Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Adidas Next Generation Tournament
Quarterfinals, Game 1 MVP: Brandon Hunter, Hapoel Jerusalem
Mar 25, 2010
A monster performance in the closest of four opening games in the Eurocup Quarterfinals made Brandon Hunter of Hapoel Jerusalem a more-than-worthy MVP for Game 1 of the new round. Hunter was unstoppable as Hapoel downed visiting Alba Berlin for a 67-61 opening-game victory in their two-game series. Hunter posted the only double-double across all games on Tuesday and Wednesday by pouring in 23 points while pulling 10 rebounds for Hapoel. He was automatic almost every time he touched the ball, making 9 of 11 two-point shots and 5 of 6 free throws to go with an assist, 2 steals and no turnovers for a performance index rating of 32. This marks the second time that Brandon, a forward, has earned the MVP honor this season, as he did so in regular season Week 5, too. Following Hunter in the list of the best performances in the quarterfinal opening games were Panellinios teammates Ian Vougioukas and Rodney Blakney, whose index ratings of 22 and 21, respectively, paced their team to an 81-70 home win over Gran Canaria. Vougioukas combined 18 points with 8 rebounds in the victory, while Blakney scored 21 while posting 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Two players who lost the above-mentioned games tied for Game 1's fourth-best performances, with index ratings of 20 each. Jayce Carroll scored 22 points for Gran Canaria against Panellinios, while Derrick Byars scored 17 and pulled 5 rebounds for Alba Berlin against Hapoel.
Individual highs: Axel Hervelle, Bizkaia Bilbao, 10 rebounds
Hunter's 23 points led all scorers in Game 1. He was joined as the top rebounder by Axel Hervelle of Bizkaia Bilbao, who also had 10 rebounds in his team's victory at CEZ Nymburk in one of the two road wins of Game 1. The top assist-makers of the opening games were Dijon Thompson of Hapoel and Manolis Papamakarios of Panellinios with 5 each. Papamakarios joined teammate Chris Owens and three other players - Chris Warren of Bilbao, Kevinn Pinkney of Hapoel and Arthur Lee of Nymburk - with 3 steals each. Pinkney and three others - Devin Smith of Panellinios, Petr Benda of Nymburk and Jerome Moiso of Bilbao - topped the charts with 2 blocked shots each.