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EuroView: Bolden booming in Europe
Jonah Bolden was in outstanding form for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel this week, pouring in a new career high.
Thanks to commanding second and third terms, Maccabi Tel Aviv managed to stave off Nahariya to come away with a 90-98 road win in the Israeli Winner League to maintain their 2-game lead in first place. Leading the way with a big performance was NBA draftee Jonah Bolden. The 6'10 forward exploded for a new career-high 23 points, going 8-14 from the field (3-7 3PT) alongside 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in a display that is sure to have captured the imagination of the front office personnel in Philly [video highlights]. It was an entertaining battle, with New Zealander Corey Webster leading all scorers with 27 points (5 assists and 5 steals), albeit on a losing side. The double-double by Bolden was one of his most impressive performances for Tel Aviv this season, and he is now delivering 9.8 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.
In yet another big performance, Venky Jois has helped deliver Vrijednosnice Osijek a much-needed victory in the Croatian A1 League. The 6'8 versatile forward added 15 points (7-14 FG) with 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, as Osijek secured a 96-100 win over Ribola Kastela. Holding an 8 point lead heading into the final period, Osijek managed to repel Ribola's challenge to win their second game of the season and maintain distance between them and the bottom two placed teams.
Lietuvos Rytas continued to place pressure on the top teams in the Lithuanian national league, accounting for lowly Šiauliai 103-98 in a high-scoring game [video highlights]. After dominating the first half to take a 14 point half time lead, Šiauliai steadied in the third term before unleashing a 29-15 final period. Despite their late game run, Rytas held on to record an important 5 point win. Ben Madgen earned the start but had a quiet game offensively by his standards. He would go on to finish with 4 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist in 20 minutes.
Ryan Broekhoff had a rare quiet night, adding just 3 points and 3 rebounds in an 87-84 win against Zenit St Petersburg in the VTB United League [video highlights]. A superior first half was almost brought undone, as Zenit almost overhauled a 20 point margin to just fall short of a miracle comeback. Lokomotiv remains in second place, just one game behind CSKA Moscow.
Heading into Christmas, Anadolu Efes Istanbul registered a difficult 84-58 loss to İstanbul BBSK in the Turkish SuperLeague. Apart from a solid second quarter effort, Efes never really got going. Brock Motum sat the game out after receiving virtually no opportunity in their last start loss in the EuroLeague in what may be an early sign that Motum could be out of favour with the new coach.
Across in the Spanish LEB Oro, Dan Trist continues to push his case for a contract on a stronger European team next season. The forward crafted a team-high 20 points on 8-15 shooting with 8 rebounds. However despite his big game, Trist could not prevent Ourense falling short to Manresa, going down 89-65. After leading at the end of the first period, third placed Manresa dominated the contest and cruised to a 24 point victory over Ourense who is still stuck at the bottom of the standings with a 1-13 record.
The Baunach Young Pikes are still searching for their second win of the season after losing to Paderborn 72-79 in the German Pro A. First year pro William McDowell-White added 10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks in another encouraging performance in what is proving to be a challenging season for the feeder team to Brose Baskets Bamburg. They next take on tenth placed Trier for a chance to start crawling up the table.