Credit: B.Unal | BasketNews illustration
Credit B.Unal | BasketNews illustration

BasketNews continues the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague beat edition. Here, you'll be able to find all the info you need about what happened in the latest EuroLeague round.

Clutch Rokas Jokubaitis, Ergin Ataman's rage, Mike James show, Daniel Hackett's flirt with a career match, and beasting Guerschon Yabusele – all of that and more in EuroLeague’s Round 21 beat.

EuroLeague's beat Round 21

I WON THE CUP. Ergin Ataman was ejected with two technical fouls three minutes into the second half of the last year's Final Four re-match featuring FC Barcelona and reigning champs Anadolu Efes.

During his exit from the court and while he was on his way to the locker room, Ataman addressed the crowd that was applauding his ejection.

“I won the cup”, the Turkish coach shouted at the raving home fans, raising his fists in the air as if he was lifting the trophy.

The score was 49-43 and Ataman initially refused to abandon his position on the bench. 

This was the third ejection for Efes's coach this season. The same thing happened in the two teams' previous clash on December 3, 2021.

Ataman’s first ejection came in Efes's game against Panathinaikos at OAKA on October 28. 

Yes, he won the cup. But Barca beat Efes twice in the current campaign.

ROK N’ ROLL. With the score 80-77 and 21’’ remaining, Rokas Jokubaitis beat 2021 EuroLeague MVP Vasilije Micic one-on-one to score a basket and draw the foul from the Serbian guard. The free throw missed the target, but who cares?

That was the play that sealed victory for the 2021 EuroLeague finalists and put the icing on the cake for the 21-year-old Lithuanian.

The No. 34 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft logged 16 points, beating his previous scoring record and carrying Barca on his shoulders throughout the entire game. It was his fifth consecutive game in double digits, something that didn't go unnoticed by coach Sarunas Jasikevicius.

"Rokas is growing a lot. Due to the Calathes injury, he has more opportunities. Well, to say it better, he is deciding games. He is leading us into victories. That's the truth," the 45-year-old mastermind said post-game.

No one will be surprised if this one turns out to be his last season in the Old Continent.

EFES STRUGGLING FROM DEEP. The Turkish side went 5/26 from behind the three-point line, wasting several open looks. Micic was 0/3, Beaubois 0/4, while even Larkin and Moerman -the only ones hitting some shots- combined for 5/13.

Ataman's players dished out 9 assists overall, their lowest tally this season. At least, Micic managed to break one record on his 28th birthday.

PLAY IT AGAIN, MIKE. Prior to their visit to Munich, AS Monaco had shown that there's still some gas in their tank. The win over Maccabi, regardless of how problematic Sfairopoulos's team has been lately, showed that they're on the right path.

Against Bayern, Mike James did (almost) everything. He hit two buzzer-beating three-pointers - one that made it 35-40 at half-time and another one that allowed his team to close the third quarter on top of an eight-point lead (62-54).

Some of his circus shots and contested threes filled the hosts with despair, as Andrea Trinchieri and Bayern players could do absolutely nothing to contain the talented scorer.

When his show was over, James had 26 points on 10/17 from the field, including 5/7 three-point shots, plus 4 rebounds and 6 rebounds. These numbers only partly reflect the sweeping impact he had on the game, from start to finish.

RECORDS WASTED. Corey Walden broke two career records and tied another one, but his accomplishments were not enough for Bayern Munich to overcome Mike James’s recital.

The former Red Star guard was on fire in the first 15 minutes against Monaco, scoring 17 points on 5/7 three-point shots and 21 PIR in 14 minutes. He added another 9 in the second half for a new scoring high of 26 points, which also resulted in a career-high PIR of 34.

On top of that, he tied his personal best in steals with 4. Unfortunately for Bayern, only Vladimir Lucic followed him in double-digit mode.

