Sasha Kaun saved his best performance for when his team needed it most. The CSKA Moscow center dominated Friday in leading the Russian champs back the Final Four with a 74-44 victory over Panathinaikos Athens in Game 5 of the Euroleague Playoffs. In addition to celebrating his fifth trip to the Final Four, Kaun can take pride in earning Playoffs Game 5 bwin MVP honors. Kaun tallied a season-high 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting plus 9 rebounds and 2 blocks for a performance index rating of 29, which was the most among the 44 players to take the floor in Playoffs Game 5. Kaun didn’t only dominate, but he set the tone early with 8 points and 4 rebounds in the first seven minutes. He reached 12 and 6 by halftime before his teammates took control in the third quarter and CSKA cruised to victory. Real Madrid’s Sergio Llull was the Playoffs Game 5 MVP runner-up with a performance index rating of 24. Llull scored 20 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting plus 4 assists as Los Blancos bested Olympiacos 83-69 to return to the Final Four. Kaun teammate Victor Khryapa filled the box score with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks for a 23 index, which was third-best of the night. Rounding out Playoff Game 5’s best were Matt Lojeski of Olympiacos Piraeus and Felipe Reyes of Madrid, each with index ratings of 21. Lojeski scored 15, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished 3 assists to round out a strong first Euroleague season; Reyes amassed 15 points and 8 boards.
Individual leaders: Sergio Llull of Real Madrid, 20 points
Llull was Game 5’s best scorer with 20 points. Keith Langford of EA7 Emporio Armani Milan finished as the playoffs leading scorer with 17.5 points per game. Kaun’s 9 rebounds were best in Game 5. His teammate Khryapa finished as the playoffs leader with an average of 7.6 rebounds per game. Euroleague MVP Vassilis Spanoulis dished 7 assists, which was the most of any player in Game 5. Khryapa also tops the playoffs assists charts with 5.6 per game. Game 5’s leader in steals was Madrid’s Rudy Fernadez with 3; with 2 steals per game in the playoffs, Rudy led all players. Khryapa topped the Game 5 blocks charts with 3; Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv big man Alex Tyus was the playoffs blocked shots leader with 2 per game.