By Simon Dresden
Just a handful of youngsters have made it into the next stage (Top 16) of Eurolegue competition. We will continue to take a look at those who did with their respective teams, in our weekly report.
Semih Erden was back in action for the first time in a long time and instantly proved why some scouts are so high on him. 24 minutes with 12 points, 4 boards and 3 blocks in the first game back on that level is pretty impressive.
Nikola Pekovic didn’t slip at all from what he produced in the regular season, tallying 13 points and 8 boards with his usual high numbers but he also turned the ball over too much as he had 5 of his teams 29 turnovers in the big loss. At this stage, teams can’t win playing like that and it is to be seen if the young bunch will adapt and learn from it.
Emir Preldzic stole the show earning 23 minutes with outstanding play, drawing fouls nearly at will and hitting shots at a very good rate finishing second in scoring with 13 points. He missed his usual versatility a little but on days like that scoring is as good.
Omer Asik, playing his first game with Semih Erden on the court at this level proved he produces whatever playing time is awarded to him. He only amounted 15 minutes but still produced 7 points, 4 boards and 4 rejections.
Oguz Savas was in typical form as he used his massive frame to position himself on the block and go to work from there. He gathered 6 rebounds and this kind of production gained him the time of 20+ minutes of action.
Milenko Tepic was representative for his team again, sure he scored 8 points and had 6 boards to go along but he also turned the ball over 5 times without dishing one assist. His team lost big and it was kind of his fault too.
Novica Velickovic insisted on doing he can’t do, shot it from threepointland. He played heavy minutes 37+ but kept firing away, going 1/6, sure he had 6 boards but you have to know you limitations to be successful and 5 turnovers don’t help either.
Uros Tripkovic was on with his shooting and on days like this it is a beauty to watch him drain the long range bomb. He had 9 points on threes and a little spare production.
Milos Teodosic had a little drop in his minutes but he held his ground and is a firm part of the rotation which will lead to some valued experience. 6 points and 2 assists, not bad for a start.
Gasper Vidmar minutes suffered by the return of Erden and as did his production as he only played 8 minutes but his production was okay with 2 in points, rebounds and dimes.
Simone Bagnoli got surprising 7 minutes in a very close battle with CSKA, which is impressive and also he did miss all of his 4 shots, he gathered 4 rebounds which is nice and on par with what we have seen from him until now a hustle guy.
Martynas Gecevicius also continued his limited minutes play and produced 2 points in 8 minutes in a loosing effort for his team.
Omri Casspi got just 5 minutes and all he managed was 2 rebounds and 0 points, but hey at least he is still in the competition and playing a little.
Mantas Kalnietis continues his struggles, only 7 minutes with only a point and 1 rebound, what is there else to say.
Sergio Llull played only 3 minutes and did not amount to anything but even that is better then Pablo Aguilars DNP-CD.
With Mario Kasun back in action playing time for Albert Moncasi will be spare, this week DNP-CD.
Paulo Prestes also drew a DNP-CD but for him getting to know the intensity of this round is invaluable.
Baris Hersek did as he did all season, ride the bench for a DNP-CD and there is no sign that will change the rest of the way.
Artem Zabelin, Alexey Shved and Andrey Vorontsevich did not make the roster for CSKA’s first game and there is not much hope for them to get any playing time in the future as CSKA added NBA returnee Viktor Khryapa to an already stacked roster and games are not going to get less competitive the rest of the way. Nikita Kurbanov and Anatoly Kashirov made the roster but drew DNP-CDs.