By Antigoni Zachari / email@example.com
The last double-game week of the season began with seven games on Tuesday and four teams punched their tickets to the playoffs! CSKA, Efes, Milan, and Fenerbahce joined already qualified Barcelona with respective victories, which leaves just three open spots for five contenders.
Nando De Colo – Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
Fenerbahce qualified for the playoffs with a big victory against Bayern in Munich on Tuesday. The Turkish team managed to overcome a rough patch early in the season and a 5-10 run in late 2020 only to return strong for the upcoming playoffs. De Colo lifted his team to the win with 21 points and 6 rebounds in 32 minutes, as he also shot 3-for-6 from the three-point line.
- Nando De Colo – Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul: Fenerbahce was the last to grab a playoffs ticket with a win over Bayern on Tuesday, led behind a 21-point performance by the French guard.
- Kevin Punter – Olimpia Milano: Punter spent 23 very efficient minutes on the court to help his team beat Crvena Zvezda on the road and also return to the EuroLeague quarterfinals for the first time since the 2013-14 season! He scored 23 points on 5-9 from the three-point line against his former team.
- Achille Polonara – Baskonia: Polonara posted a double-double of 22 points (one point short of his career-high) and 11 rebounds (a new career-best) as Baskonia emerged to beat Panathinaikos in Athens.
- Johannes Voigtmann – CSKA Moscow: The German forward posted a season-high with 21 points (6/7 FG) as the Army Team prevailed over Zenit on the road to join the playoffs.
- Ante Zizic – Maccabi Tel Aviv: Even though the Israeli side is out of the playoffs race, we’ve been expecting a big-time performance by Zizic at some point in the season. He delivered against Barcelona, with a new EuroLeague career-high of 24 points and a PIR of 33.
Coach of the Round: Ergin Ataman (Anadolu Efes)
Efes stood strong against Real to punch a ticket to the EuroLeague playoffs on Tuesday with a powerful performance in Madrid. It was a fiery game that sent coach Pablo Laso to the lockers, and turned completely into Efes‘ favor in the second half after a rather balanced first one.
“We didn’t play well in the first half, but […] tonight in the second half, we once again played excellent basketball”, were Ataman’s words after the win.
Afterall, he has a unique way to motivate his players.
— Antonis Stroggylakis (@AStroggylakis) March 30, 2021