Perkins all smiles these days (Basketball)

January 4, 2011
Doron Perkins

In a matter of hours today, Doron Perkins of Anchorage was recognized as the Player of the Week and then learned his Israeli pro team, Maccabi Tel Aviv, received a favorable draw in the Euroleague Top 16 playoffs.

Not a bad way to start the week, eh?

Maccabi Tel Aviv is Europe’s No. 2-ranked team right now and a serious contender to sweep the Euroleague and Israeli Premier League championships.

And the 28-year-old Alaskan is a big reason why.

The 6-foot-2 starting point guard keyed Sunday’s 84-72 win over league rival Hapoel with a 22-point, 8-rebound, 3-assist performance, well above his season averages. That got him noticed for player-of-the-week honors.

Perkins, of Bartlett High fame, has been good for 14 points and 5 assists this season to help Maccabi Tel Aviv win 10 of its first 11 games domestically.

“It’s his second year at Maccabi and it’s hard to imagine this team without him,” wrote an Israeli blogger.

In the Euroleague, comprised of only elite teams from overseas, the Israeli power is in fine standing after winning its group in the last round. Unlike the NBA, the Euroleague teams advance in group play until the final four.

Maccabi Tel Aviv was grouped with two teams it should beat and another in defending Euroleague champion Regal FC Barcelona that the team has already defeated this season. Perkins and his teammates watched the draw live on a big screen at a civic center in downtown Tel Aviv.

This will be the second time in two years that Perkins is in the Top 16.

“It’s not going to be easy at all, but I think we got a fair draw and it will be a new challenge for us,” he told reporters. “Were going to take the good things from the last round and learn from them. Personally, I learned a lot last season, and I know that every bit of experience helps in the Top 16.”

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