EuroView: Mangok Mathiang the key to Vanoli's success

The Italian Serie A semifinal series between Vanoli Cremona and Umana Reya Venzeia is locked in an enthralling battle, and Mangok Mathiang is proving to be the key.

In the series opener, Umana handed out 21 assists and shot better than 65% from the field as they registered an impressive 87-80 victory and gain the early advantage in the series. A 27-19 third term did the damage, a position from which Vanoli were unable to recover. Centre Mathiang again played a dominant role, adding 11 points, 15 rebounds and 1 block, yet it was not enough to get his team the edge in game 1.

Game 2 was a different story, with Vanoli prevailing 78-74 despite limited minutes from their imposing Aussie big man. Mathiang was restricted to just 15 minutes as he suffered early foul trouble, yet his impact was hard to ignore. He gathered 13 points and 9 rebounds to assert himself on the game, and one can only imagine what devastating impact he could have inflicted if it were not for his foul trouble.

In a game befitting of the playoffs, game 3 resulted in an overtime thriller. Little separated either team throughout, and with Vanoli tying the game up in the final seconds and Mathiang coming up with a vital steal on the final possession to force extra time. He would foul out late in the extra period, however his team remained firm at the free throw line to take the win 75-73 and a 2-1 series lead. Mathiang was again impressive, adding 15 points, 11 rebounds and 5 steals. He will be looking to replicate that performance in game 4 and look to lead them to the final against Sassari who awaits their opponent.

Dynamic closed out their 2019 Serbian KLS campaign with a thrilling 116-113 overtime victory against Novi Pazar. Newly signed Cairns Taipan Mirko Djeric played a team-high 41 minutes, contributing 9 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists, as his team came up with the clutch plays to not only force extra time, but come away with the win. His team mate Djoko Salic scored a ridiculous 47 points, making 17-21 from the free throw line to help secure the win. Despite the victory, Dynamic miss out on the playoffs, finishing 1 win behind Mega Bemax in the standings.

In the Turkish Super League semifinals, Anadolu Efes Istanbul have progressed to a 2-0 series lead over Galatasaray. As was the case in the quarterfinals, Brock Motum did not play in either game, with only 5 foreigners able to suit up and noting Efes has 9 on its roster, he continues to bide his time.

The club for which Jock Landale will play for in the 2019/20 season, Zalgiris Kaunas, smashed Lietuvos Rytas in the final of the Lithuanian league. They took the championship seried 3-0, winning the deciding game 92-54 in a whitewash.