EuroView: AJ Ogilvy back in form, Broekhoff fires again

It was a relatively quiet week for the Aussie men in Europe with just three players managing to score in double digits. Ryan Broekhoff and Brad Newley continued their fine campaigns in Turkey and Spain respectively, whilst AJ Ogilvy provided more than just spark off the bench for La Bruixa d’Or Manresa.

AJ Ogilvy was the leading performer for the Aussie men in Europe this week, with the former Vanderbilt University center scoring 16 points in just 15 minutes. Ogilvy was an important spark off the bench for Spanish side La Bruixa d’Or Manresa in their 78-59 victory over Rio Natura Monbus Obradoiro.

Ogilvy was highly efficient, as his 16 points came on 5/6 shooting from the field and 6/6 shooting at the charity stripe. What was most impressive however was how Ogilvy stepped up when his team was struggling in the third quarter. He immediately established a dominant game in the paint, with an array of post moves on display.

The former Sydney Kings big man is building confidence following his return from injury (plantar fasciitis) and will be looking to increase his minutes in future. If his play continues at such a high level, coach Pedro Martinez will be forced to consider his options at the five-spot. The lowly ranked Manresa played a good brand of basketball in the game and controlled the contest throughout with their shooting and ball movement. The win was important, with Manresa climbing up to 15th position, although they will have a much tougher assignment in their next match against the daunting FC Barcelona.

It was an important outing for Brad Newley in the Spanish ACB, when his 7th ranked Herbalife Gran Canaria hosted the 2nd placed Real Madrid. The visitors came out of the blocks slowly, scoring just 9 points in the opening term with Gran Canaria’s intensity choking Real Madrid's ball movement. The game continued on Gran Canaria’s terms as they played at their own tempo until Real Madrid eventually managed to wrestle control of the match away from Gran Canaria. This led to the visitors closing out the game with momentum and earning a 80-88 victory.

Real Madrid displayed a polished and drilled line-up that managed to create open looks and enable them to shoot 51% from 3-point range, whilst Gran Canaria managed just 5/24 from downtown. Brad Newley was one of three Gran Canaria players to score in double digits, with the swingman providing 12 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 32 minutes. It was Newley’s 5th consecutive game scoring in double figures and he will need to continue his scoring form, with Gran Canaria sitting just inside the playoff positions in 7th place.

Chris Goulding’s shooting woes continued in CAI Zaragoza’s 67-73 loss to FIATC Joventut. Goulding was held to 1 rebound in 22 minutes that followed his 2 point outing against Gipuzkoa.

Zaragoza was stifled by a strong Joventut defence and were held to just 36% shooting from the field. This was also evident in Goulding’s play, with the defence restricting him to 0/6 from the field. Joeventut’s offense was focused on getting open shots outside and the design of their plays resulted in forcing 18 turnovers. However Zaragoza was competitive until the last quarter when Joventut opened up with 4 consecutive triples. Fortunately for Zaragoza, they will have an easier match next time when they face 10th ranked side CB Canarias.

Still in Spain, Morabanc Andorra was defeated by Unicaja Malaga 74-77 in a close encounter that saw Nate Jawai play 17 minutes and contribute 7 points and 3 rebounds. It was a performance that has become a regular occurrence for Jawai since he has signed in Spain.

Jawai has so far proved to be a solid backup big, who comes onto the court and provides an offensive burst in the paint off the bench. It was however an admirable performance for 15th ranked Andorra, pushing league leaders Unicaja right to the finish and providing a few tense moments for the visitors. The game was unexpectedly intense and both coaches rotated their starters heavily. However, the result has no impact on either team’s rank, with Unicaja remaining in first position and Andorra in 15th place on the league table.

Turkish All-Star Ryan Broekhoff was the leading scorer for Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul in their 68-84 loss to Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul. Broekhoff tallied 16 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals in 35 minutes, with an impressive 4/7 from behind the arc. However, it was not an impressive performance from the hosts Besiktas, with the 2nd ranked Darussafaka man-handling Besiktas in the paint and on the boards.

Besiktas were outrebounded 39-23, yet they still managed to remain in touch until the last period when the visitors went on a 25-12 scoring rampage. It was a disappointing loss for Besiktas; they were outclassed by a better a team on the day. Besiktas will head into their next match with Turk Telekom as heavy favourites and looking to improve their indifferent 10-6 record.

For David Andersen, it was another limited performance in the French Pro A League, with the Australian Boomer logging just 13 minutes in ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne’s victory over Sluk Nancy Basket. ASVEL got off to a flier at home in the first half, restricting the visitors to just 9 points in the first quarter and going on to take a 16 point lead at the main break. Nancy made a game of it in the second half and pushed ASVEL right to the limit, ultimately going down 67-69.

ASVEL displayed a heightened level of intensity on the boards and defence, enabling them to take the ascendancy over their 6th ranked opponents. Andersen had minimal impact on the game, with no points and 4 rebounds his contribution. Andersen has seen his form slump in recent times and will need to lift when ASVEL comes up against 3rd ranked Limoges CSP Elite.

Dynamic guard Daniel Dillon could not repeat his triple-doubles heroics of last week when CSM Oradea was upset by U-Banca Transilvania 68-80. Dillon was well held by stringent defence, restricted to 2 points, 8 assists and 4 turnovers in 35 minutes as he was harassed into shooting a poor 1/10 from the field.

Oradea’s ball handling was loose, turning the ball over 18 times compared to just 11 for their opponents. Although it was a tight affair, U-Banca’s shooting was the difference with the visitors shooting 49%. The loss ended Oradea’s 5 game winning streak and will move them down to 3rd position with 6 losses.

In Slovenia, Majok Majok got the start again for Helios Domzale in their 73-81 loss to Maribor. Majok played 17 minutes and scored 6 points alongside 6 rebounds and 1 assist as Helios were completely dominated in the rebounding department, with Maribor collecting 44 compared to Helios’ 29.

Helios did show fight throughout the match, after going down early they failed to create momentum until the final term. However a 26-17 final quarter was not enough for Helios in an uninspiring performance for the 9th ranked side.