By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
You have to wait until the final buzzer in basketball and that was evident once again in the 10th round of Euroleague’s Top16.
Barcelona got a huge win and had the last laugh of a crucial week, which started with Fenerbahce (9-1) getting its ticket to the playoffs. As you can see in the standings, Lokomotiv Kuban (7-3), Crvena Zvezda (6-4), Panathinaikos (6-4) and Anadolu Efes (4-6) are the main candidates for the next three tickets. In the “Group of death” Laboral Kutxa and CSKA Moscow are tied on the top (7-3), Real Madrid is third (6-4) and the duo of Barcelona and Khimki is tied at 5-5. And that brings us to the guy who made this happen.
After 44 minutes and 53 seconds of action, Justin Doellman was having a mediocre game and CSKA Moscow was leading 98-95 over Barcelona on the road. However, 7 seconds are more than enough in basketball in order to became the hero! Doellman made a three that tied the game and then he stole the ball, he made the last shot and gave to Barcelona the 100-98 win! In total he had a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, but that’s a foot note!
- Thomas Heurtel: He did it all for Anadolu Efes, sealing the win over Dogus Darussafaka from the free throws line and having in total 21 points, 5/7 2p., 3/4 3p., 5/6 FT, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 turnovers. And Efes can still catch the playoffs.
- Tarense Kinsey: He led Crvena Zvezda in the win over Panathinaikos with 19 points, 5/8 field goals, 8/8 FT, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 turnovers as the Serbs made a giant step towards the playoffs.
- Andres Nocioni:He had an amazing and also strange night, as Real Madrid got the road win over Zalgiris Kaunas. He finished the game with 22 points on 6/6 threes, but missed all his five two-point shots! Also he grabbed7 rebounds.
- Justin Doellman: The most obvious MVP choice ever!
- Giannis Bourousis: The Greek center was once more a one man front line, with 16 points on 7/11 shots, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 3 turnovers on the way to a 29 ranking in the crucial win of Labotal Kutxa over Khimki.
Coach of the week: Andrea Trinkieri
He beat twice Olympiacos in this Top16 and the second win had his seal on it. Yes, it was Janis Strelnieks who made the final shot, but the play which produced this almost open shot, the way his team never gave up and the fact that Brose Baskets still has hopes of advancing to the playoffs are not a small feat. Specially if you consider the fact that the Germans didn’t have until this season not even one Top16 win.
Best losing performance: Νando De Colo
He led the comeback of CSKA Moscow and according to the numbers he was the best player of the night with 30 points, 10/16 field goals, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 4 turnovers. The Frenchman is having his best season yet and this was a personal best for him in Euroleague.
Biggest win: Barcelona
It was an epic overtime game and Barcelona managed to get a valuable win over CSKA Moscow. After this result Barcelona is tied with Khimki with a 5-5 record in the fourth spot of the group of death, has the advantage over Olympiacos (4-6) and Brose Baskets (4-6) and also over the Russians for the moment, thanks to the Catalans 87-70 home win. If CSKA got the win, then Barcelona would have taken a crucial step back in the playoffs race.
Good for morale win: Unicaja Malaga
A road win, even against Cedevita, can help Unicaja continue fighting. Even if the Spaniards have very little chances of advancing, prevailing on the road can regroup them in order to finish the season in the best possible way, reminding to all of us the hot team of the regular season.
The last word: Fenerbahce
The Turks became the first team which mathematically secured their playoffs spot after beating Lokomotiv Kuban. And unless something dramatic happens, they will have the home court advantage. After their first appearance in a Final Four last season, they are ready to return and the question is if they can go all the way…