(photo credit: AP)
Maccabi Tel Aviv's Nikola Vujcic was rewarded with the Week 6 Euroleague MVP honor on Friday after recording a rare triple-double in Thursday night's game against Olimpija Ljubljana.
The Croatian posted just the second triple-double in Euroleague play since the competition started in 2000. Remarkably, the center also owns the only other Euroleague triple-double, which he accomplished in Maccabi's first game last season against Prokom Trefl Sopot.
Vujcic led Maccabi to a 110-87 home win against Ljubljana with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The center had a great night of shooting - hitting 8 of 13 two-pointers, 1 of 1 from three point range and 8 of 8 from the free throw line.
Vujcic amassed an index rating of 46, the highest of the season so far. "The only reason I got the triple double is because we play as a team," Vujcic said after the game against Ljubljana on Thursday. "It's the players that understand each other very well and not only me."
Top of the table clash
Only one team will remain unbeaten in the BSL after Sunday night's games with the last two flawless sides - Maccabi Tel Aviv and Ironi Nahariya - facing off at the Nokia Arena in Matchday five.
Both teams won their European clashes last week and, despite Maccabi's local dominance, the game could prove to be closer than expected.
Tel Aviv has been far from convincing so far this season and Nahariya will look to take advantage of Maccabi's uncharacteristic start to the year.
Ironi has won its four league games by an average of 20 points and will be looking to spring a surprise on Sunday.
Hapoel Jerusalem will be hoping to continue the improvement it showed in its big ULEB Cup win against Alba Berlin midweek when if faces Maccabi Givat Shmuel at the Malha Arena on Sunday. Jerusalem has split its first four games of the season and will be a big favorite against Givat Shmuel which has lost its last three BSL games.
Bnei Hasharon visits Elitzur Ashkelon and must win in order to continue its impressive start to the season.
Also on Sunday, Hapoel Galil Elyon hosts Hapoel Afula/Gilboa and Maccabi Rishon Lezion faces Ironi Ramat Gan.
Bnei Hashron defeated Jerusalem last week, but will face an Ashkelon side that is growing in confidence after winning its first game of the season last week.
Maccabi teammate Yotam Halperin was full of praise for the Croatian on Thursday and was clear of Vujcic's place is in European basketball.
"I think Vujcic is the best player in Europe. It's a pleasure to play with such a player. He makes the game easy for you. I don't know what would have been with the team had Vujcic not been with us this year."
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