Dimitris Diamantidis of Panathinaikos chalked up one of the best games of his career on Thursday to claim the Sportingbet Week 3 MVP honors. Unfortunately for the star point guard, his effort came in a losing cause as Union Olimpija topped the Greens 85-84 in overtime at a sold-out Stozice Arena. The incredible atmosphere of 13,000 roaring fans seemed to bring out some Diamantidis’s best basketball, until the very end, when his made just the first 2 of 3 free throws, the last of which stood to send the game to a second overtime. Diamantidis tallied 20 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 9 fouls drawn for a performance index rating of 31 – best in the Euroleague this season. It was also the second-best index and the tied for the third-best scoring effort in Diamantidis’s 127-game Euroleague career. Ironically, this represented the second time Diamantidis earned weekly MVP honors and both times came in losing efforts on the road. His previous MVP of the week was at Montepaschi in the Top 16 of the 2007-08 season. BC Khimki Moscow Region swingman Keith Langford and Cholet Basket big man Randal Falker were tied for the second best performance indexes of Week 3 with 25 ratings. Langford continued his torrid start to the season with 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting and added 4 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal in just over 30 minutes of action on Wednesday in a 64-60 victory over Caja Laboral. Falker, a Euroleague rookie, was a force in the paint as Cholet topped Lietuvis Rytas 73-69 for its first win of the season. Falker accounted for 11 points and 14 rebounds – 6 of them on the offensive end – plus 2 assists and 2 steals. The Olympiacos duo of Kostas Papanikolaou and Ioannis Bourousis round out this week’s top five, each with 24 ratings. Papanikolaou produced 17 points on near-perfect shooting plus 6 rebounds and Bourousis had 17 points, 7 boards and 2 steals in the Reds’ 93-66 victory over Unicaja.
Individual performances: Milos Teodosic, 9 assists
In addition to being the Sportingbet Week 3 MVP, Diamantidis also moved to the top of the season-long index charts with an averaged of 22.3 per game. He was also one of the week’s top scorers, sharing that honor with Cholet’s Fabiean Causeur with 20 points apiece. Igor Rakocevic of Efes Pilsen, who is the only two-time Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner in Euroleague history, is the leading scorer for the season so far with an average of 20 points per game. Falker’s 14 rebounds not only represented the most of any player in Week 3, but also lifted him to fist place for the season with 10 rebounds per game. Reigning Euroleague MVP Milos Teodosic dished more assists than any player this week with 9. He is now tied with Diamantidis for the league lead with 6.3 assists per game. Three players – Bo McCalebb of Montepaschi Siena, Jamon Lucas of Olympiacos and Raul Lopez of Khimki – nabbed 4 steals in Week 3 and two of them appear in the season-long top 10. Lopez is sixth 2.3 steals per game and McCalebb third with 2.7. Maccabi Electra’s Doron Perkins leads the league with 3.7 steals per game. No one had more blocks this week than Mike Batiste of Panathinaikos, who set a career-high with 4 blocked shots and moved into a tie for seventh place this season with 1.3 per game. The league leader, Mirza Begic of Zalgiris, has double that of Batiste with 2.7 per game. Only two players, Falker and Caja Laboral center Stanko Barac, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds in a loss at Khimki, recorded double doubles in Week 3 games.