A decisive performance in a narrow home victory has earned Scottie Wilbekin of Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv the MVP honor for Round 1 of the new Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season! Wilbekin scored 13 of his team’s 15 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead free throws with 29 seconds left, as Maccabi outlasted FC Bayern Munich 69-68. He finished the game with 28 points, matching his career-high and outscoring any other Round 1 player, making 4 of 7 two-point shots, 4 of 6 threes and 8 of 8 free throws. With 3 assists, 3 steals and 6 fouls drawn, his performance index rating reached 32, the best among winning players in Round 1 and the second-best of his 141 EuroLeague career games. Shane Larkin of Anadolu Efes Istanbul had the week’s highest PIR, 35, but despite his 21 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, the defending champs lost 82-69 at Real Madrid. Following Larkin came Nikola Mirotic, whose perfect shooting night for 22 points in less than 18 minutes anchored FC Barcelona’s blowout 96-64 home win over ALBA Berlin. Three victorious players tied for fourth place in Round 1, all with PIRs of 24. Nicolo Melli combined 15 points with 6 rebounds as AX Armani Exchange Milan topped CSKA Moscow. Walter Tavares had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks as Real defeated Efes. And debutant Elie Okobo missed just 1 free throw among 23 points to lead LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne past Zalgiris Kaunas.
Individual highs: Pierria Henry, Fenerbahce, 5 steals
All the top performers in Round 1 start out as league leaders in their individual categories. Wilbekin was the top scorer with 28 points. Tavares had the most rebounds with 12. Barcelona’s Nicolas Laprovittola dished the most assists, with 7. Pierria Henry of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul stole 5 balls, high for the round. And Landry Nnoko of Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz swatted 4 shots to lead all blockers. Besides Tavares, the only other double-double of the week belonged to Luke Sikma of ALBA with 16 points and 11 rebounds.