight down the stretch of the Regular Season. Zenit Saint-Petersburg blowing a big lead and losing at Olympiacos helped their case.