Holon, Darussafaka, Treviso, Tenerife and Manresa with players on Team of the Month
MIES (Switzerland) - The Basketball Champions League Round of 16 has ended after a month filled with dramatic games and game-winning shots. Five of the best players of March have been included in the Team of the Month in BCL.
The two guard positions belong to the players who have faced each other way back in the Regular Season. Joe Ragland has been leading the assists stats all season long, and in March, he went on to lead Hapoel U-NET Holon to first seed in a group with MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg, JDA Dijon and Unicaja.
Ragland dished out 32 assists in four March games, while getting 12 points and four rebounds per game, too. He was impressive in crucial wins over Ludwigsburg and Dijon, taking the Israeli side back to the Quarter-Finals of the BCL.
Troy Caupain's season has ended despite Darussafaka's perfect 3-0 March. Caupain had games of 18, 20 and 13 points, while shooting 7-of-14 from beyond the arc, and also hitting the game winning layup against Tofas Bursa in the all-Turkish battle. Darussafaka were unlucky to finish behind Tofas and Manresa on points difference.
Another player who deserves recognition despite being out of the BCL is Giordano Bortolani. The 21-year-old has arguably been the best player of the Round of 16, scoring 20.0 points per game in this phase.
Bortolani had a couple of 20+ point games against BAXI Manresa, one of the toughest defenses of the BCL, and followed it up with 21 against Tofas and 19 against Darussafaka. Nutribullet Treviso have gone 0-4 during the month, but were close to at least a couple of upsets thanks to Bortolani.
Compete opposite of Treviso's campaign has been Lenovo Tenerife's 6-0 run to the top of their group. Kyle Wiltjer has been impressive during March, showing once again he is a perfect fit to Txus Vidorreta's system.
Wiltjer had 23 points in 24 minutes against Falco Szombathely and 11 points in 19 minutes in a blowout win over Rytas Vilnius. The Canadian power forward turned the ball over only once over his last six BCL games with Tenerife.
Rounding up the Team of the Month is Chima Moneke. BAXI Manresa's energy bolt has powered the team to the top spot of the group and the home court advantage in the Quarter-Finals, which could be crucial in the fight for the Final Four.
Moneke had 18 points per game in March, while shooting 21-of-31 from the field and grabbing five boards per game. He has been a fan favorite since day one in Manresa, and if he keeps this kind of form heading into the final two months of the season, there could be an even bigger individual award waiting.
The Most Valuable Player of March will be announced on Thursday.