By Antigoni Zachari / firstname.lastname@example.org
New year, same crescendo for many EuroLeague teams that stepped into 2019 on the right foot. The standings are far from settling (in terms of the Top 8 teams) and we have plenty more games ahead to figure out who will make it to the next round. For the moment, Fenerbahce‘s and Real’s reign seems unstoppable, while Efes and Olympiacos are toe-to-toe with a 10-6 record each.
Another huge performance by Milutinov, this time in a crucial game for the Reds, against Greek rival Panathinaikos, where he finished with a double-double of 18 points and 18 rebounds and a total PIR of 41. As if that wasn’t enough, he set a new club-high in rebounds, surpassing Dino Radja’s previous record (17). One thing is for sure. Enjoy the Serbian beast in European territory while you can, ’cause keeping him around won’t be this easy.
- Daniel Hackett: He saved CSKA in a game that seemed to have been settled with 19 points and clutch performance in the final period.
- Vasilje Micic: Efes‘ perfect executor registered 20 points and five assists in a comfortable win vs. Bayern.
- Nicolo Melli: Fenerbahce Beko dominated Baskonia at home, thanks to a 20-point performance of the Italian forward
- Gustavo Ayon: The Mexican forward was this close to making it to MVP for this week since his 18 points, nine rebounds and three assists added up to 31 PIR.
- Nikola Milutinov: He is no stranger to the MVP section of our awards.
Coach of the week: Georgios Bartzokas
Khimki is not exactly on a great path this season. Missing Alexey Shved and Anthony Gill has certainly cost the team many victories, but they stepped into 2019 with a smashing road victory against Gran Canaria, that can act as a morale-booster until its big guns are back in action.
Last word: Basketball is all about emotion
In his nearly perfect night on Thursday, Ayon had one more reason to smile. A young fan of his traveled all the way from Mexico just to see him play and held up a big banner for him during the game. Touched by his supporter, Ayon approached the stands and gifted him his warmup jersey, bringing the little boy to tears. Not for long, as he was soon after spotted holding up the jersey in all smiles. That’s why we love this game!
— EuroLeague (@EuroLeague) January 3, 2019