By Antigoni Zachari / firstname.lastname@example.org
We are approaching the end of the regular season, and even though no team has managed to qualify for the playoffs this week, important wins took place to keep teams alive in the chase of a spot in the Top 8 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Valencia, Zenit and Baskonia all grabbed key victories to keep their hopes up high, while CSKA Moscow and Anadolu Efes reached their 20th wins and can qualify next week.
MVP: Achille Polonara, TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
Baskonia keeps chasing its playoffs spot and Achille Polonara made sure that the Game of the Week would be a memorable one. A double-double performance with 17 points and a new career-high 13 rebounds by the Italian forward powered Baskonia to a sweet victory against fellow playoff competitors Milan. 29-year-old Polonara also exceeded his personal best index rating in the competition with 28 overall.
- Daniel Hackett: The Italian guard bounced back from a rough patch in the past few weeks to help CSKA achieve its 20th win of the season over Crvena Zvezda with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
- Vasilije Micic: A “usual suspect” in this section, Micic paced Efes to win over Panathinaikos with 21 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds to lead this week’s PIR with 30.
- Nikola Mirotic: Barcelona didn’t have it easy against ALBA, despite the fact that the Germans are eliminated from the playoffs. Mirotic paced Sarunas Jasikevicius’ squad to the win with 26 points and 7 rebounds.
- Achille Polonara: Our weekly MVP
- Jan Vesely: Fener keeps climbing up the standings with the help of big man Vesely, who had 18 points, 3 assists and 3 steals in his team’s victory over Olympiacos in Piraeus on Friday.
Coach of the week: Jaume Ponsarnau, Valencia Basket
Valencia fueled up its playoff hopes after edging FC Bayern Munich at home on Thursday. A nerve-wracking finale that came down to the wire in the final minutes helped the Spanish side emerge with its third straight victory at the point when it counts the most. Mike Tobey paced Ponsarnau’s squad with 18 points and total dominance in the paint and Nikola Kalinic had 12 points. Valencia remains just outside of the playoffs zone with a 17-14 record as of Round 31.