Historic triple-double against Prokom Trefl Sopot in Euroleague opener earned him the Week 1 co-MVP award.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFFPublished: NOVEMBER 6, 2005 00:50Advertisement
Nikola Vujcic's historic triple-double Thursday night against Prokom Trefl Sopot in the Euroleague opener earned the Croatian center the Week 1 co-MVP award.
Vujcic, who racked up 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as Maccabi Tel Aviv coasted to a 95-68 home win, shares the honor with Partizan Belgrade's Dejan Milojevic.
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.
The two big men each scored index rankings of 33 to scoop up the award. Milojevic recorded 19 points and 12 rebounds as Partizan fell 82-57 to EB Pau-Orthez.
Former Maccabi player Marcus Goree, who now plays under David Blatt at Benetton Treviso, was next in line with a 31 index. Benetton started the season with a 76-68 win over German champs, Bamberg.
Vujcic's selection marks the second year in a row that a Maccabi big man shares the Week 1 award. Last season Yaniv Green came off the bench for 24 points and seven rebounds in his debut performance to earn a share of the award.
Maccabi will next be in action on Monday night against Maccabi Rishon in BSL action, before traveling to Greece to face Olympiacos on Thursday in the Euroleague.
Jerusalem hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv
With Maccabi not in action, all eyes will be on the curious matchup between traditional rivals Hapoel Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv in BSL Matchday 3.
Both teams started their seasons with losses before bouncing back to win last week. Tel Aviv has had the opportunity to gain momentum in European action. Coach Effi Birenboim's side rallied to knock off MPC Capitals of the Netherlands 74-72 Tuesday night in the EuroCup behind Marcus Hatten's 19 points.
Jerusalem can ill afford another home defeat it it wants to get far this season. The capital city hoopsters were upset by Elitzur Ashkelon in Matchday 1.
Last season Tel Aviv strolled into Malcha and upset Jerusalem 82-72 in a heated match that saw Jerusalem's William Avery punch Tel Aviv's Ilan Berkovic in the face just after the final buzzer, starting a skirmish between both teams. Both players are no longer with these teams. That was followed by Birenboim's now famous speech calling for the BSL to make changes so that the outcome of the league isn't a foregone conclusion before the season starts.
Bnei Hasharon will attempt to keep its perfect record intact when it hosts stubborn Ashkelon. Both teams have started the season in impressive fashion and the game could wind up being a determining factor in the race for one of the top four places at the end of the season.
In other games, one team will get its first win of the season when Maccabi Givat Shmuel hosts Hapoel Galil Elyon-Golan and Ironi Nahariya travels to take on winless Ramat Hasharon.
Ironi Ramat Gan benefits from a bye week.