In a game that produced the two best individual performances to start the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season, Emir Preldzic walked away as bwin Week 1 MVP because his career-best showing had one deciding statistic in his favor: a victory for Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul! Preldzic's near-flawless performance on Thursday pushed his team to a surefire 92-80 win over visiting Khimki Moscow Region before almost 10,000 delirious fans at Fenerbahce Ulker Sports Arena. The 25-year-old point forward climbed off the bench late in the first quarter and by halftime had 11 points without a miss to push Fenerbahce Ulker ahead for good. When he was finished, Preldzic had compiled a performance index rating of 31, the best of his six-year Euroleague career. He also had a career-high of 20 points to go with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals while missing just 2 shots all night. In the same game, Khimki point guard Zoran Planinic matched the week-high index rating of 31, but the MVP honor goes in a tie to any players on winning teams. Planinic had 17 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals for Khimki. Following in third place was Ksistof Lavrinovic, who made his debut with Zalgiris Kaunas memorable, scoring 17 points to go with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals for a 29 index rating and a 90-62 home win over Cedevita Zagreb. Earl Calloway of Unicaja Malaga returned to the Euroleague after a three-year absence to post a 28 index rating and scored 25 points - both his Euroleague career highs - but it couldn't save his team losing its home opener to Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. Likewise, Partizan mt:s Belgrade lost on the road to Besiktas JK Istanbul, despite Vladimir Lucic posting a 26 index rating and 18 points, both of them his career highs. MVP Video
Individual highs: Aron Baynes, Union Olimpija Ljubljana, 12 rebounds
Among the best performances in specific statistical categories in Week 1, Calloway's 25 points for Unicaja were matched only by Patrick Christopher of Besiktas in his Euroleague debut. In rebounds, Aron Baynes ripped 12 to help Union Olimpija Ljubljana win its road opener at Cantu. Jerel Blassingame of Asseco Prokom Gdynia posted the most assists this week, 11, which was more than all but three players managed all last season. The first-week steals leader is Dontaye Draper of Real Madrid, who swiped 5 balls in his first-ever Euroleague game. And yet another rookie, Alexey Zhukanenko of Khimki, led all players with 4 blocks in the week. Baynes (16 points, 12 rebounds) was the only player to record a double-double in the opening week of the season.