WHAT A WEEK?! Daniel Hackett was spectacular in the victorious effort against ASVEL, leading CSKA with 27 points (6/8 2PT, 3/4 3PT, 6/7 FT), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 8 drawn fouls, and 38 PIR. He was just two points and 1 PIR short of his career-highs in scoring and efficiency.

CSKA's veteran guard also enjoyed a milestone evening as he passed a career total of 2,000 points in the EuroLeague.

Moreover, it was a second straight superb game by Hackett. The Italian-American athlete arranged a solid performance on Wednesday versus PAO. The 34-year-old shined with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists. Hackett made 2 of 3 two-pointers, shot 4 for 6 from downtown, and made his lone free throw attempt.

He also blocked a shot in compiling a performance index rating of 26, which was the highest among all players on winning teams in Round 20. This marked the first time in Hackett's decade in the EuroLeague that he has earned MVP of the Round honors.

MOMENT TO REMEMBER. After 27 points performance at home, Daniel Hackett shared the moment with his dad, hugging him and sinking into emotions.

ON FIRE. For the second time in a week, CSKA were lifted by excellent three-point shooting. The Army club had struck 17 triples in a comfortable victory at Panathinaikos, and this time Dimitris Itoudis' squad made 13 of its 27 attempts from beyond the arc. Daniel Hackett led the way with 4-of-6, Alexey Shved nailed 4 of his 9 attempts, while Marius Grigonis made 3-of-4.

NEW CONTRACT DOUBLE ENERGY. Guerschon Yabusele, who recently signed a multi-year contract extension with Real, jumped out to lead the Royal club right from the start of the game (vs Baskonia). The Frenchman scored 13 points on 5/5 shooting in the first quarter. He led the hosts to an eight-point advantage after 10 minutes (25-17).

Yabusele finished the duel with 17 points (7/7 2PT, 1/4 3PT), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 3 drawn fouls, and a game-high 27 PIR.

TEAM EFFORT. Real played without multiple players due to COVID, including Walter Tavares, Rudy Fernandez, and Tristan Vukcevic. Though, the Blancos demonstrated that it is not the problem.

Six athletes were in double-digits, involving Guerschon Yabusele (17 PTS), Alberto Abalde (15 PTS), Anthony Randolph (13 PTS), Vincent Poirier (11 PTS), Trey Thompkins (10 PTS), and Jeffery Taylor (10 PTS).

WELCOME BACK! Real's Trey Thompkins and Baskonia's Alec Peters came back on the floor after long-term injuries. Thompkins returned, scoring 10 points in 13 minutes, while Peters had 8 in 26 minutes of playing time.

Laso confessed regarding Thompkins' situation post-game: "He was not expected to play today, but due to the circumstances (Rudy and Tavares tested positive for COVID-19) we called him and he has integrated quickly into the team."

After the defeat, Neven Spahija was delighted with only one thing, celebrating Alec Peters' return: "He is not in good shape yet, but it's great news to see him back on track."

NO RHYTHM. Baskonia's bench boss also admitted that the two-week break was a game-changer at this point.

"The team stopped playing for two weeks, it's too much and we lost our team and rhythm. But we are not asking for an excuse. We have to play better basketball," the Balcanic coach admitted.

TOP Plays of Round 21

Records of Round 21

PIR
Daniel  Hackett
Daniel Hackett

Daniel Hackett (38)

Points
Daniel  Hackett
Daniel Hackett

Daniel Hackett (27)

Rebounds
Anthony  Randolph
Anthony Randolph

 

 

Anthony Randolph (12)

 

 

Assists
Mike  James
Mike James

Mike James, Wade Baldwin (6 each)

Steals
Corey  Walden
Corey Walden

 

 

 

Corey Walden (4)

 

 

 

Blocks
Vincent  Poirier
Vincent Poirier

Vincent Poirier (2)

3-pointers made
Corey  Walden
Corey Walden
Corey Walden, Mike James (5 each)

Results of Round 21

78-83
82-77
90-83
89-74

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