EuroCup: Walter Hodge named Last 16 Week 5 MVP

Walter Hodge

Walter Hodge of Stelmet Zielona Gora continued what has been a brilliant first Eurocup season for both player and club by leading his team to an 81-85 road win at Cajasol Seville and claiming Last 16 Week 5 MVP honors with the highest index rating seen yet in the Last 16 in over two years. Hodge recorded a 42 index after torching Cajasol for 31 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. He made 9 of 14 two-pointers, 2 of 4 threes and went 7 for 8 from the foul line after drawing 12 fouls en route to his impressive index total. Two heroes who led their teams to season-saving wins tied for the second-best index ratings of the week. Chuck Davis of Banvit BK and Justin Doellman of Valencia Basket each had 28 in crucial victories. Davis went for 24 points on 11 of 18 two-point shooting in addition to 9 rebounds and 3 blocks as Banvit beat Budivelnik 94-85. Doellman tallied 23 points – including 4-of-4 three-point shooting – plus 8 rebounds and 2 assists in a come-from-behind overtime win at VEF Riga, 96-103. Rounding out the list of Last 16 Week 5’s best are Mire Chatman of Unics Kazan and Steven Esterkamp of Ratiopharm Ulm, both of whom had index ratings of 26 in leading their teams to the quarterfinals. Chatman flirted with a triple-double before settling for 12 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals in a 64-57 victory over Galatasaray Medical Park. Esterkamp compiled 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists and Ulm beat Crvena Zvezda Telekom 78-92 in Belgrade.

Individual highs: Boni Ndong of Galatasaray Medical Park, 14 rebounds

In addition to Hodge claiming weekly MVP honors, he was also the week’s top scorer with his 31-point performance. Hodge is the Eurocup’s leading scorer this season with 20.4 points per game. Banvit’s Davis is the Last 16 leader with 21.8 per game. Boni Ndong of Galatasaray Medical Park came off the bench against Kazan for 14 rebounds, which were the third most in the Last 16 this season. John Bryant of Ulm remains the Last 16 rebounding leader with 10.8 per game. Jiri Welsch of CEZ Nymburk dished 9 assists to top the weekly charts. He is fourth in the Last 16 with 5.6 assists per game; Nick Calathes of Lokomotiv Kuban and Tywain McKee of BC Triumph share the Last 16 lead with 7.4 per game. Six players – Furkan Aldemir of Galatasaray, Chatman, Hodge, Terrell Lyday of Unics, Aleks Maric of Lokomotiv and Zach Wright of Spartak – tied for the weekly high in steals with 3 apiece. Calathes, McKee and Wright are the Last 16 co-leaders with 2.2 steals per game. Davis tied Cajasol center Ondrej Balvin with 3 blocks, the most of any players in Last 16 Week 5. Balvin sits atop the Last 16 standings with an average of 2 blocks per game. Leo Lyons, with 20 points and 11 rebounds for Budivelnik, and Bojan Dubljevic, who tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds for Valencia, had the only two double doubles of the week.

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