EuroView: Madgen and Dillon star in OT thrillers

It was Ben Madgen and Daniel Dillon who delivered for their respective sides in Europe this week.

Madgen starred for VOO Verviers-Pepinster in an overtime victory over fourth-ranked Basic-Fit Brussels. The former Sydney King scored 21 points in a masterful shooting exhibition, converting 7/9 2PT attempts and 2/4 from behind the arc to lead his team to a thrilling victory, 87-86. Brussels jumped the hosts early to build an 8 point lead after the first quarter, but Verviers-Pepinster fought back throughout the match, culminating in a bizarre fourth term in which both sides tallied just 17 points (12-5).

Overtime was equally as tense, going down to the final moments, with Verviers-Pepinster lucky to escape with the win and move into seventh spot on the league table with a 2-2 record. Madgen has been in outstanding form, and is averaging 20 points per game - the second best scoring rate in the league.

Recording a double-double was Dillon with 19 points and 10 rebounds in another overtime thriller in Poland. Despite the efforts of Dillon, PGE Turow came up just short in extra time as Anwill were just too strong to finish the game in front 87-84. Dillon was on fire, shooting 4/6 on 2PT attempts and 4/6 from three-point range. However he was outshined by opposition player David Jelinek who scored 39 points (11/30 FG, 13/14 FT). The performance from Dillon was outstanding, although he did concede 4 of Turow's very high 20 turnovers. It was a promising performance from both Dillon and Turow and will leave them wanting more.

Over in Spain, Brad Newley played an invaluable role for Herbalife Gran Canaria in their 76-67 victory over Seville. Gran Canaria restricted Seville to just 8 points in the first quarter and controlled the tempo of the match until the third term when Sevilla mounted a comeback. Gran Canaria was able to resume control of the contest in the final quarter to eventually prevail.

Gran Canaria displayed excellent ball movement with 17 assists, making up for their sloppy work on the boards where they allowed Seville to grab 14 offensive rebounds. Newley made his impact felt in just 18 minutes, with 13 points (5/7 FG) and 2 assists. Newley was at his best in limited time on court as the minutes were spread among the roster. Gran Canaria now sit in second placed with a 3-0 record. Dan Trist scored in double digits for the fourth consecutive game in Oviedo’s 76-68 win over Ourense. Neither team could control the match for lengthy periods, and the result was a tense and enjoyable encounter. Both teams were evenly matched and struggled to find opposition weaknesses to exploit. However Dan Trist managed to score 10 points (3/5 FG, 4/5 FT) before fouling out in just 13 minutes of action. Trist was often caught out on defense, however his offence often made up for his defensive lapses.

Mitch McCarron put in a solid display for Palencia with 10 points (4/7 FG), 3 rebounds and 1 assist in 20 minutes as Palencia recorded a comfortable 81-62 triumph over Burgos. Both teams entered with a 2-1 record and Palencia never looked in doubt during the match. Palencia applied the pressure early, with a powerful defensive display enabling them establish a 16 point lead at the main break. Burgos fought to get back into the match though they struggled to put a dent in the margin and just played out an event second-half contest. Five teams are now tied for top spot in the LEB Gold with a 3-1 record.

ASVEL Lyon–Villeurbanne has moved to the top of the table in France with a 73-83 victory over Nancy. ASVEL got out of the blocks slowly and trailed by 5 points at halftime as the winless Nancy took it right up to the visitors. However in the third quarter, ASVEL established their dominance with an 11-22 term. ASVEL swiftly took care of the match in the final period in what finished up as a well-rounded and solid performance. David Andersen contributed just 4 points with 9 rebounds in 26 minutes. ASVEL will take plenty of confidence into their important clash with third-ranked JDC Dijon.

Ryan Broekhoff was solid yet unspectacular as Lokomotiv Kuban were upset by Finnish side Loimaa Bisons 70-68. Broekhoff scored 9 points (4/9 FG) with 10 rebounds in 31 minutes, demonstrating his ability on the boards. The match was a relatively even contest, separated by Loimaa’s ability to convert their opportunities. It was a surprise for Lokomotiv Kuban to play so poorly and gift Loimaa their only victory of the season; they are sure to be out for redemption next round.

Over in Lithuania, Brock Motum played just 11 minutes as BC Zalgiris Kaunas reigned supreme over Lietuvos Rytas 79-70. Not much to report for Motum who scored 6 points in limited action as Zalgiris made it 6 straight wins to end their oppositions five-game winning streak. Both teams played undisciplined basketball in what should have been a quality game that failed to live up to expectations. Turnovers were frequent ( Zalgiris 22, Lietuvos Rytas 15) and Lietuvos Rytas failed to take advantage from long-range, shooting just 3/16. Zalgiris are now alone on top of the league table as the only undefeated team in Lithuania.