In May 2019, Alec Peters completed his very first season in European basketball by being crowned continental champion as his CSKA Moscow took the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague crown. For large periods of in 2015, Peters looked highly likely to make it two titles in 2 years as his new team, Anadolu Efes Istanbul, pieced together a highly outstanding challenge which was just ended by the outbreak of an international pandemic.

During those very first two seasons, Peters was generally a function player. Sure, he got a decent quantity of playing time, but he was not necessarily expected to be the decisive protagonist. As a young and inexperienced entertainer on high-powered and extremely enthusiastic teams, he was primarily there to support others and to permit them to shine.

At the 2019 Last 4 in Vitoria-Gasteiz when he became a champ with CSKA, for example, he only took 2 shots in 2 video games, scoring 3 points in the semifinal victory over Real Madrid and not signing up any points, helps or rebounds in the title decider versus Efes. After moving to Istanbul last season, it was a similar story. Peters averaged nearly 30 minutes in the opening three video games during a time of significant injury issues, but he later ended up being a secondary figure as the recognized stars of Ergin Ataman’s team came forward, and Peters did not score any points at all in his last 5 video games for the club.

That was no criticism of Peters; basketball is a team sport, in which gamers have specific roles and are expected to sacrifice private splendor for the good of the team. And using a CSKA team featuring the likes of Nando De Colo, Cory Higgins and Will Clyburn, followed by an Efes team including stars such as Shane Larkin, Vasilije Micic and Bryant Dunston, it would have been unrealistic to expect Peters to do more than he did.

Now, though, things have changed. The summertime saw Peters make another move by joining TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and this time he has the responsibility to take an even more prominent function. That is partially due to the fact that he is a year older and more skilled, and partly since he has joined a club with various expectations. Certifying for the playoffs would be considered a successful season for the Basque club, where Coach Dusko Ivanovic is trying to mold a relatively young team into constant rivals, instead of guiding a group of battle-hardened elite performers to the title, as was the case at CSKA and Efes.

To put it merely with the use of an old metaphor, Peters was previously a little fish in a huge pond. Now, he is a big fish in a medium-sized pond. On Tuesday night, he showed that he is prepared to live up to those increased expectations by playing the key role as Baskonia landed (to blend the metaphor) a significant catch, thumping Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul 86-68 at Fernando Buesa Arena.

Peters was comfortably the most substantial gamer in the game. He spent 32 minutes on the flooring – more than any other gamer – and used that time to transform all 6 two-point attempts and 4-of-6 three-point efforts for a total of 25 points. The playing time and the point overall were both career-highs, and so, too, was his PIR of 31, while his total of 7 rebounds was just 1 shy of his individual best.

The manner in which the points came was also substantial. After Baskonia made a miserable start to fall behind 0-9, Peters came off the bench. Prior to long, he scored 3 points, drew a foul and got a protective rebound all in the area of 28 seconds. Peters was all set to compete, and his message was leapt upon by his teammates. He continued to knock down shots and get boards at a constant rate, always keeping his team’s momentum and repeatedly stepping to the fore whenever Baskonia needed a minute of reassurance.

The end result was not just a success, however a more statement of intent for Peters. Considering that signing up with Baskonia, his average playing time has actually jumped up to an average of 20:46 on the floor, from 16:16 with CSKA and 13:42 with Efes. And his typical points tally, 5.3 with CSKA and 4.2 with Efes, is now 11.3 points per night, including 25 against Fenerbahce, 18 against Real Madrid and 13 versus CSKA.

It’s still Alec Peters, but he is no longer a function player. He is now an essential player, and Tuesday revealed he is more than ready to provide.