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EuroView: Broekhoff performs in top of the table clash
Ryan Broekhoff was the lone bright spot for Aussies in Europe this week. Broekhoff rose to the occasion in the most important game of the season so far, as many Aussies failed to perform in welcoming in the New Year.
In the Turkish top of the table clash Ryan Broekhoff played a pivotal role for Besiktas Integral Forex in a heartbreaking one-point loss to Anadolu Efes. Away from home, Anadolu Efes came away with victory 77-78. They dictated the tempo and got to the line at will, making up for their poor outside shooting with dominant post play and slick ball movement. Broekhoff made a fine contribution for Besiktas with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block and 1 assist. He was the secondary offensive option throughout the game and made the most of his opportunities, converting 3/6 from three-point range and going 5/5 at the line. The loss ended Besiktas five-game winning streak and leaves them in second position on the table.
Brad Newley’s Spanish side Herbalife Gran Canaria worked hard to defeat last placed Balconesto Sevilla in a 71-70 thriller. Gran Canaria played poorly for periods throughout the game, however in the decisive moments they rose to the occasion with Kyle Kuric sinking a three-pointer with 13 seconds left for the win. Gran Canaria’s defence was frantic for the duration as they forced Sevilla into 24 turnovers. While Newley was on fire early for the hosts, stealing the ball and scoring in transition, before proceeding to sink a triple on the next play to open up a five-point lead. Newley finished the game with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal in just 17 minutes. It was the third consecutive win for Gran Canaria and lifted their record to 8-7 and eighth place on the league table.
It was business as usual for sharpshooter Chris Goulding’s CAI Zaragoza in the Spanish ACB, as they took care of La Bruixa d’Or 57-73. Zaragoza displayed a robust defence and an equally strong offense throughout the game; however their defence was at the fore in the final quarter as they held thirteenth ranked La Bruixa d’Or to just 6 points. Goulding performed respectably in limited minutes with 10 points, and 2 rebounds in 21 minutes. Goulding was an afterthought on offense often, as Serbian big man Stevan Jelovac was the focal point. Zaragoza will hope to continue their strong defence when they take on Herbalife Gran Canaria, in a match between Goulding and fellow Boomer Brad Newley.
Still in Spain, Real Madrid visited Nate Jawai’s Morabanc Andorra for the first time in 20 years and left their mark, with Real Madrid winning 70-79. Jawai was quiet with 8 points and 6 rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench, as he continues to search for more minutes at his new club. Andorra troubled the favourites throughout, until the final term when Madrid’s Rudy Fernandez hit three consecutive triples to put the game beyond reach. Madrid showed intensity on both ends of the court, at a level befitting of their position as the league’s second best team. The loss leaves Andorra in 13th position on the league table and searching for answers and improvement.
It was an improved performance in Poland for Daniel Johnson as his Stelmet Zielona Gora recorded a blowout 75-103 victory over Pholpharma. Stelmet rested their starters after they opened up 27 point lead at the half. Johnson was able to work within the flow of the offense, shooting 5/7 from the field to put up 10 points and 3 rebounds in 12 minutes. The victory extended Stelmet’s winning streak to seven and put them in strong position in second place on the league table.
In Slovenia Majok Majok came off the bench again and performed admirably with 11 points and 4 rebounds in 16 minutes. Majok played an effective role as he went 5/8 from the floor for Helios Domzale in their 82-84 loss to Portoroz. Helios took the game to Portoroz, playing an aggressive style on offense that led to 22 assists, but also 15 turnovers. Both team now head into their second game of 2015 with a 4-7 record and pressing for improvement and a rise up the league table.