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EuroView: Duop Reath and Angus Brandt explode
Duop Reath and Angus Brandt delivered exceptional performances in Europe this past week.
In the Adriatic League, Reath was at his scoring best as he led FMP Belgrade to a commanding 98-79 victory against local rivals Mega Bemax. Shooting 9 of 13 from the field and 4 of 6 from the free throw line, Reath delivered a game-high 23 points with 5 rebounds in 25 minutes for FMP. Reath's purple patch in the third term ensured FMP maintained their ascendancy heading into the final term, where they would eventually cruise to a big win and a 2-0 record to open the season.
Brandt delivered his best performance of the season in Italy as Pistoia went down to Roma 67-81. The former Perth Wildcat compiled an impressive 18 points with 7 rebounds and 2 blocks, but a tough third term consigned his team to a fourth straight loss to open the season.
In Lithuania, both Jock Landale and Cameron Bairstow's teams remained unbeaten as they improved their records to 5-0 to sit atop of the standings.
Rytas Vilnius used 13-0 run to put distance between them and Sintek-Dzukija Alytus before steamrolling their way to a 92-54 victory. Bairstow provided 4 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 15 minutes off the bench, with his side shooting a remarkable 62% from inside the arc and 42% from three-point territory in the lopsided win.
Žalgiris Kaunas had a tougher time of it against Neptunas Klaipeda. A 29-13 third quarter set up the win, but not before a blistering finish by the home side closed the margin late to make things interesting. Landale played sparingly, seeing just 6 minutes of court time for 3 rebounds and 3 turnovers.
Landale and Bairstow may well get the chance to go head-to-head next weekend, as Rytas travel to Zalgiris for what promises to be the game of the season to date.
Nikola Mirotic's masterclass helped drag Barcelona to an thrilling 97-94 victory over Brock Motum's Valencia in the Spanish ACB. Mirotic poured in a game-high 33 points alongside 5 rebounds, 6 assists to be a clear standout. Motum on the other hand added 4 points in his foul plagued 18 minutes on court. Valencia are now 2-2 but remain entrenched in the top eight.
Keanu Pinder posted 2 points and 7 rebounds for Legia Warszawa in a narrow 69-72 loss to Astoria Bydgoszcz in the Polish league. In a tight game, Astoria scored the go-ahead winner with less than 10 seconds left to inflict a third straight loss on Legia to open the season.