Venky Jois’ star continued to rise in Croatia, while Ben Madgen played an important role in helping Lietuvos Rytas earn a win over the top side.
Venky Jois was able to keep his momentum going in Croatia, however he could not prevent Vrijednosnice Osijek from going down to Sibenik 74-62 in the A1 League. He amassed yet another double-double that included a team-best 19 points on an efficient 7-11 shooting, including 1-3 from downtown and a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe. Jois also pulled down 14 rebounds that maintains his position as the leading rebounder in the competition with a 9.6 average, while he is also second in scoring with 17.9 points per contest in what has been a brilliant season for him individually despite his side boasting just a 2-6 record.
Taking on ladder-leader Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania, Ben Madgen and Lietuvos Rytas came away with an important win that edged them closer to the top of the table and cement their place in the top 4. In what proved to be a thriller, Rytas stormed home in the final period to steal the road win 63-65. Madgen played an important role down the stretch, hitting 1-2 from the line to help earn a 2 point win. It was a massive finish, with a Rytas dunk putting them ahead for good with under 1 minute to play, and a massive blocked shot on what appeared to be a wide open layup with less than 30 seconds remaining instrumental plays. A desperation three-ball at the buzzer was long, and ensure Rytas the win [video highlights].
Madgen was good in just his second game back in the LKL, adding 10 points including 2-3 from beyond the arc with 7 rebounds.
In the Israeli Winner League, Maccabi Tel Aviv lost their first game of the season, going down to Hapoel Holon 93-89 in a tight game [video highlights]. Hapoel managed to keep their noses in front largely thanks to a 28 point explosion from Glen Rice Jr. Jonah Bolden who once again started, was able to contribute 6 points with 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 24 minutes. Despite the loss, Tel Aviv maintained outright first place in the standings courtesy of their 8-1 overall record.
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar steamrolled through BC Astana 50-83 with a terrific team performance [video highlights]. Joe Ragland (16 points), Mardy Collins (12 points) and Ryan Broekhoff combined for 9-14 from beyond the three-point line to help dismantle their outmatched opponents. Broekhoff would finish with 6 points and 2 rebounds in just 8 minutes as the bench received plenty of court time, with no starter logging 20 minutes on court. Sydney born Anatoly Kolesnikov (formerly Bose) added 2 points and 2 rebounds in 10 minutes for BC Astana. Lokomotiv is tied in second place with Zenit St Petersberg with a 7-1 record in the VTB United League, just 1 win behind the unbeaten CSKA Moscow.
Despite an 18 point and 8 rebound performance from Michael Vigor, Bristol lost to Plymouth 84-80. The captain also dished out 5 assists, but a 26-17 third term consigned his side to a 4 point loss.
First year pro William McDowell-White collected 10 assists with 5 points and 4 steals as Baunach lost 67-83 to Chemnitz in the German Pro A.
In Norway, Joel Spear had a big game for Nidaros in their 72-101 loss to Fyllingen. Spear put together a 17 point, 6 rebound, 4 assist, 3 steal and 3 block stat line to maintain his excellent season. Nidaros are 7-9 and ranked mid-table, and will need Spear to continue firing if they are to qualify for the post season.
Forward Dan Trist added 12 points and 4 rebounds but Ourense lost to Palencia 71-75 in the Spanish second division. His side trailed by 23 points at half time, and worked hard to pull back the margin, eventually losing by just 4 points.