EuroView: Madgen Scooores big in Belgium

Ben Madgen scored 31 points in Belgium, picking up the Scooore League player of the week award, while Brock Motum put in a strong performance to make amends for a quiet Euroleague outing.

Ben Madgen exploded for 31 points despite VOO Verviers-Pepinster’s tough loss to Antwerp in which they were embarrassed 110-81.

Ninth-ranked Antwerp ran rings around the visitors, dishing 25 assists with just 8 turnovers. In comparison, Verviers-Pepinster recorded just 6 assists and 14 turnovers. Antwerp shot 60% from the field while restricting Verviers-Pepinster to 42%, showing just how dominant the hosts were. Former Sydney Kings guard Madgen did his best, connecting on 10/19 form the field to go alongside 3 rebounds and 1 assists. Madgen was finishing in a variety of ways, also converting 3/4 triples and 8/10 at the line.

Madgen was one of just a few players from the visitors who actually made a contribution as they were completely decimated by Antwerp. Verviers-Pepinster now sits third from bottom in 9th position on the league table. Despite the terrible loss, Madgen was acknowledged for his effort by being named Scooore League MVP of the week.

In the Adriatic League, Aleks Maric delivered a big performance in Buducnost VOLI Podgorica's 68-54 win against Crvena Zvezda in what was a battle of two top 4 sides.

It was a game worthy of two of Montenegro's best teams, with Buducnost getting the early advantage 28-10 in the first period, a lead they would ride to the end. Maric was effective in the paint, making 6/10 from the field for a 16 point and 10 rebound double-double with 2 blocked shots. Maric has been the anchor that Buducnost needed and he is repaying that faith in his ability in spades.

League leaders ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne were shocked by sixth ranked Le Mans 82-64 in the most surprising result in the French Pro A League round. The games as a whole was a tight contest, although it felt as though Le Mans were in control throughout. However, the third quarter was anything but a contest. ASVEL were held to just 4 points while the hosts racked up 22 of their own and all but ensured victory.

David Andersen did well to try and break the shackles, adding 11 points (5/9 FG) and 2 rebounds in 28 minutes. Andersen lacked his usual play-making and presence on the glass, which was sorely missed by ASVEL. Le Mans out-rebounded ASVEL 38-26, with an impressive 14 offensive rebounds. To make matters worse for ASVEL, the hosts shot 63% from behind the arc, and when combined with the rebounding, was enough to secure a comfortable victory for the underdogs. The loss means that ASVEL now shares top spot with Monaco, as both have 10-3 records.

BC Zalgiris Kaunas dispatched fourth-ranked Vytautas 71-79 in a fast and enthralling contest in Lithuania. Brock Motum took advantage of the pace of the game and managed to find several good looks on the offensive end. Motum finished with 15 points (7/10 FG), 4 rebounds and 1 assist in 25 minutes, rebounding from his modest Euroleague showing last week.

Both teams had good shooting nights and played exceptional team basketball, passing up good shots for even better shots. Zalgiris gained the edge on the glass, where they out-rebounded the hosts 33-23. The win moves Zalgiris two games clear on top of the table with 13 wins.

In the Spanish ACB, Brad Newley had a good game for Herbalife Gran Canaria in a tight 71-75 win over UCAM Murcia. Newley scored 11 points (2/4 FG) with 4 rebounds and 1 assist in just 20 minutes on court. The veteran guard was a perfect 6/6 at the line, though he wouldn’t have been happy with the 4 turnovers he committed.

Gran Canaria were able to grind out the win in a very scrappy game of basketball. Gran Canaria shot the ball better than Murcia and got the win on the back of their ability to earn trips to the charity stripe. The visitors were 22/26 at the line and made UCAM Murcia pay. Gran Canaria would be very pleased with the win as they now sit in outright fifth on the league table.

18 points from Dan Dillon helped PGE Turow record an 81-74 win over Polpharma Starogard Gdanski in Poland. Turow managed to turn around a horrible first quarter in which they scored just 5 points, to come home with a resounding 29 point final term. Turow held Starogard to just 38% from the field in an excellent defensive performance, which was the key to their victory.

Dillon was the floor general for Turow, shooting 54% from the field and dishing out 6 assists and 4 rebounds as he continued his outstanding season. It was Turow’s fifth win from 12 games this season, which puts them in 11th position on the league table.

Mitch McCarron played 16 minutes in Palencia’s 56-63 victory over Ourense in the Spanish second division. Palencia took care of business with their 13th win of the season over a weak opponent that managed to put up a solid fight for four quarters. McCarron scored 3 points (1/3 FG) and 1 rebound in what was a very quiet outing for the dynamic guard. Nevertheless, Palencia remains on top of the LEB Gold standings with a 13-1 record.

Still in the LEB Gold, Dan Trist made his presence on the glass felt in Oviedo’s 78-63 loss to Burgos. Both teams entered with identical 8-5 records though it didn’t look that way as Burgos were in control from the outset. Down by 25 heading into the final quarter, Oviedo rallied with a 12-22 quarter, yet still they were so far from winning. Trist recorded 4 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists in 27 minutes as he couldn’t manage to find looks on offense. Despite the loss, Oviedo is still in sixth position on the league table with an 8-6 record.

Almost forgotten big man Ater Majok put up a good performance in Trefl Sopots' 72-66 win over Start Lublin in Poland. The 6'10 forward delivered a 10 point and 11 rebound double-double with 2 blocks in 28 minutes. Trefl Sopot's edge came from offensive rebounding and second chance opportunities, with Majok pulling down 7 of his sides' 15 offensive boards compared to just 7 for Start Lublin. His side improved to 3-9 this season and move up the ladder after he missed his teams' first 5 games of the year.