By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
With two big games – and a record TV audience – the 8th round of Euroleague’s regular season made us a little bit wiser. Nothing is decided yet, but the contenders are creating some distance.
CSKA Moscow remains always on top (7-1) and Real Madrid is left all alone in the second spot of the standings with a 6-2 record thanks to the big win over Barca. Baskonia, Olympiacos, Dogus Darussafaka and Fenerbahce are tied at 5-3, followed by Maccabi Tel Aviv, Panathinaikos, Crvena Zvezda, Emporio Armani Milan and Barcelona at 4-4. And that brings us to the other big rivarly of the night and our MVP.
In the game between the Greek “eternal rivals” he once again burned Panathinaikos. He had in total 22 points on 7 out of 11 field goals, but also 8 assists and he created the play that decided the outcome. With all the Green defense focused on him, the captain of Olympiacos made the perfect pass to Giorgos Printezis who finished the job with a goal foul. One more instant classic.
- Vasilis Spanoulis: A legend in every possible way.
- Kostas Sloukas: He needed just 22 minutes and 7 shots, which he made all but one, in order to score 21 points on the way to Fenerbahce‘s win over Anadolu Efes. He also added 4 assists.
- Marko Simonovic: He gets better as he gets older and that was obvious in Crvena Zvezda‘s win over EA7 Emporio Armani Milano. He finished the game with 23 points, 5/9 threes and 6 rebounds.
- Anthony Randolph: He dominated the paint with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks – one of them really nasty – in Real Madrid‘s triumph at Barcelona. Spanoulis stole his thunder, because the game in Spain was decided long before the final buzzer.
- Tibor Pleiss: With Galatasaray in need, he emerged with 22 points and 8 rebounds and gave them the biggest possible push in the win over Dogus Darussafaka. He also proved that he is back to his good old self.
Best losing performance: Paulius Jankunas
He remains one of the most imporant players of Zalgiris Kaunas and he did it also against CSKA Moscow. He finished the game with a Euroleague career best of 30 points (8/14 FG, 13/15 FT, 8 r.) trying for the best. However it’s never easy to beat the champs.
Coach of the week: Sito Alonso
With Baskonia still trying to find its chemistry, Alonso’s team found new stars in the face of Rodrigue Beaubois and Johannes Voigtman. Still the biggest new star of the team remains the Spanish coach. Alonso is keeping his team so far steadily on the path to the playoffs and it will be more than interesting to see what brand of basketball Baskonia will produce now that they don’t have any more injury woes.
Biggest win: Real Madrid
Getting a win in a “Clasico” is great. Getting a road win in a “Clasico” is even greater. Getting a road in a “Clasico” with the final score being 102-63 it’s the stuff that dreams are made of. Not only Real Madrid got the result, but created a night to remember and got a points difference that can be valuable. It’s just can’t get any better in the regular season.
The survivor: Maccabi Tel Aviv
The Israelis played with fire and almost got burn by Unics Kazan. Yes it was a road game, but no matter how much talent has Kazan, the teams that want to be on the playoffs are looking the road games against the Russians as an opportunity. And because Maccabi Tel Aviv is trying to get back to the right path, this win was crucial.
The last word: The owners on the bench
Giorgos and Panagiotis Aggelopoulos had the best seats in the house at OAKA. The owners and presidents of Olympiacos were in the bench of the team. It’s part security-related decision, part desire to be as close at the team as possible but this is not something you see anywhere else…