By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
To be exact CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid are still tied at 19-7, Olympiacos follows at 18-8 and Fenerbahce is one step behind at 17-9. Still nobody has – at least mathematically – secured the home court advantage with Panathinaikos, Baskonia and Crvena Zvezda following in the standings tied at 15-11, while Anadolu Efes holds the last playoffs spot with a 14-12 record, over Darussafaka Dogus (13-13) and Zalgiris Kaunas (12-14).
He has the almost perfect game and you have to connect every dot in order to see it. He had 9 points without missing a shot, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, one turnovers and one block for a total ranking of 24, one of the highests this week. However, the most important thing is that he had done all this against CSKA Moscow, leading Baskonia to the biggest win of the night. Yes, Shane Larkin made things happen in the end, but Toko was everywhere all game long.
- Bobby Dixon: Fenerbahce was in trouble on the road against Brose Bamberg and he responded with a career high of 26 points, 5/9 threes, 5/5 free throws and 6 rebounds, leading his team to the win.
- Jason Granger: A real game changer with 22 points, 9/14 field goals, 4 rebounds and 4 assists for Anadolu Efes, getting the job done against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
- Toko Shengeila: Without making too much buzz, remains one of the best players of the league.
- Chris Singleton: In the biggest challenge of Panathinaikos so far, he responded with 21 points, 9 rebounds and many big plays against the mighty Real Madrid.
- Ante Zizic: He was playing against established fellow Croatian center of Barcelona Ante Tomic and he stole the show with a double double (10 p. 13 r.), leading Darussafaka Dogus to the win.
Best losing performance: Quino Colom
While his teammate Keith Langford was coming from injury and scored 27 points, but on 8/19 shots, he had a solid double double with 14 points, 10 assists and also 5 rebounds. It was not enough for Unics Kazan in order to get the win against Zalgiris Kaunas, which was fighting for its playoffs chances and thanks to an amazing game by Paulius Jankunas (21 p., 7 r.) prevailed.
Coach of the week: Dejan Radonjic
Crvena Zvezda made one more step towards securing the playoffs by beating EA7 Emporio Armani Milano on the road and once again they did it Radonjic’ way. Solid defense, that kept the hosts to 10 points during the first quarter, everyone helping on the offense and pressuring the ball. Once more it was proven that Radonjic has build a really solid unit.
Biggest win: Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz
Let’s see. Baskonia was in need of a big win, since it has not yet secured a spot in the playoffs. They were facing the already qualified defending champions, the main title contender, which also with a win could seal the home court advantage for the playoffs. And somehow the hosts managed to get the win, making one more step towards the post season and keeping everything open also on top of the league standings thanks to their amazing on court performance. That’s what they call “Character Baskonia”.
Last word: Red advantage in – slight – danger
Olympiacos has already qualified for the playoffs and the Reds are one of the favorites for the home court advantage being third in the standings. They even led 48-35 at half time, but Galatasaray thanks to an amazing game by Vladimir Micov managed to get the win.
It’s one more reminder that you are never safe in the new format of EuroLeague against anyone. Considering also the fact that Olympiacos has to play on the road against Crvena Zvezda, Anadolu Efes and CSKA Moscow and hosts Real Madrid, at this point the home court advantage for the Greeks is not secured, even though it’s hard to imagine them out of the top four, having a three-win advantage over Panathinaikos, Baskonia and Crvena Zvezda who are currently tied on the 5th spot.