Turkish Airlines EuroLeague RS - Round 1 MVP: Maik Kotsar, Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
Turkish Airlines EuroLeague RS - Round 1 MVP: Maik Kotsar, Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz Maik Kotsar had a memorable Turkish Airlines EuroLeague debut on Thursday night, leading Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz to a 71-81 road win at Valencia Basket and, in the process, earning the MVP honor for Round 1. His performance index rating of 31 topped all players in the opening round of the season. The Baskonia center scored 21 points on 10-for-12 two-point shooting. He also grabbed a team-high 9 rebounds and dished 4 assists, while adding a steal and a block. With his super debut, Kotsar became the first Estonian ever to become MVP of the Round.
The second-best performance on Thursday and Friday belonged to a familiar face, AS Monaco guard Mike James, who led his team to a 66-83 road win over Virtus Segafredo Bologna by scoring 26 points and dishing 6 assists for PIR of 30. Another debutante, Bonzie Colson of Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv had PIR of 29, collecting 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 assists and 2 steals in a thrilling 84-83 win over Zalgiris Kaunas. Rounding out the opening round's top performers were Othello Hunter of FC Bayern Munich and Luke Sikma of ALBA Berlin, each with a PIR of 27. Sikma had 15 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds in a 100-84 win over Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade, while Hunter had 18 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in a 62-74 loss against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul.
Individual highs: Georgios Kalaitzakis, Panathinaikos, 5 steals
James was the top scorer in Round 1 with 26 points. Gabriel Deck of Real Madrid pulled down 13 rebounds, more than any other player in the opening round. Lorenzo Brown of Maccabi and Darius Thompson of Baskonia each had 11 assists to lead all players in Round 1. Panathinaikos Athens forward Georgios Kalaitzakis had 5 steals, while two players had 4 blocks: Colson and Real center Walter Tavares. The two double-doubles belong to Maccabi's Brown, with 13 points and 11 assists, and ALBA's Louis Olinde, who collected 11 points and 10 rebounds.