It was a week of big performances by the Aussie men all across Europe, with Brock Motum, Ben Madgen and Jock Landale once again all impressing.
Brock Motum’s Anadolu Efes Istanbul enjoyed a big week of basketball, first earning a thrilling 1 point EuroLeague win against Khimki Moscow, before then falling short to Sakarya Büyükşehir Belediyesi back in the Turkish Basketball Super League.
The Aussie forward played just 10 minutes but delivered 8 points and 2 rebounds in a perfect shooting performance in Efes’ 85-84 EuroLeague win. Dogus Balbay drained a game-winning three-pointer with just 2 seconds left to steal victory. The win allowed Efes to improve to a 3-1 record while ensuring Khimki remained without a win to open the season.
Despite 20 points (9-15 FG), 7 rebounds and 2 steals from the Aussie forward, Efes was unable to maintain their momentum in an 86-96 loss to Sakarya. His side was outscored 12-20 down the stretch, relegating Efes to their first loss in their national league season.
In the EuroCup, Partizan was unable to claw back an 11 point half time deficit to drop a 78-89 result to French outfit ASVEL Villeurbanne. Saint Mary’s star Jock Landale continued to impress in his first professional season, adding 12 points (5-9 FG) including 2-of-3 three-pointers with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. However despite the 6’11 centre’s best efforts, Partizan was left to rue their slow start to the contest.
Returning to the Adriatic League, Landale would endure a tough shooting night as Partizan lost to Zadar 85-95. Partizan were outscored 34-50 across the middle two periods and were unable to recover. The normally efficient Landale added just 2 points on 1-of-7 shooting alongside 3 rebounds with 2 assists in 22 minutes. With the loss, Partizan slipped to a 2-3 record and will want to return to the winners list or risk losing touch of the top 4.
Duop Reath enjoyed better pickings in the Adriatic League, adding 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks, but FMP Belgrade went down to Crvena Zvezda 72-81. FMP gave their opponents a 12 point head start in the opening term, and were always facing an up-hill battle to get back into the contest.
In Italy, Mangok Mathiang delivered a 10 point and 11 rebound double-double in Vanoli Cremona’s impressive 84-66 win over Virtus Bologna. Cremona dominated the second half, overwhelming their opponents to collect a big 18 point win. Improving to 3-1 to open the season, Cremona moved into equal third place in the standings.
Ben Madgen was once again in fine form for Crailsheim in the German Bundesliga. The veteran guard compiled a game-high 20 points (7-13 FG) to go with 5 rebounds and 6 assists in another commanding performance. However the Merlins didn’t have the depth to stick with Göttingen, going down 80-93 in a league in which four Australians feature.
Another promoted team in Rasta Vechta had a tough outing against the win-less Löwen Braunschweig, however they were able to win three of the four quarters to take victory 87-79. Venky Jois was back in the line-up, playing almost 10 minutes for 6 points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting with 3 rebounds and 1 blocked shot.
Xavier Cooks’ s.Oliver Würzburg enjoyed a narrow 73-69 win against Bayreuth also in Germany. The 6’8 forward added 5 points and 3 points as a starter in 17 minutes, but he was unable to influence this game as much as he did in their earlier FIBA Europe Cup victory. While Würzburg went down to Sakarya 69-79, Cooks was outstanding. He gathered a team-high 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting with 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in a stellar all-round performance.
Also in Germany, William McDowell-White has been promoted to the roster of Brose Bamburg after starring with farm team Baunach. The point guard came off the bench for the final 5 minutes in their 86-93 loss to AEK Athens in the Basketball Champions League. He managed 3 points (1-2 3PT), 1 rebound and 1 assist, and did enough to hold his place on the roster for their Bundesliga game against lowly Mitteldeutscher. In their 88-73 victory, McDowell-White came off the bench to play 7 minutes in which he added 1 point and 2 assists, helping his team to remain unbeaten with an 8-0 record.
In Switzerland, Matur Maker has been suspended from his club Union Neuchâtel after he failed to attend training sessions with the team dating back to Tuesday last week. He was not with the team for their 71-56 win against the Star Wings and little is yet known as to his status and situation.
In the Spanish second division, Obi Kyei dropped 14 points in 21 minutes as Forca Lleida earned a 90-80 win against Palencia. The win was underpinned by a commanding 30-21 opening term, and from there Lleida held on to win.