Week 5 MVP: Teemu Rannikko, Union Olimpija

Nov 24, 2006 by Euroleague.net Print
Teemu Rannikko - Union Olimpija In a fifth week of the Euroleague regular season full of drama, arguably the biggest heart-stopper was Partizan's 70-71 road win at Union Olimpija on a shot with 3 seconds left. For that reason, it is difficult to say that Teemu Rannikko's performance for Olimpija, which earned him the Week 5 MVP honor, was part of a losing effort. Rannikko’s effort was all about winning: he had left the previous Euroleague game injured, didn't play in a weekend domestic game and was not sure to suit up against Partizan. But suit up Rannikko did, and almost inspired injury-plagued Olimpija to victory. Rannikko put together an index rating of 33 based on 26 points, 4 of 7 three-point shooting, 10 of 12 free throws, 3 assists, 3 steals and 10 fouls drawn. Panathinaikos guard Dimitris Diamantidis came next with an index rating of 30 thanks to 20 points, 5 assists and 7 steals in a victory over Unicaja. Third in line was Drew Nicholas of Efes Pilsen, whose contribution to a record-setting 39-point fourth quarter helped beat previously undefeated Olympiacos. Nicholas (index rating 29) finished with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. The top performances of the week were completed by two players from Tau Ceramica, forward Luis Scola and guard Pablo Prigioni, who paced their team's home win over Climamio Bologna with index ratings of 26 each.

"I had a little injury in the last game in Malaga against Unicaja, didn't play over the weekend, but I knew I had to play in this one, because it was so important for us," Rannikko said. "I wasn't sure even how long I could play, but I was able to stay out there and do what I could. It's just disappointing to lose by a point because we needed that win. We've had a lot of injuries - too many - even for this game. And our bench is not that long, so we need all the players. We have to keep motivated now. We are not out of it yet, even though the last one hurt. But there are many games in front of us, the next at Maccabi, one of the toughest places to play, but we'll go there and fight. I know that."

Juan Carlos Navarro of Winterthur FCB still owns both the highest aver index rating after 5 weeks, 24.4 per game, and the highest scoring average, 22.6 points per game. Tanoka Beard of Zalgiris is the new rebounding leader with his 9.4 boards per night while Benetton's Nikos Zisis remains the best passer so far, thanks to his average of 5.2 assists. Michael Wilkinson of Aris TT Banks leads the steals ranking with 3.2 per game while Marcus Haislip of Efes is the blocks king to date with 1.8 blocked shots on average.