Baston shares weekly EL MVP

Baston had 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocks as Maccabi thumped Real.

BSL Standings 298 (photo credit: )
BSL Standings 298
(photo credit: )
Maceo Baston's performance on Thursday night not only helped revive Maccabi Tel Aviv's Final Four hopes, but it brought the power forward some individual attention as well. Baston took a share of the Euroleague's weekly MVP award along with Efes Pilsen players Nikola Prkacin and Antonio Granger. Baston had 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocks - including a block and a slam in the play of the night with a minute to go - as Maccabi dumped Real 73-58 to improve to 3-1 in Group E of the Top 16. The loss was Real's first in the group, but the Spanish champions remained in the lead by a slim margin. Real defeated Maccabi 90-75 in the Top 16 opener last month and Maccabi matched the point-differential from that game. The initial Euroleague standings tiebreaker is aggregate headto-head score. The next breaker is better overall point difference. Real has outscored opponents by 18 points in its four Top 16 games, while Maccabi is plus-15. Thanks to Ulker Istanbul's 84-80 home win over Climamio Bologna earlier on Thursday, both Maccabi and Real will secure quarterfinals berths with just one more win this season. Maccabi hosts Climamio on Thursday before traveling to Istanbul for the finale. Baston finished the game shooting 7-for-11 from the field and 6-for-8 from the line. He also had one steal and was fouled seven times in 33 minutes to give him an MVP index of 28. The Euroleague selects its weekly MVP based on a statistical index, which gives players points for points scored, rebounds, assists, steals, blocked shots, and fouls drawn, and subtracts points for missed shots, turnovers, and fouls committed. Granger scored 30 and Prkacin 21 without a miss in Efes Pilsen's 94-87 defeat at the hands of David Blatt and Benetton Treviso on Wednesday. Maccabi returns to action on Monday when it visits Ramat Hasharon in BSL Matchday 18. The rest of the action takes place on Sunday evening, with the northern derby between Ironi Nahariya and Hapoel Galil Elyon-Golan taking center stage. Nahariya still has only a slight lead on the competition for fourth place in the league, which is crucial since only four teams advance to this season's playoff Final Four. Galil stopped a six-game losing streak last week as Oded Katash returned to the sidelines to lead his team over Hapoel Tel Aviv. In other games, Ironi Ramat Gan hosts Bnei Hasharon, Elitzur Ashkelon travels to Maccabi Rishon and Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Givat Shmuel meet at Nokia Arena. Hapoel Jerusalem, which hosts Dynamo Moscow on Tuesday in the first leg of the ULEB Cup semifinals, has a BSL bye.