Jock Landale played the hero for Partizan in a thrilling Adriatic League game, while Ben Madgen celebrated the birth of his second child with a rare win for the lowly Crailsheim Merlins in the German Bundesliga.
Partizan celebrated a thrilling 75-73 win against Morabanc Andorra in the Adriatic League, with Jock Landale emerging as the hero. Having trailed for the majority of the game, and by as many as 7 points with 3:34 to play, Partizan fought back late to score 10 points in the next 2 minutes to steal a 1 point lead with 1:23 remaining led by Alex Renfroe's 8 point burst. The lead then changed hands an amazing four more times in the final minute, capped by Andorra gaining the ascendancy back by a solitary point with just 1 second left on the clock via a clutch bucket to Antabia Waller. Partizan called for time for one last shot at victory.
On the inbound play, the ball found its way into the hot hands of Renfroe, only for him to be fouled and sent to the charity stripe for two shots. He duly made the first to tie up the game, but the potential game-winner ricocheted off the rim. Landale emerged over the top of his opponent for the last gasp tip-in as time expired to send the crowd and his team into a celebratory frenzy and emerge as a new fan favourite.
As was the case a week earlier, Landale's influence on the game was limited by foul trouble. He started and played just 22 minutes for his 12 points (6-10 FG), 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 blocked shot. However when the game was on the line, Landale collected his most important offensive rebound and points of the game, and quite possibly the season. Partizan held its position in fourth place in the standings courtesy of the nail-biting win and now within sight of third.
After a big game last week, first year professional Duop Reath had a quieter game for FMP Belgrade in their 71-90 loss to Cibona. The former LSU star contributed 4 points (2-5 FG), 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in the 19-point loss. After taking a 5 point lead into the first quarter break, FMP were then outscored 67-43 across the next three periods to be overwhelmed by the Croatian outfit.
In the German Bundesliga, Ben Madgen celebrated the birth of his son Mack by dropping 22 points and leading Crailsheim to just their third win of the season and their first on the road. The veteran wing went 7-11 from the field including three triples with 9 rebounds as the Merlins finished strongly to record a convincing 91-77 win against Fraport. With Madgen's leadership, the Merlins broke a 9-game losing streak against the Skyliners, but they remain firmly entrenched on the bottom of the standings.
It was a tough night at the office for Xavier Cooks and s.Oliver Würzburg as they lost ground in the playoff race following a 65-75 loss to RASTA Vechta. For just the first time in his debut season, Cooks went scoreless, restricted to 0-2 shooting and going a barren 0-4 from the free throw line, well under his season average which sat close to 10 points per game. He also had just 2 rebounds and coughed it up three times in a game he and Würzburg would rather forget.
Vanoli Cremona went down to Umana Reyer Venezia 67-78 in the Italian Serie A. Venezia dominated the opening and third quarters to set up the 11 point win. Former Charlotte Hornet Mangok Mathiang posted 9 points on a perfect 4-4 shooting from the field with 4 rebounds in 20 minutes on court. However Cremona could not quell the hot-shooting of Venezia who did their damage both inside and out in consolidating second place in the standings, with Cremona currently in fifth.
Brock Motum was barely required in Anadolu Efes Istanbul's big 79-58 demolition of his former team Zalgiris Kaunas in the EuroLeague. He played just 4 minutes off the bench for 2 blocked shots in his short stint. Efes held Zalgiris to its lowest-scoring home game in more than four years, interestingly, it was against the same club that restricted it to just 57 points back in December 2014.
In returning to the Turkish Basketball League, Motum was injected back into the starting line-up and duly delivered. The 2016 Rio Olympian added 13 points with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in a solid performance as he helped guide Efes to a 93-80 victory over Istanbul BBSK. It was not easy for Efes, overcoming an 11 point first half deficit before storming home with a 29-15 final quarter surge. the win lifted Efes into second in the standings and in a prime position from which to launch a deep playoff run come finals.
Rookie Keanu Pinder is starting to work his way into the main rotation with Legia Warszawa in Poland. In his last outing, the 6-10 forward came off the bench to post career-high's in almost every statistical category as Legia Warszawa lost to GTK Gliwice 71-86. Pinder added 8 points on 3-5 shooting (2-2 FT) alongside 7 rebounds and 2 steals in an encouraging performance. He has now played 10 minutes or more in his last three games, and has likely done enough to gain confidence with the coaching staff for more opportunities on a team that has a 7-7 record and currently sits mid-table in the standings.
After being dismissed by Swiss club Union Neuchâtel, Matur Maker agreed to terms with Slovenian club Zlatorog Laško for the remainder of the season. The 6'11 big man suited up for his first game in Zlatorog's 65-70 loss to KK Šentjur, coming off the bench to add an 11-point and 11-rebound double-double. Inserted into the starting line-up in their very next game, he would go on to deliver 14 points and 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in what proved to be an impressive game. Not only did Maker impress with his individual performance, he played an integral role in helping Zlatorog blowout competition benchmark Sixt Primorska 92-72 in a massive upset. The victory kept alive Zlatorog's playoff aspirations, moving them to within 2 wins of the top 4, and if Maker can build upon his two straight double-double's, the Australian could well help realise that ambition.