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EuroView: Mangok Mathiang making his mark in Italy
The past week saw a number of Australian men in action across Europe, with none better than Mangok Mathiang.
Vanoli Cremona enjoyed a 94-88 win against Avellino in round 2 of the Italian Serie A, with former Charlotte Hornets player Mangok Mathiang delivering his best outing in Europe this season. The 6'10 centre amassed 14 points with 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in 26 minutes as a starter to help propel his team to its second straight win and an unblemished start to the season. Cremona joins Milano and Venezia as the only two undefeated teams remaining after just two rounds.
In the Adriatic league, Jock Landale poured in 11 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block in just 13 minutes but Partizan Belgrade fell short 94-97 on the road to Mornar. Partizan was overrun 35-25 in the final term, unable to hold off the home side's charge down the stretch.
FMP enjoyed a thrilling 93-88 win over Cibona in the Adriatic League. Cibona finished strongly over FMP to force extra time, however it was the latter who got the job done in the extra period to earn the 5 point win. Forward Duop Reath played sparingly for 1 point and 4 rebounds in 6 minutes.
In the German Bundesliga, all three teams boasting Australians on their rosters tasted defeat.
Ben Madgen was one of two players for Crailsheim to score in double figures, but they could not overcome a 15-33 opening quarter deficit against Alba Berlin who would go on to crush the Merlins 115-65. It was a tough game for Crailsheim who were outscored in all four quarters, with Berlin boasting greater depth which was emphasised by having 9 players who scored 8 points or more in a complete team performance. Madgen was solid as always, adding 14 points and 2 rebounds in playing 31 minutes.
While the result was ultimately the same, it was a much closer contest for Venky Jois' Rasta Vechta against Fraport. While it was Fraport who opened strongly, Vechta fought back to take a 2 point lead in to the main break. Nothing separated either side in the second half, yet it was the Skyliners who lifted down the stretch to earn an 88-83 win. Jois came off the bench for Vechta, adding 4 points (2-5 FG) with 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 20 minutes. Jois is playing out of position as an undersized centre, and is so far holding his own despite standing at just 6'8.
Playing his first season as a pro, Xavier Cooks saw 14 minutes in coming off the bench for s.Oliver Würzburg in a narrow 87-91 loss to BG Göttingen. This was a close contest, with neither team prepared to back down. Ultimately, it was a second quarter 30-21 burst by Göttingen that was enough to propel them to victory, behind 25 points from Michael Stockton. Cooks contributed 1 point, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 blocked shot.
In the French Pro B, Dan Dillon has helped Paris to a narrow 73-69 victory over the previously unbeaten Lille. The veteran guard added 9 points on 4-9 shooting with 4 rebounds as a starter, ensuring his team improved to 3-1 to open the season.
Chima Moneke's Rouen however was not able to maintain their unblemished start to the season, going down 98-101 in overtime to Caen who won their first game of the season. The dynamic Moneke was impressive, delivering 16 points on 5-9 shooting (6-6 FT) alongside 5 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. Despite his great game, Rouen will rue their missed opportunity to consolidate on their great start to the season.
In the Spanish second division, Obi Kyei continued his emergence with Forca Lleida. He managed to pick up 14 points and 4 rebounds in 29 minutes, but could not prevent his side from falling to Balbao 70-75.
Union Neuchâtel moved up into second place in the Swiss National League following a 91-72 win against Boncourt. Matur Maker played almost 14 minutes off the bench, adding 7 points and 4 rebounds in what proved to be an encouraging performance.
Big man Nathaniel Musters has added some value off the bench for Leeuwarden off the bench in their 77-65 win against Amsterdam in the Dutch League. He managed to gather 4 points and 3 rebounds in 8 minutes, helping his team improve to a 2-1 record and in the top 4 to open the season.
Jo Lual-Acuil Jr has yet to suit up for Hapoel Jersulem in the Israeli Winner League while Keanu Pinder did not play in Legia Warszawa's losst to Ostrow. After an opening round EuroLeague win in which he scored 14 points, Brock Motum sat out Anadolu Efes Istanbul's win against Darüşşafaka in the Turkish Basketball League.