Australian’s are spread all across Europe this season, with a forward in Croatia and a sharpshooter in Norway enjoying big outings during the past week.
Despite a big double-double from 6’8 forward Venky Jois, Vrijednosnice Osijek were not able to make it a 2-0 start to the season as they fell short 65-85 to Zabok in the Croatian A1 League. Behind the efficient and effective play of Jois, Osijek opened up a 21-17 lead at the first break. However the Zabok pulled away steadily throughout the rest of the contest to cruse to their 20 point win. Jois was outstanding, collecting a 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting with 10 rebounds and 5 steals in playing almost 36 minutes. While early days, Jois leads the league in rebounding with 11 boards per game. His side will look to rebound quickly in their next contest against Škrljevo.
Maccabi Tel Aviv accounted for Herzliya 62-80 after a slow start in round 2 of the Israeli Winner League. It was Herziliya who got things going early, opening up an 8 point lead at the first break. However slowly but surely, Maccabi clawed back the margin, and then ran away with the win thanks to a commanding 32-14 final quarter. In an even team performance where all 11 active players took to the court for 12 minutes or more, Jonah Bolden started and scored 10 points including 2-of-4 three-pointers with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks in just 16 minutes on court in a solid showing.
Playing at home, Anadolu Efes Istanbul upset the more highly fancied Fenerbahce 84-80 in round 2 of the Turkish Basketball League. Boomers forward Brock Motum added 4 points and 3 rebounds in 22 minutes, as his side got their season back on track with a very important early season win.
In Lithuania, Lietuvos Rytas moved up into third place in the LKL standings thanks to a convincing 92-79 win against Neptunas. A devastating 51-28 first half put the result beyond a doubt early, with Rytas spreading the minutes across the team. Former Sydney King guard Ben Madgen played just 14 minutes for 4 points and 3 rebounds as his side improved their record to 5-2 to open the season.
Clint Steindl made his debut for Panionios in their 70-90 loss to Kolossos in the Greek A1 League. Immediately inserted into the starting line-up, Steindl went 2-of-8 from downtown in adding 8 points and 2 rebounds in 30 minutes. Panionios is still seeking their first win of the season, sitting equal last with an 0-2 record.
Forward Deng Deng gathered 8 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks in Korihait’s 77-83 loss to Nokia in the Finnish Korisliiga. Korihait were outpointed inside and outside the arc against third placed Nokia, slumping to 1-3 to open the season and in second last place.
In Sweden, Rhys Carter added 8 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists as his side Uppsala were trounced 64-91 by Lulea. Lulea drained 13-of-23 from downtown to break open the game and crush Uppsala, who now sit with a 1-2 record.
Over in the British Basketball League, Michael Vigor poured in 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting with 5 rebounds and 4 assists as Bristol fell short to Cheshire 79-82. Cheshire made a living at the charity stripe, converting 19-of-32 which was one the key advantages they had in a tight contest.
Joel Spear logged a mammoth 40 minutes in helping guide Nidaros to a tight 90-81 win against Bærum Basket in Norway. The sharpshooter connected on 7-of-11 from the field for 15 points with a team-best 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 6 steals to stuff the stats sheet! His side managed to overcome Bærum’s 15 three-pointers by converting 67% from the field, balancing their win-loss record at 3-3.