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EuroView: Dillon delivers in Poland
The Australian and New Zealand men were again in action across Europe last week, with Daniel Dillon piling on a season-high 31 points in a narrow win in Poland, while Mitch McCarron earned some silverware in Spain.
Daniel Dillon dominated as he led PGE Turow to a close victory over Energa Czarni Slupsk in Poland. Dillon was on fire, scoring 31 points (7/12 FG) and dishing out 7 assists with 8 rebounds in 36 minutes of playing time. He did an excellent job getting to the free-throw line too, compiling more than half his haul on an impressive 18/19 attempts on the night. Energa Czarni Slupsk controlled the game in the first half, going into halftime up 46-38. However PGE Turow looked like a different team in the second half, outscoring the opposition 24-16 in the third quarter, and going on the win it 83-81, largely thanks to Dillon's outstanding performance.
Aussie big man Ater Majok had a phenomenal game in Poland too, scored 17 points on an efficient 6/8 shooting with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks for Trefl Sopot against Slask Wroclaw. He was everywhere on both ends of the floor, especially on the defensive end where he did a great job protecting the rim as Slask Wroclaw had trouble getting easy looks at the basket. While Trefl Sopot looked to have the game in the bag as they outscored their opponents in all of the first three-quarters; they'd slip up when it counted most, allowing Slask Wroclaw to show out in the fourth period, as they outscored Trefl 24-14 and went on to win the game with the final score 81-76.
Mitch McCarron and Palencia had a big week in which they secured the 2016 Copa Princess title after accounting for Melilla 87-85 in an epic double overtime victory. While McCarron was quiet offensively, it is his first major championship as a professional.
Aleks Maric led Buducnost VOLI Podgorica to their 20th win in the Adriatic League over Partizan Belgrade. Maric finished the game with 14 points (6/9 FG), 6 rebounds and 4 steals in 26 minutes of playing time. Buducnost Voli dominated the offensive glass 11 rebounds to 4, allowing them to get extra possessions. That came back to hurt Partizan, as they lost the game 78-65.
Verviers-Pepinster looked to end their losing skid as they took on Basic-Fit Brussels in what was a lopsided victory for the opposition in Belgium. Verviers-Pepinster showed some fight from the start, however a strong second quarter showing from their opponents, in which they outscored them 31-14 was the beginning of the end. From there the game went downhill as Brussels Basket came away with the win 92-61. Ben Madgen was the lone bright spot for Verviers-Pepinster, grabbing 8 rebounds and scoring a team-leading 16 points in 30 minutes of action.
In the Spanish ACB, Brad Newley continued playing with the energy and hustle we’ve become accustomed to seeing from him, helping Herbalife Gran Canaria beat Iberostar Tenerife 90-80. He finished with 5 points, making one three-pointer and grabbing 2 rebounds in 21 minutes of playing time. Gran Canaria was in a tight contest all game, as both teams traded baskets and the lead. However Gran Canaria did a good job in getting to the free-throw line (24/29 attempts on the night), which in turn helped them come away with the win.
CAI Zaragoza looked to end their 3 game losing streak as they faced MoraBanc Andorra still in Spain. The opposition would take the lead early, going into the main break up 48-45. In the second half they’d keep piling on the points, winning the game 91-81. Zaragoza’s defense was vulnerable, allowing Andorra to shoot 55% from the field. It also didn’t help much that Isaac Fotu didn’t look like his usual self, scoring only 5 points (1/3 FG) in 18 minutes of playing time.
ASVEL-Lyon-Villeurbanne lost badly in an uncharacteristic 84-63 blowout to Strasbourg IG in France. ASVEL had no answer to stopping Strasbourg’s high power offense, as they led from start to finish and shooting 50% on the night. David Andersen had a quiet game for his liking, adding 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists with 1 block. He also showed off his excellent shooting form, making 3/4 three-point attempts on the night the team would rather forget.
In the VTB United League, Lokomotiv Kuban faced BC Astana in what was a competitive game that would come down to the wire. Throughout the game, defense was the last thing on either sides' minds, as it was a high scoring affair. As the game came to the closing seconds, the score was tied 89-89. However Malcolm Delaney stepped up hitting a clutch basket and leading Lokomotiv to victory, 91-89. Ryan Broekhoff played well as Lokomotiv outscored Astana by 9 points in his 24 minutes of playing time. He finished the game with 14 points (6/12 FG), 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. For Astana, former Australian now Khazahkstan national Anatoly Kolesnikov (Bose) chipped in 9 points and 3 rebounds off the bench.
BC Zalgiris Kaunas came away as victors in a lopsided 89-57 win over Neptunas in Lithuania. Zalgiris came out with a dominating first quarter in which they outscored their opponents 28-13. From there the game went downhill, as Neptunas had trouble scoring all game no thanks to Zalgiris' stifling defense. Brock Motum was a key contributor in the win, scoring 14 points (6/10 FG) and making a pair of three-pointers in 26 minutes of action. His defense was on full display all game, as he shut down the opposing big-men.