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EuroView: December standouts and an untimely injury (12-Dec-13)
Steve Tibb has joined The Pick and Roll team and takes a quick look back over the European basketball action over the past week and provides coverage on the Australians in action.
In front of 11,000 fans, Joe Ingles and Maccabi Tel-Aviv hosted Aleks Maric and Lokomotiv Kuban to start December in Euroleague action. It was Ingles’ team that ended the game on an 8-0 run to escape with a 75-73 win and move into equal standing with Lokomotiv Kuban at 6-2 in group D of the EuroLeague.
Maric had a solid outing off the bench, logging 23 minutes of action with 7 points on 3/5 shooting and 3 rebounds. It was Ingles though who stole the show with a great ‘do-it-all’ performance. Scoring 9 points on 3/4 from long range alongside team-bests’ of 6 assists and 7 rebounds, he guided Maccabi Tel-Aviv to victory.
Ingles next Euroleague game is against Lietuvos Rytas on the 12 of December and Maric takes on Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos on 13 December.
The rest of Europe
Brock Motum has had two games thus far in December with mixed results for himself and his team Virtus Bologna. In the upset loss to Grissin Bon in Serie A, Motum was quiet, only contributing 6 points. A week later in the matchup against Enel Brindisi, Bologna pulled an upset victory over the league leaders and snapped their 6 game winning streak. Motum was the standout with 20 points on 7/12 shooting that included a healthy 4/6 from beyond the arc and 2/2 from the line. Motum continues his outstanding rookie season with Bologna on 15 December against 12th placed Juve Caserta in a bid to gain a share of top spot.
Over in the Ukrainian league, Daniel Kickert had a big game against his former team Budivelnyk. He scored 21 points and pulled down 5 rebounds, but it didn’t stop Azovmash getting blown out 65-82. In the following game against Krasnie Krilya, Azovmash lost 79-76 and thus are on a 4 game losing streak. In this game, Kickert cut his hand on the sideline LCD screens and as a result will miss the next 2-3 games. Up until that point he had posted 11 points and 5 rebounds in 32 minutes of action. Kickert is averaging 20 points per game in an outstanding start to the season for Azovmash, so they will be keen to get their big Aussie back on the court to help arrest their mid-season slump.
Brad Newley’s Gran Canaria (arguably the most desirable place to live in Europe) has had two road games through December so far in the Spainish ACB, with Newley’s 4th placed team taking on 2nd placed Valencia first up. After a tight tussle for the entire game, Gran Canaria lost 70-74, with Valencia stretching their 7 game winning streak to 8. Only one game now separates them and the undefeated Real Madrid (9-0) for top spot. Newley had 10 points, 5 assists and 1 rebound in the narrow loss. In the second game of the road trip, Gran Canaria won a thrilling overtime contest over 16th placed Blusens. The Aussie swingman lead his team with 19 points on 8/15 shooting, to go with 5 rebounds and 1 assist. Gran Canaria is hanging onto 4th spot which they share with Spanish powerhouse Barcelona.
Whilst no-one had multiple outstanding games to begin December, my player of the week must go to Joe Ingles. He displayed all of his considerable talent in his team’s Euroleague win with a stat line of 9 point, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Who is your player of the week?