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EuroLeague Diaries: Thomas Heurtel rescues Real Madrid; Jan Vesely leads Fenerbahce to victory

Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

EuroLeague Round 13 started with several big games, which included a close-fought victory for Real Madrid and a huge performance from Fenerbahce as the Turkish powerhouse put an end to a four-game skid.

Let’s dive in day 1 of EuroLeague Round 13

Thomas Heurtel pivotal in Real Madrid win

Real Madrid needed a go-to-guy during the fourth quarter as Maccabi Tel Aviv took a 60-65 lead with five minutes to go. Heurtel buried a big three-pointer and followed Walter Tavares’s dunk with another shot from downtown to put Real in charge, 68-67.

Soon after, Heurtel added a one-handed turnaround floater. Guerson Yabusel made the winning layup for the “Whites”, however Heurtel carried the Spanish giants to that moment.

The French guard finished with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists to lead Real Madrid to a huge victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Real achieved its sixth consecutive win to remain at the top of the EuroLeague standings for another round.

Jan Vesely helps Fenerbahce to end losing skid

Jan Vesely had one of his best games in a Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul uniform to lead his team to the victory over AS Monaco. He posted 20 points, on 7-of-11 shooting, along with 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Vesely’s performance index rating of 32 was a season-high and one of the 10 best in his career. He also grabbed the 500th offensive rebound of his career, becoming the sixth player to reach that mark.

His 2 steals gave Vesely sole possessions of eighth place all-time with 263 with his teammate Nando De Colo being nine steals ahead of him with 272.

“Honestly, the last couple of days I was a little tired, but today everybody stayed in the game, fighting from the first to the last moment,” Vesely said after the game.

“We had ups and downs, but in today’s game we fixed it, and we stayed in the game, we didn’t quit. So we have to just learn from this game and keep going to the next games like this.”

Steven Enoch shines for Baskonia despite loss

Steven Enoch has started to find his footing in the last few games, despite Baskonia’s disappointing results. Enoch put up 13 points and 10 rebounds to go with three steals for a PIR of 23 vs Zalgiris.

This was the third double-double in the last four games for Enoch, who is averaging 17.2 points and 8.6 rebounds for an average index rating of 23.2 in the last five games.

“I would like to congratulate Zalgiris for the win tonight. They deserve it more than us. Our second half was way better than the first half,” said Neven Spahija on his team loss.

“We fought more and played better defense. But we committed the same types of mistakes offensively as we have game after game. We gotta play better.”

Bayern’s Augustine Rubit achieves milestone in style

Bayern Munich was able to add to its winning column on Thursday night as veteran big Augustine Rubit had a memorable night against ASVEL.

Augustine Rubit reached a career milestone by making his 100th appearance in the competition, and he followed the occasion with one of the best performances of his EuroLeague career.

Bayern’s veteran big man registered a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, including five off the offensive glass. His PIR of 24 was the best he has achieved in a Bayern uniform.

“We needed to bounce back after a tough loss in Russia. It felt like we gave that game away and we needed to get back on track. So we came out and fought.

I think we played tough. Especially the franchise player Lucic. We held a team to 65 – usually if you do that, you win games. That was the goal for sure, we played tough tonight,” Rubit said on his team’s win.

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