What was already a season to remember for Walter Hodge and Stelmet Zielona Gora finished on a high note Wednesday. Despite knowing before the game that Zielona Gora could not advance to the quarterfinals, Hodge led the team to an exciting come-from-behind victory over Lokomotiv Kuban and his brilliant performance earned the guard Eurocup Last 16 Week 6 MVP honors. Hodge also became the first person in over two years to win back-to-back weekly MVP awards. The last player to do so was Damjan Rudez, who was the Last 16 Week 3 and Week 4 in the 2010-11 season with Cedevita Zagreb. Hodge produced 29 points and 10 assists for his first double-double of the season as Zielona Gora won 94-88. He made 7 of 12 two-point shots, 3 of 6 from downtown and was perfect in 6 trips to the line. He also grabbed 2 rebounds and 3 steals in compiling a performance index rating of 39, which led all players in Last 16 Week 6. Hodge finished the Last 16 with the highest average performance index rating, 23.7 per game, of the phase. Malcolm Delaney of Budivelnik Kiev was second to Hodge in the weekly standings after leading his team to an 88-77 victory over BC Triumph and a spot in the Eurocup Quarterfinals. Delaney recorded 26 points and 7 assists en route to a performance index rating of 34. In doing so, he also set a Last 16 record for most free throws made by going 16 for 16 from the charity stripe. Hodge’s teammate Dejan Borovnjak had 23 points, 12 rebounds and an index rating of 30 for his best game of the season. Rounding out the list of Last 16 Week 6 stars are John Holland of Cajasol Seville and Chuck Eidson of Unics Kazan. Holland tallied 23 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals for a 29 index in a 68-66 come-from-behind win over Spartak St. Petersburg. Eidson went for 24 points, 5 boards and 3 steals in putting together a 28 index to beat Ratiopharm Ulm 77-79 in Germany.
Individual highs: Nick Calathes of Lokomotiv Kuban, 11 assists
Hodge was not only the week’s top scorer, but his 21.2 points per game are the best in the Eurocup this season. Boris Savovic of Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade hauled in 13 rebounds in a road win at Galatasaray Medical Park Tuesday to lead all Last 16 Week 6 players. With 7.2 rebounds per game, Savovic finished the Last 16 ranked sixth. John Bryant of Ulm was the phase’s top rebounder with 10.5 per game. Former Euroleague champ Nick Calathes of Lokomotiv Kuban dished 11 assists to lead all Last 16 Week 6 participants. In doing so, Calathes increased his league-leading averaged to 7.3 assists per game. Raul Lopez of Uxue Bilbao basket swiped 4 steals to top the weekly charts. Tywaine McKee of Triumph finished as the Last 16 steals king with 2.3 per game. Budivelnik big man Michailo Anisimov rejected 4 shots to lead all Last 16 Week 6 players and become the Last 16 shot-blocking king with an average of 2 per game. Six players recorded double doubles in the Last 16 finales. Hodge and Calathes (13 points, 11 assists) were the only players to do so with points and assists, while Borovnjak, Savovic (20 points, 13 rebounds), Richard Hendrix (20 points, 10 rebounds) of Lokomotiv Kuban and Sertac Sanli (16 points, 10 rebounds) of Galatasaray did so with points and rebounds.