Euroleague Weekly Review
Prokom gets a very important win.
by Erildas Budraitis
The Euroleague will have a new champion. It became clear after last year‘s champions, Panathinaikos Athens, lost in match against Regal Barcelona — its fourth loss in a row. In two weeks, we will know which eight teams will compete in the playoffs.
In the other Group E game, Partizan Belgrade topped Maroussi Athens (79-76) and tied Regal Barcelona with three wins. Maroussi is still close with two wins, so it‘s too early to relax. One thing in Group E is clear – Panathinaikos (0-4) is eliminated.
The most difficult situation is in Group F. Real Madrid and Efes Pilsen Istambul won very important home games, and now all four teams have the same record (2-2). In Group G CSKA Moscow and Asseco Prokom Gdynia hang ahead of the rest. Nonetheless, Zalgiris Kaunas survived in a game with Unicaja Malaga (89-84), so these two teams still have chance to fight for a place in the playoffs.
It looks like Group H leader Olympiakos Piraeus, which won all four Top 16 games, can feel safe and there will be battling for the second place in group. Caja Laboral Vitoria and Khimki Moscow Region, both of them have two wins and everything depends on last two Euroleague tours.
GAME OF THE WEEK
This week we will review the biggest Euroleague surprise – Asseco Prokom Gdynia, which won its third game in the Top 16. This time Asseco Prokom was able to defeat one of Europe’s top teams, CSKA Moscow – 88-81.
The Poles started the game slowly and after first 6 minutes Russians were leading by 10 points (17-7). Despite bad start, Asseco Prokom took charge in the second quarter. After the first half Gdynia team had a 5-point advantage (48-43). In the second half CSKA regained the lead but Asseco Prokom had enough power to grab a victory.
“We won our third game in the group, but we have to remember that the road to advance is still long. I’m happy that we are closer, but we still have to be focused and ready to fight until the last game. I want to congratulate all my players because they were very ambitious tonight,” Tomas Pacesas, the head coach of Asseco Prokom, said. Yes, this season Poles are very ambitious, and we can guess what they are capable of – maybe advance to the Final four?
Former University of Indianapolis star David Logan led Asseco Prokom with 22 points and 4 assists. Qyntel Woods, former New York Knick, scored 19, Jan-Hendrick Jagla 18.
For CSKA, Trajan Langdon finished the game with 20 points and 6 rebounds, Ramunas Siskauskas scored 19 points and dished out 5 assists.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
This week’s MVP award goes to Cibona Zagreb’s guard Jamont Gordon. The playmaker scored season-high 32 points against Olympiakos Piraeus, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 4 assists (40 index ranking).
The second in this week’s ranking is Keith Langford from Khimki Moscow Region. Langford played excellent game against Caja Laboral Vitoria – 27 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists (27 index ranking). The third is CSKA Moscow’s guard Trajan Langon with 26 index ranking points.
Next week we should know team which teams will reserve places in the playoffs. Who will survive and who will be out?