It was an all Aussie affair in Spain as Chris Goulding’s CAI Zaragoza faced off against Brad Newley and Herbalife Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria was in control from start to finish, opening the match with a 16-0 run. Newley’s team outscored CAI Zaragoza in every term, displaying flair and discipline on offense. Whilst Gran Canaria played a team oriented game that led to an efficient 65.4% from the floor, CAI Zaragoza had an offense made of scrappy individual plays and isolation plays.
The honors were shared in the battle between Goulding and Newley, with Goulding scoring 12 points whilst shooting 3/8 from the field. Newley, fresh from his 23 point outburst in Eurocup, tallied 14 points on 7 shots, while contributing 4 assists in 24 minutes. Newley was valuable in ensuring the game was held out of the reach of CAI Zaragoza. Twice he stemmed the momentum of the opposition with triples and was valuable in spacing the floor throughout the match. With their fourth consecutive win Gran Canaria move up into 6th position and equal CAI Zaragoza with a 9-7 record.
Still in Spain, Boomer Nate Jawai played his role in limited minutes when Morabanc Andorra met Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro CAB on the road. However, it was not to be for Andorra, with the home side running out victors 78-73. In just 15 minutes Jawai scored 7 points and 2 rebounds in a game in which he did not use his strength or power to his advantage. Judging from the past, Jawai needs consistent minutes and play to get in a rhythm and produce quality basketball. While it is early days for him on a new team, so far it has been a struggle for Jawai to do so behind Bulgarian big man Kaloyan Ivanov. He will need to work very hard prove himself in order to get some continuity and minutes in his game.
A crucial game in the Turkish domestic league saw 5th placed Fenerbache Ulker crush Besiktas 97-59. Unfortunately on the wrong end of the score, Ryan Broekoff continued to prove himself an asset for Besiktas with another solid outing.
Broekhoff scored 12 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist in 32 minutes, however he could do little to stop the offensive flow of Fenerbache Ulker, with the hosts hitting 40/56 from the floor and 13/23 from downtown to make the task impossible for Besiktas. However, Besiktas kept the game close until the second quarter when Fenerbache began to shoot the lights out and completely shut down Besiktas on defence, dominating the quarter 30-7.
Besiktas will console themselves with the fact they played three quality quarters and were it not for their poor performance in the second quarter, victory would have been within their grasp. Besiktas will also need to tighten up their defence and show an improved effort, so as to ensure that their next opponents Istanbul Darussafaka do not run riot on offense like their previous opponents.
Also in Turkey, Aleks Maric registered just 3 minutes and 1 point for Galatasaray in their victory over Ronesans TED Kolejliler. It was a tight and entertaining encounter until the final quarter when Galatasaray piled on the pressure to outscore the hosts by 10 and ensure a 67-75 victory. Maric was acquired as an insurance policy for the Galatasaray big men and it showed, as he is given minutes only as a last resort
Majok Majok’s move back into the starting line-up of Slovenia’s Helios Domzale was not a successful one, as he failed to perform and his team went down to Sencur Gorenjska Gradenba Druzba 77-66. Majok scored just 4 points in 25 minutes, although made up for it with a game-high 10 rebounds. While it was not his best game, his strong form on the boards and being back in the starting five certainly bodes well for Majok and his confidence. The loss meant Helios Domzale tumbled to 9th position with a 4-8 record.