Euroleague Weekly Review
Congrats to Kaunas. Condolences to Zalgiris.
by Erildas Budraitis
After the sixth Euroleague round, only one team still doesn‘t have a win and one is still undefeated. Regal Barcelona is the first club to reach the Top 16 and are in excellent shape – six consecutive wins to start a season. Entente Orleanaise can’t find a way to get a win, much like the New Jersey Nets in the NBA, and Zalgiris Kaunas lost its fifth game in a row. But they both still have outside chances to make Top 16.
Today we will review the Group D leaders match. Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid fought against the Khimki Moscow Region. Euroleague newcomer Khimki triumphed over the Spaniards in overtime (84-81), so this was a huge game for Real.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Real Madrid took revenge on the Khimki Moscow Region, grabbing the win, 70-59. It was a big step forward for Real in fighting for first place in Group D. Next week Khimki will face-off against Panathinaikos Athens, another competitor for first place in group.
At the beginning of the match both teams showed excellent defense, and after the 1st quarter Khimki was leading by 1 point (13-12). Nonetheless, in next three quarters Real found ways to outscore the Russians and play impressive defense – they allowed Khimki to score only 59 points.
Ex-Raptor Jose Garbajosa was extremely happy with Real’s performance, adding that they still have a lot of work to do: “The good thing is that thanks to our good work on defense we were able to win the game. This victory will be good for our moral and motivate us to work even harder because we know we have a long way to go.”
Garbajosa ended the match with season-high 13 points and 3 boards. Argentinean national team member Pablo Prigioni scored 11 points and dished 7 dimes. Darjus Lavrinovic and Novica Velickovic both added 10 points.
Robertas Javtokas Khimki’s leader – he scored 17 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Last week’s MVP Keith Langford scored 13 points.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
This week’s MVP award goes to the Zalgiris Kaunas forward Dainius Salenga, who ended the game with 28 index ranking points. Salenga in match against the Asvel Villeurbanne scored 25 points, grabbed 2 rebounds and made 2 assists.
Second in MVP ranking was Salenga opponent Rawle Marshall from Asvel and the Efes Pilsen Istanbul center Daniel Santiago – they both had 25 index ranking points. Marshall scored 20 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, Santiago had 17 points and 6 boards.
Next week two top group B clubs, Unicaja Malaga and Olympiakos Piraeus, will fight against each other and we will see which team is a true group leader — Spanish or Greek?