With the season now underway across all corners of Europe, Brock Motum stood tallest of the Aussie men in action as he guided Valencia to their second win in the Spanish ACB.
Motum was one of the most dominant players on court as Valencia accounted for Real Betis 95-72. After a tough start to their EuroLeague season during the week, Valencia bounced back to open up a commanding 26-12 opening term advantage which provided the platform for their big win.
Real Betis would launch a fightback across the second and third terms, closing to within 4 points. However a triple by Motum snuffed out any chances they had, and from there Valencia cruised to victory.
With the win in hand, Valencia ran their bench, with all but one player logging 13 minutes or more. Motum would see just 18 minutes as a starter, providing a an equal game-high 14 points on 5 of 7 shooting including 2 of 2 from the land of plenty. Valencia are now 2-1 to open the season and will look to solidify their position within the top eight with a follow up win against
In Italy, Angus Brandt enjoyed his first opportunity of the season and grabbed it with both hands. The former Perth Wildcat big man started for Pistoia but his side trailed from almost start to finish in a challenging 72-87 loss to a Treviso side featuring New Zealander Isaac Fotu in the Serie A.
Brandt was one of only three Pistoia players to score in double figures, logging 14 points (4-6 FG) with 8 rebounds in 25 minutes. He was one of the most dominant big men on the court, also finding his way to the charity stripe where he made 6 of 8. Fotu was also impressive for the winners, adding an equal game-high 17 points with 5 rebounds.
Žalgiris Kaunas bounced back from their opening round EuroLeague loss during the week to dismantle Lietkabelis 96-79 in the Lithuanian national league. After trailing by 5 at the end of the first time, Žalgiris shifted up a gear or two to power past their overawed opponents and inflict their first defeat of the season. In a contest in which every Žalgiris player registered 10 minutes or more, Jock Landale played 19 minutes for his 5 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
Žalgiris remain at the top of the standings with a 3-0 locked with Rytas Vilnius after the latter side enjoyed a big 86-65 win against Juventus. A notable absentee from that win was Cameron Bairstow, who sat out to recover from a soft tissue injury sustained to a lower leg.
The ABA season opened across the weekend, and finished with FMP Belgrade earning a start to finish 75-65 win against Krka on the road. FMP started on an 11-0 run and have their opponents reeling early. While Krka bounced back in the second term, FMP powered away in the third term before running their bench in the 10 point victory.
6'10 big man Duop Reath started and connected on 2 of 2 from beyond the arc on his way to logging 7 points with 5 rebounds and 2 steals and playing 20 minutes. FMP dominated all aspects of the game and will be looking to continue their good early season form in the next round against Mega Bemax.
Toruń proved too good for Legia Warszawa in the opening round of the Polish national league, defending home court for a 79-70 win. Forward Keanu Pinder started and added 5 points with 10 rebounds and 2 steals in playing 29 minutes. Warszawa will look to record their first win of the season when they take on Anwil Wloclawek this week.
Stalking the sidelines in Israel was Liam Flynn as an assistant coach with Hapoel Jerusalem. His side would go on to earn a 93-81 win over Nes-Ziona to win their season opener.