17 October, 2023
05 May, 2024
Press Release
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'Head of the snake' Ragland picks up March MVP honors, extends all-time lead

MIES (Switzerland) - Peristeri bwin reached the Quarter-Finals despite a nearly disastrous 0-3 start to the Round of 16 and their leader, Joe Ragland, has been rewarded for his efforts by earning another MVP of the Month award in the Basketball Champions League.

The 34-year-old point guard extends his lead as the player with the most MVP of the Month awards in BCL history, as he's just added a fourth to his collection. Ragland won the award in March 2022, October 2022, January 2023 and now in March 2024.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Ragland is also the all-time BCL leader in double-doubles, with 16 in his career. That's  six more than the players who are in second place.

The only other player with multiple MVP of the Month trophies is Levi Randolph, with two (April and December 2023). Randolph and Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem are the ones Ragland and Peristeri bwin left behind in the Round of 16, knocking out last season's Finalists even before the Quarter-Finals.

An amazing comeback by Peristeri, considering their abysmal start to the Sweet 16.

"As a team we were taking things one day at a time. Coach [Vassilis Spanoulis] made sure we kept working hard and had a positive mindset, and things just so happen to work in our favor," Ragland described the path towards the three-game win streak.

"Coach Spanoulis is like a big brother to me." - Joe Ragland


It's even more impressive when you consider that the other two teams in the group were Pinar Karsiyaka and Lenovo Tenerife. A veritable group of death, survived by the teams that had veteran leadership at point guard.

Ragland may be in the august of his playing days, but he's still a youngster compared to 40-year-old Marcelinho Huertas, the Tenerife captain.

"At this point in our careers, I feel like we both play the game with our mind, using IQ to maximize each possession," the March MVP said of the rivalry.

The IQ part is exactly what Ragland's teammates love about him.

"Joe is a phenomenal point guard who has amazing court awareness and a high IQ. He has one of the best knacks for throwing lobs, which is great for me," Trevor Thompson laughed while praising the floor general's leadership abilities.

"[His] seriousness, with him being the head of the snake for us, flows down to all of us with the dog mentality we all have. Having him on the court, you know everyone will be involved," Thompson added.

"He reads the game like a real vet. He’s a student of the game and nobody can speed him up so with that formula he is a cheat code. He has a jumper. Left. Right. And IQ. Hard to find that nowadays," Elijah Mitrou-Long joined the conversation, continuing:

"Joe knows what he is talking about and knows how to stay poised throughout the highs and lows. He understands different situations and scenarios through his experiences playing on different levels and teams. So he has seen most of it.

"Off the court he is a chill human. Handles his business like a grown man and is a good vibe in the locker room."

Peristeri were off to a shaky start early on in this campaign, but that was all part of the natural process of clicking together. A process which goes by much faster with a point guard like Joe Ragland and a coach like Spanoulis.

"Coach Spanoulis is like a big brother to me," Ragland said.

"I understand I'm an extension of him on the court, so every day we speak and share ideas about the game. He is a basketball purist. His IQ for the game is special, and for me it's a blessing to be around him every day and continue to learn from one of the best to ever do it."

Ragland is now two steps away from repeating the 2021-22 season and reaching another BCL Final Four. As a Hapoel Holon player he finished fourth in that year's Final Four in Bilbao, Spain, while also getting a spot on the Star Lineup First Team.


About Basketball Champions League
The Basketball Champions League is an innovative joint partnership between FIBAClubCo and 11 top European leagues. It is a fair competition based on sporting principles, with teams qualifying through their national leagues.

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