EuroLeague - Round 18 MVP: Marcelinho Huertas, Baskonia
With his team shorthanded due to injuries and sickness, veteran point guard Marcelinho Huertas stepped up in a major way to lead KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz to an 83-66 blowout of Herbalife Gran Canaria and earned the MVP of the Round 18 honor for his effort. Only once before in his 213 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague games played did Huertas score more than the game-high 24 points he had on Friday, when he hit 5 of 9 two-point shots and 4 of 5 threes. He also dished a game-high 6 assists and collected 3 rebounds for a performance index rating of 29, the highest among players on winning teams this round. His highest PIR in five years gave Huertas his fourth MVP of the Round honor in nine seasons. Mike James of AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan had a PIR 31, the highest of Round 18, but it came in a losing effort against FC Bayern Munich. James netted 29 points to go with 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and 9 fouls drawn. His teammate, center Arturas Gudaitis accumulated an index rating 28, third highest of this round, collecting 18 points and 10 rebounds. Two more big men round out the list of top performers in Round 18, as Jan Vesely of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul and Anthony Randolph of Real Madrid had PIRs of 26. Vesely led Fenerbahce to a 78-61 win against Zalgiris Kaunas with 13 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Randolph paced Real Madrid to a 94-78 win against Olympiacos Piraeus with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals.