Jonah Bolden led an Australian assault in Europe last week, with a host of compatriots delivering big results across the continent.
Bolden was in scintillating form for undefeated Maccabi Tel Aviv in their 83-62 victory over Maccabi Haifa in the Israeli Winner League. Tel Aviv made up for a slow 0-7 start, finishing with a big 27-11 final term to power away to a big win, and it was big man Bolden who was in the centre of the action.
Bolden scorched the net, shooting 4-of-5 from beyond the arc and 7-of-8 overall to score a game-high 20 points. He also added 5 rebounds and 1 block in 30 minutes as his side improved to 4-0 to open the season. It was his best performance of the season with his new team, and is sure to have impressed the Philadelphia 76ers front office with his eye-catching display.
Over in the Turkish Basketball League, Brock Motum is finding his feet with new side Anadolu Efes Istanbul. With an efficient 15 point haul on 7-of-10 shooting in 20 minutes from the Australian Olympian, Anadolu managed to account for Demir IBB 94-74. His side shot 58% from the field and handed out 23 assists compared to 15. Anadolu improved to 3-1 in a log-jam for second place, with Tofas the only remaining unbeaten team.
Continuing his outstanding start to the season was 6’8 forward Venky Jois. The Melburnian poured in a team-high 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals as he helped guide Vrijednosnice Osijek to a close 67-63 win over Jazine Arbanasi in the Croatian Premier League. His side earned the win thanks to a commanding display throughout the second and third terms, riding their 40-23 rebounding advantage to the win. With the victory they improved to 2-2 and are looking to move up the table.
A devastating 51-33 first half saw Lokomotiv Kuban cruise to a 94-64 win against Nizhny Novgorod in the VTB United League. Right from the outset, Lokomotiv were in complete control, dominating all facets of the game. With the bench getting a good run due to the lop-sided contest, Ryan Broekhoff played just 22 minutes for 6 points (1-of-1 FG, 4-of-4 FT) with 3 rebounds. Lokomotiv had 5 players score in double figures, with every player on the roster making it onto the scoreboard. Now with a 2-1 record, Broekhoff’s side remains in touch with the competition leaders.
In the British Basketball League, Bristol thrashed Leeds 111-88, with captain Michael Vigor playing an important role. A 37-12 second period blew open the contest, with Vigor adding a 12 point and 10 rebound double-double alongside 4 assists and 1 blocked shot. It was a timely win that allowed the Flyers to move up to a 2-2 record and a chance to climb further this week.
The Spanish second division saw Dan Trist again in fine form this week, with the forward adding an equal team-best 17 points (7-of-12 FG) with 7 rebounds and 2 assists as Orense accounted for Araberri 98-75. He led five Orense players in double figures, as his side dominated the rebound count 42-20.
First year professional William McDowell-White is impressing in the German Pro A with Baunach. In their latest outing against Orange Academy, McDowell-White delivered a team-high 16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. However despite his very good performance, Baunach were undone 56-67. He will be hoping to gain the attention of parent-side Brose Baskets and will be hoping to gain a call up at some stage during the season.
It has been a tough start to the season for Panionios in the Greek A1 League, losing to second ranked Koroivos in a 68-67 thriller. It was their fourth straight loss as they remain without a win to date. Clint Steindl contributed just 3 points with 2 rebounds and 2 assists in 20 minutes, as his side sits in equal last place with Kymis.
Deng Deng continued his emergence in the Finnish Korisliiga. The forward added 8 points and 5 rebounds in Korihait’s narrow 98-105 loss to Kauhajoki. His side has opened with a 3-5 record and will be looking to reverse the loss next game. Deng will be needed to elevate his game further if his side is to challenge for a finals berth.
In nearby Sweden, Rhys Carter hit three triples on his way to registering 11 points and 4 assists, However the guard’s efforts were not enough to prevent Uppsala from falling short to Nassjo, 88-85 in a close one. His side is struggling early, sitting in equal last place with just the one win to their name.
Still in Scandinavia, Joel Spear compiled a team-best 20 points with 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals but it was not enough to earn Nidaros the win. Gimle proved too deep for Nidaros to handle despite giving up a 10-rebound advantage to their opponents, earning a 65-70 win. Nidaros also shot just 16% from deep, and are now 3-5 to open the season and placed mid-table.