EuroView: Broekhoff and Motum hot from downtown
Ryan Broekhoff and Brock Motum will be used in the same sentence a lot this season as both continue to thrive in their new Euroleague clubs. Aleks Maric continued to turn back the clock with another big double-double, while rising stars Mitch McCarron and Dan Trist continue to impress in the Spanish second division.
Ryan Broekhoff was the leading-scorer for Lokomotiv Kuban with 16 points in a comfortable victory over bottom-ranked Vita Tbilisi in the VTB United League. Lokomotiv were a class above and it showed in the final score line as they ran out victors 63-76 on the back of great ball movement and defense. Broekhoff was utilised as an outside threat, hitting 4/9 from three-point range to go with 5 rebounds and 3 assists. The Boomer thrived on the outside and looked very comfortable working within the offense to get outside looks. The result was never in doubt, as Lokomotiv were clearly the better and made the most of their opportunities.
Lithuanian league-leaders BC Zalgiris Kaunas remain unbeaten after defeating Pieno Zvaigzdes 103-74. Brock Motum played his part in the resounding victory, gathering 13 points (5/9 FG) and 4 rebounds in 24 minutes. What was most impressive was the range Motum displayed, sinking 3/4 from deep and making a case for himself as a legitimate stretch-4, which has looked like as possibility for a while now.
Motum started and his play was one of the reasons the minutes were spread evenly, with Zalgiris establishing a 26 point lead at the half. The result was never in doubt as the five-time defending champions put on an offensive master class, shooting 52% from three-point range and recording 25 assists. It continues a good week for both Zalgiris and Motum after their strong performance in the Euroleague.
Aleks Maric has found a new lease of life at Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, delivering a massive 12 point and 13 rebound double-double in an 83-72 win over Metalac. In just 18 minutes he put in a dominating performance, one that is sure to be raising eyebrows across Europe as he continues his resurgence. Thanks to the play of their veteran Australian center, Buducnost is in first place in the Adriatic League with a 7-1 record.
Dan Trist was the dominant force for Oviedo in their close encounter with Caceres Patrimonio. Trist put up 19 points and 8 rebounds, driving Oviedo to a 82-78 victory. Trist was very efficient in his play, converting 8/14 from the field and getting involved for all of his 35 minutes. It was a valuable win for Oviedo and one that keeps them in contention with the main pack of teams in the LEB Gold. With a solid team display in which they looked for the extra pass and looked after the ball, they still lacked a presence on the glass as they were outrebounded 31-22. Trist is putting together a very nice season and is making a name for himself in the Spanish second division, ensuring scouts have their eyes on him in the upcoming years.
Also in the LEB Gold competition, Mitch McCarron started and played 25 minutes for Palencia in their victory over Castello, 95-101. Palencia established a comfortable lead in the first half before a final quarter of fireworks from both sides.
Castello outscored Palencia 39-31 in a crazy final quarter in which both teams went toe-to-toe in a frantic, yet excellent offensive display. However, it was still not enough to overcome the lead built by Palencia in the first half. McCarron was a fine contributor for Palencia with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist. Following his 10 point outing last week, McCarron was 6/10 from the field in this game and looked very comfortable, at times flashing glimpses of his Metro State form from his final year of college.
Over in the French Pro A League, David Andersen scored 14 points as ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne defeated Dijon 69-67 in a contest full of momentum swings. At home, ASVEL managed to shut down the visitors’ penetration, holding Dijon to just seven points in the first quarter and extending the lead to 13 at the half. An exciting third quarter saw Dijon draw within three as the both teams proceeded to trade blows in the final quarter.
ASVEL eventually prevailed in a scintillating final term, though it was not without the contribution of Andersen. The veteran tallied 14 points and 5 rebounds in just 27 minutes. Andersen showed off his wide skill range, shooting from range and banging in the paint when needed. ASVEL now sit on top of the French Pro A League with a 5-1 record.
Following issues with back pain, Brad Newley played just 10 minutes in Herbalife Gran Canaria’s 77-67 loss to Laboral Kutxa in the Spanish ACB. After problems with his elbow in previous weeks, Newley sat out training in the lead up to the game with back issues that eventually limited him against Laboral Kutxa. Gran Canaria missed Newley's presence (0 PT, 2 assists) as they managed to hold on for the first three-quarters before the home side blew them away in the final term. With the win, Laboral Kutxa has moved up to third on the table while Gran Canaria remains in fourth position. The status of Newley remains uncertain at this stage, with more information yet available.
In Belgium, Ben Madgen scored 17 points on just 7 field goal attempts when VOO Verviers-Pepinster defeated Kangoeroes 87-97. Madgen was in everything for the visitors, shooting 3/4 from three-point range, 4/4 at the line and collecting 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Throughout the contest, Verviers-Pepinster played well and looked just that bit sharper. Verviers-Pepinster were not completely dominant; they just converted important opportunities that Kangoeroes failed to convert.
Daniel Dillon came back to earth after his brilliant double-double, scoring 7 points (3/5 FG) with 4 assists and 3 turnovers in PGE Turow’s 78-92 loss to Rosa Radom. Dillon was serviceable but lacked the production Turow would have hoped for. The loss was costly for Turow as they fall to 13th on the league table with just one win from five games.