|26 February 2014|
|James White provided the heroics this week for Reggio Emilia, assuring their continuation in the EuroChallenge|
James White was the clutch player that Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia needed on Tuesday night at Krka Novo Mesto, in a game which their coach had branded beforehand as 'one of the most important in the history of the club.'
The American small forward registered an efficiency index rating of 31 on Tuesday to propel Reggio Emilia to a 69-66 win over Krka in overtime and consequently into the EuroChallenge quarter-final play-offs.
White's efficiency rating was the highest anywhere in the EuroChallenge on the final day of group action and he is the Top Statistical Performer of Last 16 Week 6.
White finished the Group J clash in Slovenia with a personal season-high 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor, adding seven rebounds, one assist and two steals, while he crucially drew seven fouls from Krka players and sunk all eight of his free-throws.
Even if it was not for his stellar stat line, the 31-year-old winger still have put forward a strong bid for MVP of the night.
Reggio Emilia had been playing catch-up with Krka for the entire second half and the clock was ticking down when White received a pass from Rimantas Kaukenas in the corner, with six seconds left in regulation, and drilled a three-pointer that brought the Italian side ahead, 61-60, for the first time in 18 minutes.
The blow of witnessing their eight-point lead evaporate in the clutch was so severe for Krka, that Edo Muric made only one of his two free throws on the other end, the game went into overtime and the Italians prevailed almost inevitably over their demoralised Slovenian hosts.
The second-best statistical performance of Week 6 in the Last 16 also came in Group J, as Szolnoki Olaj's Justin Holiday reached an efficiency rating of 28 in his team's 74-67 win over Cholet at home.
Holiday scored a game-high 22 points on 7-for-10 from the floor, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists with his well-rounded display helping the Hungarian side to seal their qualification to the play-offs.
Two players, two battle-hardened European veterans, share the third spot on the podium this week as they both registered an efficiency rating of 24 on Tuesday night.
The one is Turkish winger Mutlu Akpinar of Royal Hali Gaziantep and the other is Finnish power forward Jukka Matinen of Team TEHO Sport Kotka.
Akpinar went four-of-six from three-point range and collected a personal season-high 21 points as well as two assists and three steals in his team's 69-60 win over JDA Dijon.
Kotka's EuroChallenge campaign terminated on Tuesday with a 66-61 loss at Ural Ekaterinburg but Matinen made sure to make an impressive last bow, as he finished with a season-high 24 points on 8-for-15 from the floor and added seven rebounds.
EUROCHALLENGE LAST 16 WEEK 6 TOP PERFORMERS