Week 5 standout performances
MIES (Switzerland) - A lot of players seemed to be in a hurry to put in one more great display this week, prior to the short break in the Basketball Champions League for the November window of the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers.
This is what a starting five of standout players during Week 5, the last week of action in the 2020-21 BCL Regular Season until December, would look like:
Give it up for 'Mr. Clutch' David Holston
JDA Dijon floor general David Holston has created a reputation for making big shots in crunch time, and on Wednesday night he sent a timely reminder that it is well-deserved.
The American guard hit two triples in quick succession in the final 27 seconds of regulation in his team's visit to Tofas Bursa to force overtime, and then he orchestrated the Dijon charge in the extra period for the French to claim an 87-81 road win and stay perfect after three games.
Holston, who passed the 200 assist-mark in the BCL this week, posted his second double-double in the competition on Wednesday as he had 10 assists to go with his 17 points (11 of which after the 39th minute of regulation) and registered an efficiency rating of 21.
Toms Leimanis comes up with dreamy sixth man performance
Tsmoki-Minsk threw Hapoel Holon completely out of their rhythm on Tuesday to claim their first ever road win in the BCL, 79-69 in Israel, with Toms Leimanis emerging as a secret key component for the Belarus champions.
The Latvian point guard, who had also played in the BCL in the 2016-17 season, with Ventspils, came off the bench for Minsk and delivered his best-ever performance in the competition.
Leimanis scored a BCL career-high 20 points and registered an efficiency rating of 21 to help Minks hold off their hosts. It's worth noting that the 26-year-old Latvian had scored a total of 14 points in his previous 12 BCL appearances combined.
Vojtech Hruban aims for 1k milestone
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BCL all-time leading scorer Vojtech Hruban scored his 827th point in the competition on Wednesday night, making the goal of becoming the first player to reach 1,000 points a very realistic one, considering he is still only 31 years old.
The Czech international had 16 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds and posted an efficiency rating of 19 in another all-round display on Wednesday as ERA Nymburk defeated Keravnos 96-69 at home and improved to 2-1 in Group B.
Hruban has now become only the fourth player in BCL history to score 16 or more points in eight games in a row, and if he repeats that feat in Nymburk's next game on December 15th (again against Keravnos) he will overcome Kevin Punter, Ricky Ledo and Tyler Stone as the only player with nine consecutive such games.
Tyler Cavanaugh has truly arrived in the BCL
When Iberostar Tenerife signed Tyler Cavanaugh in the summer, it seemed a match made in heaven, and the American power forward has required little time to adapt to his new surroundings.
Cavanaugh has helped Tenerife to start off on a 9-1 record in the Spanish Liga Endesa and on Tuesday he finally delivered his first big display in the BCL, in his fifth game in the competition (he had also played in the Spanish team's Round of 16 and Final 8 clashes, in September).
The 26-year-old stayed on the floor for 34 minutes and collected 16 points on 6 of 7 shooting from the floor, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals for an efficiency rating of 25 as Tenerife made easy work of their encounter with Galatasaray and clinched an 85-72 win, improving to 2-1 in the Group A standings.
Miro Bilan delivers like clockwork
Miro Bilan has always been a reliable player but this season he seems to have scaled new heights in that respect, and he is an important driving force behind Dinamo Sassari's best start to a BCL campaign as the Italian side maintain a perfect record after three games in Group A.
On Wednesday night, the Croatian big man posted a second double-double in his BCL career and his first in a Sassari jersey (he registered his first one was when he was playing for Strasbourg, in a game against Reyer Venezia in January 2018) as he collected 19 points and 11 rebounds, for an efficiency rating of 24, to lead Sassari to a 91-84 win at Bakken Bears.
Bilan had previously delivered a 16-point, 9-rebound performance in the season opener against Galatasaray and an 18-point, 8-rebound showing in the win against Tenerife, as the Croat is submitting his early candidature for the unofficial title of the most reliable player of the season.