|07 November 2013|
|Maxime De Zeeuw, seen here in red scrapping for the loose ball, was joint MVP for EuroChallenge Week One|
Two power forwards, Maxime De Zeeuw of Port of Antwerp Giants, and Greg Brunner, of Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia, are the joint winners of EuroChallenge Regular Season Week 1 MVP honours.
Both players led their respective teams in scoring and rebounds and registered an efficiency index rating of 31, to lift them to important victories on the opening night of the competition.
De Zeeuw collected a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds, also adding four steals and two assists, and paved the way for the Giants' 74-68 triumph over JDA Dijon on the road, in the Group A premiere.
The 26-year-old Belgian international did not lose faith in Antwerp's chances even when they trailed Dijon by 10 points, 36-26, early in the third period.
De Zeeuw, who was 9-for-14 from the floor on the night, instigated a 15-2 Antwerp run that turned the tables around within less than four minutes remaining, first drilling two jumpers and then hit a triple that gave the Belgian side a 41-38 lead.
At the same time on Tuesday night but a few hundred kilometres south-east of Dijon, Brunner was providing Reggio Emilia with constant solutions on offence as they overcame a nervous start to cruise past Okapi Aalstar, 80-63.
The Swiss international finished with a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds, also adding two steals and one assist.
Brunner went 10-for-13 from the floor to collect his 22 points, and his 76.9% field goal percentage is the third-highest among all players who took to the floor on the opening day of the new EuroChallenge season.
There is also a tie in second place on the efficiency index table this week, between two guards, Goran Martinic and Can Ogut, who registered a rating of 29 and led their respective teams to fantastic wins on the road.
The Montenegrin Martinic was the top scorer in the competition's premiere, as he poured in 31 points to lead BC Mures to an 83-79 win at Tsmoki Minsk in Group H.
On Wednesday, the Turkish Ogut picked up 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds to help Royal Hali Gaziantep stun reigning champions Krasnye Krylia 96-89 after double-overtime in Samara.
Aaron Miles of Krasnye Krylia, who dished out a season-high 13 assists in the same game, registered an efficiency rating of 28 and is in fifth place this week.
EUROCHALLENGE RS WEEK 1 EFFICIENCY INDEX - TOP 10