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EuroView: Dillon explodes in France, Cooks delivering
A host of Australian men were in action across Europe's top leagues this past week.
First year pro Duop Reath managed to compile 13 points that included 3 three-pointers but his side FMP Belgrade lost to Cedevita 81-95 in the Adriatic League. FMP were outscored in every quarter, with the loss snapping their two game winning streak.
Partizan also lost in the Adriatic League, going down to Budućnost VOLI in a clash between top 6 teams, by just 4 points (71-75). Budućnost were sparked by 20 points from former NBA player Earl Clark. For Partizan, Jock Landale experienced a rare quiet game, adding just 6 points and 2 rebounds in playing 19 minutes.
Daniel Dillon wound back the clock with an explosive performance for Paris in the French Pro B. Dillon exploded for a game-high 28 points (12-23 FG) with 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals as he guided Paris to a narrow 99-69 win against Caen. It was the first win of the season for Paris, placing them just one victory away from lifting themselves out of the relegation zone. The 32-year-old is averaging 17.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game on the season and has been his side's shining light.
Mangok Mathiang was 1 point shy of a double-double as Vanoli Cremona lost to Varese 79-82 in the Italian Serie A. Little separated either team, and it was Varese who had their noses in front at the end. Mathiang continued his good form, adding 9 points and 13 rebounds in another strong performance.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul entered the weekend on a high courtesy of a 78-62 EuroLeague win against Panathinaikos Athens. They pulled away just before half time and held on for a solid 16 point victory to climb up into 5th place in the standings with a 5-2 record. Brock Motum played just 8 minutes and scored 3 points on a solitary three-pointer.
Efes would back up the big win by taking care of business against Arel University in the Turkish Basketball League, pulling away to a 90-72 win. Motum came off the bench to play 22 minutes and was one of four players to score in double figures, adding 13 points and 6 rebounds. The win maintained their position in outright third place in the standings.
In their next EuroLeague game, Efes saw off Maccabi Tel Aviv 90-77 behind a complete team performance which saw 6 players score in double figures. Motum almost made it 7, adding 9 points (2-2 3PT) in 10 minutes off the bench in a valuable cameo.
Xavier Cooks experienced a rare quiet scoring night for s.Oliver Würzburg who were undone by Sarkarya 60-80 in the FIBA Europe Cup. The former Winthrop standout compiled 3 points with 6 rebounds and 3 assists in the big loss. An 8-21 third team proved their downfall, with Würzburg shooting a paltry 23% from beyond the arc.
In the German Bundesliga, Cooks turned it around quickly by enjoying one of his best games of his first pro season, but unfortunately his side s.Oliver Würzburg fell short to Telelom Baskets Bonn 86-91 in a tight finish. Cooks played key minutes down the stretch as his side almost stole the win, with the versatile 6'8 forward finishing with an impressive 14 points (5-7 FG) and 6 rebounds. In averaging 6.4 points and 4.4 rebounds across 7 games, Cooks is also shooting better than 45% from beyond the three-point arc and 55.6% inside it as his team slid down to 14th place after their second straight loss.
Würzburg however bounced back to easily account for Leiden 87-61 in the FIBA Europe Cup. Cooks started and delivered 7 points and 5 rebounds in 21 minutes. The big win inflicted Leiden's first loss of the competition, lifting them into 2nd place in the Group A standings.
Venky Jois played a little over 8 minutes in Rasta Vechta's heavy 61-82 loss to EWE Baskets Oldenburg. With Jois sitting on the bench, Vechta lost the game in the opening term where they were overwhelmed 32-11, a position from which they would never be able to claw back. The 6'8 forward added 3 points and 3 rebounds in being played out of position at centre - a role he has been attempting to fill since his arrival. His side has now slipped outside the top 8 as a result of the loss.
In the Spanish second division, Obi Kyei collected 11 points and 5 rebounds in just 15 minutes as Forca Lleida lost to Coviran Granada 63-79. Kyei is averaging 10.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in his first season playing in Europe.