Jock Landale and Cameron Bairstow played important roles in mixed results across EuroLeague and EuroCup action this week.
A late comeback from Žalgiris Kaunas in front of a packed home crowd was not enough to earn a win against Barcelona in round 7 of the EuroLeague. While the contest was close throughout, the visitors gained control to hold a slender lead throughout before holding off the fast finish by the home side to win 93-86.
Trailing by 11 points midway through he final term, the home side launched a final assault. Yet despite their efforts, Žalgiris were unable to shut down Nikola Mirotic who poured in 24 points with 6 rebounds, and the sharpshooting Corey Higgins who drained 5 of 5 from beyond the arc for a game-high 27 points, who led Barcelona to victory.
Jock Landale was at his efficient scoring best, contributing 10 points on 4-7 shooting alongside 2 rebounds and 2 assists in just 15 minutes. Zach Leday led Žalgiris in scoring with 16 points in 27 minutes off the bench.
Žalgiris now have a 3-4 record and next travel to Piraeus, Greece to take on Olympiakos (2-5).
Valencia also had little luck in their EuroLeague encounter with Greek giants Panathinaikos in Athens, going down 80-91. Jordan Loyd provided Valencia with 27 points, but they could not overcome a near triple-double from Nick Calathes and a loaded roster that included double figures scoring efforts from DeShaun Thomas, Tyrese Rice, Jimmer Fredette, Wesley Johnson and former NBL star Jacob Wiley.
Brock Motum was brought off the bench for Valencia and played just 10 minutes for his 3 points. His team has now slumped to a 1-6 record ahead of hosting Bayern Munich next week.
In the EuroCup, Cameron Bairstow’s Rytas Vilnius earned a hard fought 87-82 win against Lokomotiv Kuban. After a strong opening term, Rytas had to withstand a number of challenges in the second half before reeling off a 9-2 run late to hold on for the 5 point win. Bairstow started and added 9 points and 5 rebounds in 15 minutes to help Rytas to their second win of the competition – both coming against Lokomotiv.