Bolden’s chances slowly slipping away, Motum loses again

Jonah Bolden | Credit: EuroLeague

It was another disappointing week for Aussie EuroLeague basketball fans, with both Jonah Bolden and Beock Motum’s teams dropping games and it seems that the season could be over despite 4 rounds remaining.

After few months of comfortably sitting in 8th place, Bolden’s Maccabi Tel Aviv lost their precious position. First of all, the team from Israel lost the game by itself, and second, its biggest rival Baskonia Vitoria Gastez took a dominant win at home against Zalgiris Kaunas 84-64.

Although, the situation after Thursday night could have been much better for Maccabi as it had a good chance to take down Khimki Moscow Region in front of 11,060 home fans.  The hosts were in front for most of the first quarter, but at the end of it Khimki stole the lead by two. From this moment onward, Maccabi started to fall behind.

The biggest difference between these teams was 11 points, but support from the local fans didn’t let the Israeli team to give up. After some hard work, Maccabi took back the lead after a three-pointer by DeShaun Thomas before the fourth quarter 66-65.

From there, it was a real war on the court until the last minute. With the scoreboard showing the scores locked with 1:20 left in the game, it was Anthony Gill’s time to shine. The American scored a three-pointer and immediately added another field goal to edge Khimki 5 points ahead. Even though Maccabi was able to close to within 1, Gill was the last man to smile. With just 4 seconds left he made another shot, enabling his team to take a very important win back home to Russia, 94-91 [video highlights].

Bolden started the game on the court as usual, but again played just a little bit more than 10 minutes (12:31). In this period of time, the Aussie had 4 points (1/2 3PT), 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover and 4 efficiency points. Five players scored more than 10 points for Maccabi, with Pierre Jackson the best among them with 25. DeShaun Thomas added 16 and DeAndre Kane scored 13. Anthony Gill led the scoring list for the visitors, with the game hero adding 24 points with impressive 10 of 15 shooting, while Alexey Shved and Malcolm Thomas added 22 and 16 respectively.

After this loss, Maccabi with record of 13-13 felt down to the 9th places, with Baskonia (13-13) taking over 8th position. But that is definitely not the end of this battle – as both teams will have to face each other in round 29.

If loss for Maccabi was really painful, you couldn’t say the same about Anadolu Efes Istanbul’s situation. The worst team in EuroLeague this season traveled to Germany and played against Brose Bamberg on Thursday. They would go on to lose their 5th game in a row, and 20th overall this season.

As always, the Turkish Cup winners had two faces in this game; they looked like real fighters in the first half, but collapsed after  the main break. It was 22-all after the first period, and still just a 3 point margin before half time, and before they started falling behind 55-69 after 30 minutes played. All Efes could do in the last quarter was to cut the deficit but to single-digits, eventually going down 79-88 [video highlights].

Brock Motum was unable to deliver his best performance on court once again. The forward from Brisbane played 18 minutes, scoring just 4 points (1/3 FG), adding no rebounds but made 1 assist and 1 steal in finishing the game with 4 efficiency points.

Erick McCollum was the best in Turkish squad with 21 points and Vladimir Stimac added 18, while Leon Radosevic (15 points), Dorell Wright (15 points) and Augustine Rubit (14 points) shined the most for the host team.

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