By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2019-2020 EuroLeague has been characterized as the most difficult ever. Six rounds into 2019-2020, the fact that there are no more unbeaten teams is another testament to how challenging this season is.
Barcelona entered Round 6 as the only spotless team but Ettore Messina’s Olimpia Milano handed the Blaugrana their first loss. In the meantime, coach Giannis Sfairopoulos returned at Olympiacos Piraeus for the first time as an opponent and left with a major victory in his bags for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Marius Grigonis (Zalgiris Kaunas)
There couldn’t have been a more ideal showcase of the fact that Marius Grigonis is the new leader of Zalgiris Kaunas. With eight seconds left to play against Fenerbahce, Grigonis hit a near-impossible shot under pressure, that capped a comeback from seven points down in less than a minute, and handed Zalgiris victory on the road. It was the cherry on top of a season-high 19 points for the 25-year-old guard and was combined with the biggest win of 2019-2020 so far for the Lithuanian side.
Eurohoops Best Five
- Tyrese Rice (Panathinaikos): The former Final Four MVP delivered his top game this campaign with a season-high 18 points (6/8 shots) while making a couple of key plays down the stretch as Panathinaikos beat Anadolu Efes at home.
- Marius Grigonis (Zalgiris Kaunas): Game-winner? Check. Season-high? Check. Roadkill against a EuroLeague contender? Check. Need to say more?
- Borisa Simanic (Crvena Zvezda): Breakout performance in EuroLeague? Maybe. Borisa Simanic had never scored in double figures in a EuroLeague game before Thursday night when he dropped 18 points on 4/7 triples as Red Star outplayed Khimki Moscow at home.
- Tornike Shengelia (Baskonia): He’s also the official EuroLeague MVP of the Week after notching 19 points and winning nine fouls for a 28 PIR in Baskonia‘s blowout win over Bayern Munich.
- Luis Scola (Olimpia Milano): 39 years young and providing a game-winning impact against the only undefeated team in the competition. That’s Luis Scola for you. The veteran big man scored all of his 14 points in the last 17 minutes of the comeback victory over Barcelona, and also grabbed nine rebounds for a game-high-tying 22 PIR.
Coach of the week: Sarunas Jasikevicius
It was a tough choice between Ettore Messina and Sarunas Jasikevicius. Saras it is though. For the third season in a row, Zalgiris Kaunas left Istanbul with a win over Fenerbahce and the student beat the master. Sarunas Jasikevicius worked his magic once again against his former coach Zeljko Obradovic and showed that despite losing many key players over the summer, Zalgiris can aim high.
A powerhouse in crisis: Fenerbahce at the bottom
In 2018-2019, Fenerbahce finished at the top of the regular season standings with a 25 – 5 record. Six games into this season’s campaign, the Turkish powerhouse already has five defeats after falling victim of an upset against Zalgiris. The 2017 champions stand at the 17th place of the table.
Zeljko Obradovic had already taken responsibility for his team’s poor results after the loss to Maccabi and now, it’s time that his guys to step up. Fener made a couple of strong signings over the summer (Nando De Colo, Derrick Williams) and kept many core players but is seriously underperforming and losing ground in the standings.