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EuroView: Bolden, Madgen and Steindl deliver the points
Ben Madgen, Jonah Bolden and Clint Steindl excelled for their respective sides this week with mixed fortunes, while Ryan Broekhoff's miraculous buzzer-beater was the highlight of the week.
Despite a game-high 21 point outing from first year professional Jonah Bolden, FMP Belgrade lost to Budućnost VOLI Podgorica 84-93 in the Adriatic League. Budućnost jumped out to an early lead and would hold a slim advantage at the main break. FMP would fire their way into the lead in the third period thanks to a 30-19 burst. However the home side pulled away in the last quarter. Bolden would go on to record a double-double, with 13 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block in another impressive individual performance. His side is currently in seventh place in the standings.
Lietkabelis gave themselves some breathing space in second place in the LKL standings in Lithuania thanks to a big win over third ranked Lietuvos rytas. Ben Madgen stepped up for the big game, draining 3-of-5 from downtown on his way to a game-high 20 points (8-of-14 FG) with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. His side's superior three-point shooting (11-of-16 3PT) and ability to set up open team-mates for scores (17 assists), were the key drivers to earning an important 86-77 win.
Still in Lithuania, Žalgiris Kaunas destroyed lowly Šiauliai 101-50 in a very one-sided contest against the last-placed team. Žalgiris started strongly and completely dominated their outmatched opponent as they rolled to a 51-point victory. Brock Motum was barely required in the rout, playing 11 minutes for 8 points (2-of-2 3PT) and 2 assists. His side is now 4 games clear on top of the LKL standings and a clear favourite for the 2017 title.
Žalgiris Kaunas also enjoyed a thrilling 91-86 EuroLeague road win over Brose Bamburg last week, keeping alive their chances of progressing to the playoffs. In a tense contest, neither team gave the other any breathing room. Brock Motum drained a buzzer-beating triple to send his side up by 6 at the main break. with some big shots made in the final term, Žalgiris was able to hold on for the win thanks to some cool heads prevailing at the charity stripe. In their fourth win across their past five games, Motum added 6 points with 3 rebounds in playing 21 minutes. His side is now just 2 wins outside of the playoffs.
In case you missed it, Ryan Broekhoff connected on a miraculous full-court half-time buzzer-beater for Lokomotiv Kuban in their narrow 84-89 loss to Khimki Moscow in the VTB United League.
In Belgium, the ninth placed Leuven Bears lost on the road to to second ranked Port of Antwerp Giants 81-93. The contest was closer than the result may indicate, with little more than 4 points separating the sides heading into the final quarter and with neither able to break away. However the home side managed to edge away down the stretch to win by 8 points. Clint Steindl returned to the lineup and had an immediate impact, scoring a game-high 24 points including 4-of-9 three-pointers to once again highlight his potency. However he was not able to get the Bears over the line for what would have been their seventh win of the season.
Horsens IC rebounded from their upset win last week to win the battle for first place in the league standings over Bakken 94-90 on the road. The visitors stormed home with a 31-21 final quarter to steal the win. Forward Dan Trist impressed in providing 13 points (5-of-6 FG) with 6 rebounds in 21 minutes in their thrilling come-from-behind win. In the return bout, it was Bakken who exacted revenge, steamrolling their way to a comprehensive 80-53 victory. Despite 10 points and 6 rebounds from Trist, Horsens were owned in the paint at both ends, with Trist the only one holding his own. The loss has Horsens on the top of the table still, just with a half game lead over second placed Bakken.
Venky Jois posted 5 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in Tartu Rock's solid 85-69 win over Valga in the Estonian Alexela League. His side remains the benchmark this season, with just two losses to date.
Jason Cadee has been injected into the starting lineup at his new Greek side Kymis to great effect, helping them to a 97-65 win over Doxa Lefkadas. The dynamic guard delivered 12 points (4-of-8 FG) with 3 assists and 3 steals in 20 minutes, ensuring his side has a chance to move further up and away the bottom of the table.
Also joining his new Greek A1 League team was Brad Newley. Newley played 9 minutes for AEK Athens, adding just 2 points in a 77-71 win over PAOK Thessaloniki. His side is in outright third palace in the standings behind Greek powerhouse clubs Olympiacos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens.
In the British Basketball League, Bristol connected on a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to defeat London 73-72. Michael Vigor was important for the Flyers in their thrilling win, contributing 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists. It was their ninth win of the season as they look to climb up through the middle of the standings.
Plymouth's aspirations of a top four finish suffered a blow thanks to an 80-98 loss to Glasgow. Daryl Corletto piled on a team-high 21 points on an efficient 8-of-11 shooting with 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. However despite his best efforts, the Raiders were never in the hunt down the stretch. Rhys Carter added 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in the loss.