EuroChallenge: Franklin Hassell named Week 5 MVP

Franklin Hassell

The game between Szolnoki Olaj and Hapoel Unet Holon finished on Tuesday night with the hosts taking a clear 81-66 win, but Holon forward Franklin Hassell is probably still in Hungary, bringing down boards.

Hassell collected 16 rebounds on the night, seven of which on the offensive end, and scored 24 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the field in an effort that made him look at times like he was on a one-man mission to prevent his team’s loss.

The 24-year-old American also added two steals and did not commit a single turnover, despite staying on the floor for 34 minutes, to reach an efficiency rating of 31 and earn Last 16 Week 5 MVP honours.

He is a habitual top-10 performer in the EuroChallenge and had picked up another weekly MVP award this season, behind a 22-point, 15-rebound double-double display on the opening day of the EuroChallenge Regular Season.

A player who performed almost as well as Hassell on Tuesday night, but saw instead his effort lead his team to victory, their most important in the competition so far to be precise, was Jamel McLean.

Telekom Baskets Bonn needed to end Oldenburg’s 10-game winning streak in the EuroChallenge in order to qualify to the quarter-finals and could only pull this feat if their key players stepped up.

They all did, but nobody was as instrumental as McLean, who played for 24 minutes but still scored 28 points, as his shooting was textbook-perfect, and registered an efficiency rating of 30.

McLean went 8-for-9 from two-point range and added five rebounds and two steals to power Bonn to a vital92-88 win which secured their place in the EuroChallenge play-offs.

Paris Levallois point guard Andrew Albicy, who dished out an eye-catching 12 assists in his team’s dramatic 87-86 defeat in overtime to BCM Gravelines Dunkerque, was in third place this week.

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