Ryan Broekhoff produced a second consecutive double-double in a week where some Australian men were finding form while others were battling for minutes.
In Turkey Besiktas Integral Forex was defeated by 15th ranked Royal Hali Gaziantep in one of the biggest upsets across Europe this week. Ryan Broekhoff did his best to try to ensure victory for Besiktas however; his double-double performance was not enough to prevent the upset as Royal Hali ran out victors 70-81.
Broekhoff was superb yet again, in what is becoming a standard performance for the Turkish All-Star. The 6’7 swingman was a mainstay throughout the night, logging 38 minutes and delivering 18 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists for the match. Broekhoff’s shooting was back to his high standards, shooting 3/5 from three-point range and 5/5 at the charity stripe.
The problem for Besiktas was that the rest of the team shot a combined 1/15 from beyond the arc and turned the ball over 15 times. Besiktas did however managed to ensure a contest for the majority of the match, keeping themselves in the game by getting to the line, where they were rock solid (24/29). Ultimately they lost all four quarters, resulting in a 5th straight loss in the Turkish League, dropping Besiktas to 5th and now level with Aleks Maric’s Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul.
Sticking with Maric, the back-up center has been the subject of a lot of media attention in Turkey and Serbia. His current coach was on record stating he was looking to waive Maric as early as next week only for Maric’s Manager outlined his contract was not due to expire before the end of the season. However it has further been clarified that Galatasaray could waive him at the end of February, further sparking rumours of a potential return to former club Partizan Belgrade in Serbia. Nothing has yet been confirmed – watch this space.
Moving across to Romania, it was a mixed performance for Daniel Dillon and CSM Oradea. They lost to top ranked Steaua CSM 92-75, with their star Australian guard Dillon active throughout the match. The Cairns Taipan’s product scored 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in 32 minutes, yet his performance was tarnished by shooting an inefficient 3/12 from the field and recording 5 turnovers. Dillon’s 5 turnovers were nearly half of the team’s total (11) and hold him back from becoming one of the most dominant players in the Romanian league.
Oradea was in the match for the first quarter until Steaua lifted their intensity and won the second and third quarters by 10 and 9 points respectively. In a fast-paced game, Steaua were strong with the ball and shot a respectable 52% from the field. They also cleaned up on the boards with 10 more rebounds than Oradea. Dillon’s side now drops to a three-way tie for 4th position and head into their match with 12th ranked Timba Timosoara as heavy favourites.
Chris Goulding’s CAI Zaragoza has fallen to bottom ranked Balconesto Sevilla 97-99 in overtime in the Spanish ACB. In a contest in which Zaragoza were favoured to win, Goulding’s team allowed it to turn into a tight affair.
The game started off as expected, with Zaragoza opening up an 8 point lead. However Sevilla put up a fight in search of their second consecutive victory and played at a high level despite being the bottom ranked side. During the match both teams thrived in the paint and continued to attack the rim to make up for their struggles from behind the arc.
For Zaragoza, Goulding scored in double digits for the first time in a month, with the Boomers guard recording 10 points, 3 assists and 1 rebound in 24 minutes. Goulding’s shooting stroke continues to elude him as he went just 2/7 from the field yet able to convert a perfect 5/5 at the line. It was a positive sign that Goulding got to charity stripe so often, displaying signs that his form and mindset is improving as he aims to return to the level of play we know he can deliver. Zaragoza is currently in a tight fight for a playoff position and in 9th place, yet with an equal record to the two teams above them.
La Bruixa d’Or Manresa rebounded admirably from their 48-point loss to FC Barcelona with an 86-77 loss to 3rd ranked Bilbao Basket. Manresa started strongly and managed to create an 8 point buffer early. Unfortunately they were unable to sustain the level of play and the highly talented Bilbao lifted and took control of the contest.
Center AJ Ogilvy played just 5 minutes despite the coach giving many bench players opportunities, scoring 2 points. With another loss, Manresa remains in 15th position in the Spanish ACB.
Nathan Jawai played 13 minutes for Morabanc Andorra in a 77-88 loss to Gipuzkoa. Gipuzkoa were totally in control from the start with a 12-25 first quarter. It was not until the final term that Andorra put some respectability back into the score line with a 34-24 final quarter burst. Andorra’s big men failed to perform, with Gipuzkoa out-rebounding Andorra 43-25, providing many more scoring opportunities for the Gipuzkoa offense.
Jawai provided a minor contribution with 4 points, 1 rebound and 2 turnovers in his limited time on court. One rebound in 13 minutes is not good enough for someone with the size and ability of Jawai; he will need to rectify that in their next match against Brad Newley’s Herbalife Gran Canaria.
On Newley, he has missed the past few games with an ankle injury and will be expected to return to action for Gran Canaria in the next 1-2 weeks.
Veteran big man David Andersen provided little impact in ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne in their match against former club Strasbourg IG. Fresh off their victory over Limoges CSP, ASVEL were full of confidence. However in the end, ASVEL proved no match for the visiting Strasbourg who are in 2nd place in the French Pro A League.
In a fascinating match-up, it was Strasbourg that came away with the 75-90 victory on the back of dominant 16-30 second quarter in which the visitors flexed their muscle and showed the gap in class between the two sides. Strasbourg played an all-round style, making smart decisions with the ball in hand and getting to the rim at will for periods throughout the game.
For ASVEL, Andersen recorded just 1 rebound and 2 turnovers in 10 minutes. ASVEL now fall to 8th place in the French standings with an even 10-10 record.