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EuroView: Broekhoff and Madgen go on a scoring spree
Broekhoff continued his shot shooting in guiding Lokomotiv Kuban to a win over the league-leaders in the VTB United League, while Ben Madgen exploded in Belgium with a massive offensive display.
Ryan Broekhoff’s 18 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists helped Lokomotiv Kuban secure their biggest win of the season with a 88-94 victory over VTB United League leaders CSKA Moscow. Lokomotiv delivered CSKA just their third loss this season on the back of a scintillating three-point shooting display. In a game with fine margins and played at a very high intensity, Lokomotiv connected on 15/32 three-pointers to gain the ascendancy in an entertaining battle.
Broekhoff was the catalyst for the visitors, converting on 5/7 three-point attempts to form a threatening outside combination with former NBA Lottery pick Anthony Randolph (28 points, 5/6 3PT). Lokomotiv thrived in a chaotic contest, with turnovers and assists the theme. CSKA committed 19 turnovers and delivered 19 assists, compared to 17 turnovers and 21 assists for the victors. Both teams played at a similar level throughout the game, although Lokomotiv raised their game to next level in the final quarter (24-32) and managed to hit the big shots when they counted. The result sets Lokomotiv up extremely well ahead of their next outing where they meet fourth-ranked BC Khimky at home.
Ben Madgen had a field day for Verviers-Pepinster in their 93-87 win over Leuven, scoring 28 points with 9 rebounds in an outstanding display in the Scooore League in Belgium. Madgen really was the story of the day as he did what he wanted and impacted the game on both ends of the floor. Leading the league in scoring (18.7 PPG), Madgen showed off his versatility in shooting 10/19 from the field and 4/8 from three-point range. When Madgen wasn’t shooting from downtown, he was getting to the rim and earning trips to the charity stripe (4/7 FT).
If there was anything Madgen could work on, it would be his passing game. On nights like this when the defense puts a focus on Madgen it would be good to see him make that extra pass, as often his threat alone opens up opportunities for his teammates. Despite having the leading-scorer, Verviers-Pepinster have just six wins, showing that sometimes an extra pass might be better off in the long run. Nevertheless, it was just the Wolves sixth win of the season and was much needed.
ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne halted a four game slide with a dominant 65-99 win over 17th ranked SPO Rouen in the French Pro A. ASVEL doubled their opponents score in the first quarter with a striking 17-34 opening quarter. Over the next two quarters the hosts put up a challenge and held the versatile ASVEL offense at bay. But, the swift ball movement and strong rebounding came back in the final quarter and ASVEL finished off with a polished 12-29 output. While Charles Kahudi led ASVEL with 25 points, David Andersen was restricted to just 6 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 20 minutes. Andersen was 3/6 from the field and failed to get off a three-point attempt despite ASVEL’s great game from behind the arc (13/21 3PT). ASVEL needed this victory to keep in the race for one of the top spots and the win has ensured they remain in sixth, two wins behind top ranked Strasbourg.
Brad Newley failed to make the most of an easier game against bottom-ranked Gipuzkoa in the Spanish ACB. It was a routine victory for Herbalife Gran Canaria, making the most of their chances at the charity stripe (22/27) as Gipuzkoa committed 25 personal fouls in the 79-87 loss. Both teams failed to execute to the best of their abilities and the game wasn’t the greatest spectacle, but this was no surprise given Gipuzkoa’s form this season. Unfortunately for Newley, he failed to capitalise on the weak defense, scoring just 3 points and 4 rebounds in 18 minutes as court time was shared among the roster. Fifth-ranked Gran Canaria have a potentially season-defining game against fourth-ranked Real Madrid next week.
BC Zalgiris Kaunas were given a surprisingly spirited display by eighth-ranked Pieno Zvaigzdes, though Zalgiris were good enough to grind out the 101-109 victory in Lithuania. While Zalgiris were by no means bad, it wasn’t their most impressive performance. The game started at a high intensity and ratcheted up until the final quarter when Zalgiris suffocated Zvaigzdes on offense and restricted them to just 9 points. Brock Motum played just 17 minutes and contributed 10 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist in a solid outing. Motum was 4/4 on 2PT attempts, but failed to find his range from deep (0/3 3PT). It was the 23rd win of the season for Zalgiris and at this stage of the season it really was just about ticking boxes and getting the win as they appear to be destined for the final two.
Thirteenth-ranked Sutjeska recorded one of the upsets of the season as they recorded a 92-91 OT victory over league-leaders Buducnost VOLI Podgorica in the Adriatic League. Sutjeska secured the win simply by hitting the big shots when they counted, with both teams failing to find their range for the entirety of the game it was a contest dominated by defense. Both defenses played well and Sutjeska managed to shut down Buducnost in the paint, allowing just 45% of 2PT looks for the hosts. Aleks Maric found it difficult scoring, with just 4 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes. Maric just wasn’t allowed to work into the game on offense, but made the most of his opportunities on the glass. Buducnost have built such as lead that even with the loss they sit four wins clear of second-ranked Cedevita.
PGE Turow were thoroughly outplayed by Polfarmex Kutno in Poland, despite starting off the game with some promising play. Turow had a two-point lead after the first quarter, but it was all down hill from there as Kutno ran out winners 84-69. Turow faded badly, while the hosts picked up their level. Daniel Dillon was a barometer for Turow as he had a forgettable day with 8 points, 4 assists, 4 turnovers and 1 rebound in 24 minutes and the rest of the team played at a similar level. The result was to be expected given that Polfarmex sit in sixth position on the table, but it was the way in which Turow lost, without a whole lot of fight or skill.
Dan Trist contributed 7 points in a comfortable 8-point win over Forca Lleida in the Spanish second division. Trist came off the bench for minimal impact as Oviedo put on a fine offensive display with 15 assists ensuring a number of high quality opportunities. The inability of Oviedo to convert from long-range ensured that Lleida were able to remain in the contest for the majority of the match. Trist played 18 minutes and was amongst the play, but failed to fully establish himself as an offensive threat consistently throughout the contest. It was an important victory for Oviedo as it ensures they remain one game ahead of fourth ranked Burgos and Penas Huesca.
Still in the Spanish LEB Oro, Mitch McCarron scored 7 points in 14 minutes in a fine contribution off the bench as Palencia fell 74-70 to CB Clavijo. Palencia really put themselves in hole with their three-point shooting, converting just 3/18 allowing Clavijo to get a hold of the match. Palencia were due for an off game and in a show of their standing within the league, they still made the game a tight battle.