Euroleague Weekly Review
How about those Partizans?
by Erildas Budraitis
During the second Euroleague Top 16 week, there was a lot of action and unexpected results. Surprisingly, the league’s leaders fell down and some of them are now in big trouble.
Regal Barcelona, which was the Euroleague leader with 11 wins and no losses, lost 66-67 against Partizan “Legend Killers” Belgrade. The Spaniards will protest the result, but there’s little chance that something will be changed. Without a doubt, Partizan confirmed once again that they can beat everybody, everywhere – they were able to win against Panathinaikos Athens, Regal Barcelona, Efes Pilsen Istanbul and Olympiakos Piraeus. So what’s next?
Another sensation was recorded in Greece, where defending champions Panathinaikos lost their second-straight Top 16 game. Maroussi, the other Athens team, managed to beat the Greens, 80-78. Bad news for Panathinaikos – in the next two Euroleague tours, they will fight against Regal Barcelona, who will be hungry like never before.
But that’s not all of this week’s sensations list. Asseco Prokom Gdynia, which hardly made the Top 16, won its second-consecutive game and became the Group G leader.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Unicaja Malaga, one of the Euroleague’s favorites, was humiliated in their home court in losing by 20 points to Asseco Prokom team (50-70). The Poles now are on the top, and the Spaniards… at the bottom.
At the start of the game, Asseco Prokom showed that they came to win, scoring the first 8 points (8-0). At the 15th minute, the Poles were leading by 15 points (33:18) and it looked like it was a one-way game. Nevertheless, Unicaja found the way to come closer. At the beginning of the 3rd quarter, the difference was just 2 points (39-41). After that, the guests made the sprint 23-6 and took an easy win.
Unicaja head coach Aito Garcia Reneses didn’t deny his team needs some improvements: “Our problems began right at the beginning of the game, when we played without concentration or intensity. There are bad habits that you get in preseason and if you are not able to stop them, you have problems.” It’s easy: no concentration – no wins in the Top 16.
Qyntel Woods, the 21st pick of the 2002 NBA Draft, led Asseco Prokom with 17 points and 9 boards. Ronnie Burrell scored 16, and former University of Indianapolis star David Logan added 9.
Unicaja Berni Rodriguez scored 13 points, Omar Cook dropped 10 and made just 1-8 three-pointers.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
This week’s MVP award goes to Maccabi Tel Aviv’s forward Alan Anderson. Former Charlotte Bobcat swingman helped Maccabi beat Real Madrid and finished the game with 40 index ranking points. Anderson scored 20 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and dished out 5 assists.
Second in this week’s rankings is NBA prospect Jan Vesely from Partizan Belgrade. The young Czech was the key to victory against Regal Barcelona – he ended the game with 13 points and 15 boards (27 index ranking). Third place goes to Lior Eliyahu from Caja Laboral Vitoria, who got 25 index ranking points.
Next week there won’t be any mercy in the Group E match — there, Panathinaikos Athens will try to right a wrong and defeat Regal Barcelona. Which one of the top European clubs will celebrate the victory?