Turkish Airlines Euroleague
May 22, 2013
bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge
Tel Aviv 2004
Qualifying Rounds 2012
NIKE International Junior Tournament
October MVP: Ersan Ilyasova, Regal FC Barcelona
Although it may seem contradictory, the best testimony for the first monthly MVP of the 2008-09 Euroleague season is how little he played while pacing his team to early dominance in its group. Ersan Ilyasova of Regal FC Barcelona did so much so early in both games during October that his team coasted to easy victories without needing his help to finish them off. Against quite distinct opponents and in quite different circumstances, Ilyasova and Barcelona won their first two games in Group B by an average of 26 points. That the second of those blowout wins came by 24 points against another group favorite, Panathinaikos, capped off in spectacular fashion what was already an incredibly busy and successful month for Barcelona. In between tying for first place in the Spanish League with a 4-1 record in October and taking on the Euroleague, Barcelona flew to Los Angeles for 72 hours in the middle of the month play two 100-point-plus exhibition games is less than a day against NBA teams. Every step of the way, Ilyasova's versatility has been apparent. He ranked seventh among all Euroleague players in performance index rating for the month, third in rebounds, 11th in scoring. Most telling, he led Barcelona in both scoring and rebounding despite playing only the fourth-most minutes on the team. For his amazing efficiency on the court in a pair of huge wins that could easily have been difficult for his team, Ersan Ilyasova is Euroleague Basketball's choice as October MVP.
Euroleague Basketball's MVP of the Month honor is in its fifth season. Although statistics and performance index ratings are taken into consideration for the award, they alone do not determine who is honored. The winner is named by Euroleague Basketball based on his and his team's performance during the previous month. The award for October was decided considering the two regular season games played by all teams during that month.
Even though Barcelona opened the Euroleague season against a newcomer to the competition, SLUC Nancy of France, it was a dangerous game for the visitors from Spain. In the previous 11 days, Barcelona had done both the longest road trip in the Spanish League, to the Canary Islands off the east coast of Africa, and the longest preseason trip by any Euroleague team, to Los Angeles to face the Lakers and the Clippers. By the time it reached Nancy to start the Euroleague season, Barcelona had amassed six flights in little more than a week, two of them more than 12 hours each, and had played three games, including two in less than 24 hours. Ilyasova seemed to like the workload, because he took over the game against Nancy. He finished with team highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds in just 23 minutes - one of the quickest double-doubles in memory - as Barcelona cruised to its first win. A week later, however, there was not thought of a blowout when Panathinaikos came to visit Palau Blaugrana. Two of the powerhouses of European basketball were ready for an early-season showdown, except that Barcelona never let the Greens up for air. With Ilyasova setting the pace on offense and patrolling the paint on defense, Barcelona shocked everyone who watched by rolling up bigger and bigger leads on Panathinaikos until reaching a high of 32 points in front early in the fourth quarter. Ilyasova was second on the team that night, with 14 points and 6 rebounds, respectively, in just 19 minutes. Overall for the month, his versatility was apparent with 16 points and 9 rebounds per game while Ilyasova made 50% of his two-point shots, 60% of his three-pointers and 90% of his free throws.
Barcelona was not alone in making a perfect, 2-0 start in October, and that didn't even mean exclusive hold on first place in its group. But those early wins by huge margins certainly meant good things for Barcelona in a shorter, 10-game regular season. And without doubt, the team presented its credentials as a serious Final Four contender by erasing Panathinaikos from the floor in the biggest superpower clash of the early season. Even though it's hard to say what he's best at because he blocks shots, hits three-pointers, rebounds and defends with the best of them, there is no doubt that Ilyasova was right in the middle throughout Barcelona's remarkable month of October. Ilyasova will receive his October MVP award at an upcoming home game.
Monday, November 03, 2008
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Playoffs Game 3 bwin MVP: Jamon Lucas, Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Playoffs Game 2 bwin MVP: Victor Khryapa, CSKA Moscow
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