EuroLeague Top-5: A night of records – TalkBasket Blog

Tim Abromaitis Zenit Olympiacos
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

The third round of the EuroLeague saw a number of records take place, while two teams remained undefeated in the competition.

Zenit Saint Petersburg makes history

Zenit Saint Petersburg overpowered Olympiacos in Piraeus in overtime (68-77) and made history on Friday night.

This was the first-ever victory for the Russians in the EuroLeague, while the team also put an end to its two-game losing streak (1-2).

Nando De Colo sets new career-high; wins MVP award

De Colo came off the bench against Baskonia (87-80) to deliver one of the best scoring performances in the EuroLeague this century.

In less than 31 minutes on the floor, he netted a career-high 39 points on a career-best 12-of-15 two-point shooting and accumulated a performance index rating of 44, another career-high and the highest in the competition in more than four years.

He was also named the MVP of the third round of the EuroLeague.

The Invincibles

Only two teams finished the third round of the Euroleague having three out of three in the winning column.

CSKA Moscow claimed an easy victory against rivals Khimki (99-86 at home); the squad of Dimitris Itoudis scored 42 of its total 99 points from the three-point-line, shooting at a 48% clip (14/29).

Furthermore, the Russian “giant” took almost half of its offensive production from two players. Namely, Mike James and Will Clyburn combined for 49 points and led CSKA to 3-0 in the EuroLeague standings.

Moreover, Barcelona came up with an easy home win (103-84) against Alba Berlin, who put up a fight for about 25 minutes, before coming up short against a star-studded team like the Spaniards.

Nikola Mirotic and Cory Higgins led the team in scoring, while Svetislav Pesic’s squad grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and had 25 second chance points in the game, while the bench unit scored 61 points to lead the team to 3-0 in the standings.

A new (Le)Day and the first half show of Mike James

Zach LeDay had an incredible impact for Zalgiris in the big win against Real Madrid (86-73) at the sold-out “Zalgirio Arena”.

The ex-Olympiacos big man was close to tie his career-high on points (28), scoring 26 against a EuroLeague “giant” such as Real Madrid.

Also, he was the best rebounder of his team with 9. The American forward has a good three-game spell averaging 12.7 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist per game on a +13 player index rating. The main goal for LeDay right now is to remain consistent.

On the other hand, Mike James is constantly good in CSKA jersey until now. The explosive combo guard had a great performance against Khimki, scoring 18 points in the first half and finishing the contest with 28 on 9/19 shooting.

James is the most valuable offensive asset of CSKA, along with Will Clyburn, and their offensive “habits” (especially for James) need to remain efficient in order, for the Russians, to have a successful run in this year competition.

Mike James CSKA Moscow
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

Barcelona runs out of point guards

Barcelona remained undefeated in the EuroLeague, but saw Malcolm Delaney exit the game with a right leg injury.

He is expected to miss the game against Gran Canaria and his condition will be re-evaluated in the coming days.

Given the injuries of Thomas Heurtel and Kevin Pangos, all three top class point guards of the Catalans have been sidelined.

Therefore, coach Svetislav Pesic has to redistribute the roles and find the perfect solution in order to cover the gap.

*Yiannis Bouranis and Alexandros Tsakos contributed to this article