Jonah Bolden continued his break-out season in Serbia, while Brad Newley and Jason Cadee are making an impact in Greece.
After successfully defending their home court for the past 3 months, FMP Belgrade succumbed to reigning Adriatic League champions Crvena Zvezda 76-84. The loss broke a home-winning streak of 5 games, with Crvena Zvezda slowly establishing their lead before holding on to win by 8 points.
For FMP, Jonah Bolden continues to deliver in spades. The 6’10 dynamic forward added 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks in another noteworthy performance that is sure to maintain his attraction for NBA scouts. FMP are tied for seventh place with a 10-15 record.
In Lithuania, the top two teams in Žalgiris Kaunas and Lietkabelis Panevezys were the victims of upsets.
Žalgiris started slowly against fifth ranked Neptūnas Klaipeda, and the things got worse in the second period as they fell behind by 14 at the main break. While Žalgiris would fight back with a 28-18 third term, it was Neptūnas who would close out stronger to win 69-78.
Brock Motum would come off the bench to shoot 4-of-8 from the field for 8 points with 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 25 minutes. Žalgiris could not get anything going from beyond the arc, shooting just 9-of-29 and just 6-of-13 from the charity stripe. They remain in outright first place, 4 games clear of Lietkabelis.
Seventh ranked Dzūkija caused the upset of the round when they toppled second placed Lietkabelis 89-80. Lietkabelis got the early advantage, however mid-way through the second period it became clear that the contest was going to be a close one as Dzūkija closed it up to take the lead. Neither team was able to break away from the other, until Dzūkija broke away in the final minutes to earn a 9 point win. Dzūkija made a living from the free throw line, converting a massive 31-of-38 from the line to cause a boilover.
Ben Madgen had a tough shooting night, going 4-of-15 from the field for 11 points with 5 rebounds and 1 assist. Despite the upset loss, Lietkabelis remain in second place in the standings.
Athletic 6’8 Venky Jois returned to the starting line-up for Tartu Rock and delivered, helping guide his side to a strong 91-67 win against BC Rakvere Tarvas. Jois would compile 15 points with 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 1 block in a complete performance that ensured Tartu was never threatened. Tartu are now on a 9 game winning streak and still in first place.
However their fortunes were not as great in game 1 of the Baltic League quarterfinals against Nevezis, losing a thriller at home 86-88. While always within reach, Tartu were never able to edge ahead after leading by 2 points early. Jois was restricted to playing just 16 minutes off the bench for 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in that time. Game 2 will see the game played in Lithuania on Nevezis’ home floor.
In Greece, Brad Newley continues to work his way up in the rotation, playing 20 minutes in AEK Athens’ 86-67 win over Promitheas. It was a straightforward victory for the third ranked side, with Newley contributing 10 points including 2-of-3 from long-range with 2 rebounds and 1 assist.
Lowly Kymis were unable to overcome Agor, falling short 73-84 in the Greek A1 League. New recruit Jason Cadee started and chipped in 11 points (4-of-9 FG) alongside 3 assists in 22 minutes. After being promoted this season, Kymis sits in twelfth place, just 1 win ahead of the relegation zone.
Clint Steindl was well held in the Leuven Bears’ 76-90 loss to Kangoeroes Basket Willebroek in the Belgium EuroMillions League. Steindl managed just 7 points on 2-of-6 shooting with 3 rebounds in the 14 point loss. With just 6 wins for the season, Leuven is just 1 win ahead of last place.
In the British Basketball League, Daryl Corletto poured in a team-high 24 points but it was not enough to prevent Plymouth losing to Sheffield 81-87. Rhys Carter chimed in with 6 points and 2 assists, as Plymouth fell 2 games behind fourth placed Sheffield.