For the second week in a row, the Sportingebt MVP honor is shared by two players, this time former teammates who played big roles in very different, yet equally important, Top 16 Week 3 victories. Lior Eliyahu tied a Euroleague record in helping Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv roll to a 104-67 win over Union Olimpija in Group F. D’Or Fischer racked up a double-double as Real Madrid edged Efes Pilsen 89-86 in overtime in Group G. The two players were teammates at Maccabi in the 2007-08 season and helped the team reach that season’s Final Four in Madrid. As teammates, they were co-MVP along with former Panathinaikos big man Nikola Pekovic in the first game of the Top 16 that season. On Thursday of this week, they finished with Euroleague-best performance index ratings of 30 each. Eliyahu was a perfect 10-for-10 on shots inside the arc, matching a Euroleague record shared by four other players for the most two-pointers made without a miss. He finished with a season-high 20 points to go with 6 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal in 21 minutes and did not play the fourth quarter due to Maccabi’s big lead. Fischer controlled the paint for Madrid, amassing 15 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks – the last of which came on Efes guard Kerem Tunceri’s attempt to win the game with seconds remaining in overtime. Madrid outscored Efes by 22 points in the 31 minutes Fischer played. Two more heroes in big victories followed the co-MVPs with index ratings of 27 each. Nedzad Sinanovic had 15 points on perfect shooting plus 8 rebounds – both career-high numbers – in less than 13 minutes to lead Unicaja to a 98-91 come-from-behind win over Lietuvos Rytas. Fernando San Emeterio accounted for 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal to help Caja Laboral top Panathinaikos 77-70. Rounding out the list of the week’s top performances was another Maccabi player, Jeremy Pargo, who registered a season-high 21 points as well as 5 rebounds and 6 assists for a 25 index rating.
Individual highs: Mirsad Turkcan of Fenerbahce Ulker, 49 career double-doubles
The 21 points scored by San Emeterio and Pargo also represented the highest totals of the week. With an average of 15.3 points in the Top 16, Pargo now ranks among the top 10 scorers in this phase of the season. Juan Carlos Navarro of Regal FC Barcelona is the leading scorer in the Top 16 with 21.3 points per game. The all-time rebounding king Mirsad Turkcan of Fenerbahce Ulker hauled in 14 rebounds to lead all Euroleague players this week. His 10.5 rebounds per game are also best in the Top 16. Dimitris Diamantidis of Panathinaikos matched a Euroleague career best with 11 assists on Thursday. Not only was that the best in Top 16, Week 3, but Diamantidis now leads the Top 16 with 7.7 assists per game. Four players – David Moss and Shaun Stonerook of Montepaschi Siena, Saso Ozbolt of Union Olimpija and Ricky Rubio of Barcelona – picked up 4 steals this week. Stonerook and Ozbolt share the Top 16 lead with 2.7 steals per game. Fischer was joined by Ioannis Bourousis of Olympiacos and career leader Fran Vazquez of Barcelona with the most blocks in Top 16, Week 3. Each rejected 3 shots. Olimpija’s Giorgi Shermadini lead all Top 16 players with 2 blocks per game. The aforementioned trio of Fischer, Diamantidis and Turkcan had the only double-doubles of the week. For Turkcan, it was the 49th double-double of his Euroleague career.