By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
It never gets lonely on top, surely no such feeling describes Anadolu Efes at the moment. EuroLeague Regular Season Round 11 left the Turkish team alone in first place after improving to 9-2, enough for a one-win advantage over Spanish powerhouses FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Our MVP of the week made sure Ergin Ataman enjoys sole possession of the top spot, at least until Round 12.
The 27-year-old American point guard set a new EuroLeague scoring record with 49 points on Friday evening. Larkin made 15/19 from the field including 10/12 beyond the arc in his historic outing. He also dished five dimes en route for a 53 PIR. As a result, Anadolu Efes soared by FC Bayern Munich to take full advantage of FC Barcelona home loss to CSKA Moscow.
Eurohoops Best Five
1. Shane Larkin: Takes one spot, might have deserved more.
2. Lorenzo Brown: His season-high and team-high 19 points including a game-winning three sent Crvena Zvezda mts over Valencia.
3. Gabriel Deck: With 15 points and eight boards helped Real Madrid keep its winning streak alive and well.
4. Nikita Kurbanov: CSKA Moscow got back on the win column with an emphatic statement at Barcelona, the experienced Russian forward banked a 2/2 threes en route for 12 points, dished four assists and made four steals for a team-high 19 PIR.
5. Nikola Milutinov: His fifth double-double of the season, 13 points and 11 rebounds, launched Olympiacos over AX Armani Exchange Milan.
Coach of the week: Rick Pitino
The Hall of Famer is back in EuroLeague and led Panathinaikos OPAP to the convincing home victory versus KIROLBET Baskonia. Getting the best out of his players is a well-known attribute for Rick Pitino and obviously did not waste any time starting off his second tenure with the Greens. Now on a three-game winning streak, his team is looking straight at its domestic rival and the Round 12 matchup against Olympiacos.
The big issue: Referees get it wrong at Belgrade
Euroleague Basketball released a statement admitting that Guillem Vives’ three-pointer for Valencia should have counted. The referees wrongly canceled the shot with 3:50 left in the road match opposite to Crvena Zvezda mts, directly affecting the proceedings down the stretch. However, EuroLeague acknowledging the mistake is a sign of progress for Europe’s premier club competition.