In Lithuania, Ben Madgen’s Lietkabelis took on Brock Motum’s Zalgiris Kaunas and both were in full flight. Daniel Johnson went up against fellow Aussie big man AJ Ogilvy in Iran, while Dan Trist had a big week in Horsen IC’s semifinal series in Denmark.
Behind a commanding second half, it was ladder-leading Zalgiris who pulled away to record a convincing 84-62 win despite some hot shooting from Madgen. The 6’4 guard buried 6-of-7 three-pointers to finish with a game-high 18 points with 3 rebounds and 3 assists. For the winners, Motum only played 18 minutes but was an efficient scoring threat, landing 5-of-6 from the field including 2-of-2 from beyond the arc to register 12 points with 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Both teams are assured of a top 3 berth, with Zalgiris locked away in first place.
Lokomotiv Kuban continued their good form in the VTB United League to overpower Kalev 86-75 and remain in the hunt to secure third position in the standings. Ryan Broekhoff started and scored 5 points (2/3 FG) with 1 rebound as he continued his defensive role. He was a key player in helping Lokomotiv record 17th win of the competition, now just 1 win behind third placed Khimki.
After dropping game 1 of the Danish Ligaen semifinals against Copenhagen at home, Horsens IC bounced back to win the next two games to take a 2-1 series lead. In an upset road win of their own, Horsens established an early lead before holding off a final quarter run to prevail 63-66. Forward Dan Trist was the driving force behind the victory, pouring in an equal game-high 19 points (9-of-14 FG) with 6 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block. Game 3 saw Horsens defend their home court 74-61, with Trist again making an impact. This time he would provide 8 points (4-of-6 FG) alongside 7 rebounds. They are now 1 win away from progressing to the grand final series where Bakken awaits.
AJ Ogilvy made an impressive debut for Azad in the Iranian Superleague in going up against Daniel Johnson’s Petrochimi. Both Aussie big men starred, with Ogilvy delivering 17 points (6-of-10 FG) with 14 rebounds and 2 assists in a 80-64 loss. Johnson was superb for the winners, piling on a game-high 24 points including 11-of-12 from the free throw line, alongside 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Azad would bounce back from the tough loss to account for Kashan 83-49. Ogilvy would again deliver in spades, this time compiling 17 points and 4 rebounds in just 24 minutes. Petrochimi continued on their winning ways with a commanding 83-47 demolition of Gorgon. With a game-high 18 points with 6 rebounds, Johnson was again the shining light as his side improved to a league-best 6-1 record and on top of Group 1. Azad are now 4-3 and in second place in Group 2.
In the Estonian Alexela KML quarterfinals, Tartu Rock won their opening two games against Tallinna/Kalev. In game 1, Tartu edged ahead 76-72 with Venky Jois playing a small role. Jois came off the bench to play 10 minutes and provide a spark with 4 points and 6 rebounds. Overcoming an early deficit, Tartu then rolled to a convincing 94-68 victory to take out game 2. Jois would step up to another level, delivering an 18 point and 11 rebound double-double. He shot an efficient 7-of-10 from the field and also logged 2 blocked shots in an impressive performance.
In chasing eighth position in the standings, ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne escaped with a thrilling 74-73 win against Dijon in the French Pro A. It took a buzzer-beating triple from ASVEL’s Walter Hodge to earn the win and keep them in the playoff hunt. Veteran big man David Andersen came off the bench to register just 10 minutes on court, going scoreless with 4 rebounds and 1 blocked shot.
In a battle between top 5 teams AEK Athens and Aris, it was the home side Aris who prevailed 81-77 to move into fourth place in the Greek A1 standings. Brad Newley came off the bench to provide 8 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in the narrow loss. Despite going down, AEK Athens remain in third place, 4 games clear of Aris.
Fifth placed PAOK Thessaloniki were dismantled by second placed Panathinaikos 58-102 also in Greece, highlighting the difference between the Greek giants and the remainder of the competition. Nathan Sobey tried to put up some resistance in adding 6 points and 5 rebounds, but it was nowhere near enough to get his side even close in a lop-sided contest.
Like PAOK Thessaloniki, Kymis faced an uphill battle against Greek ladder leader Olympiacos, finding themselves on the receiving end of a 93-45 hiding. Sydney Kings guard Jason Cadee chimed in with 7 points in 17 minutes as his side’s score was more than doubled by Olympiacos.
Despite a scoring outburst from sharpshooter Clint Steindl, the Leuven Bears fell to Antwerp 80-84 in the Belgium EuroMillions League. Steindl went 3-of-6 from downtown on his way to scoring 17 points with 2 rebounds in the 4 point loss. His side will now finish in second last place as they are unable to climb any higher or fall to last spot.