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EuroView: Dynamic Dillon dominates in Poland
It was another big week in Europe for the Aussie men, with dynamic guard Daniel Dillon delivering in Poland.
Daniel Dillon stuffed the box score for PGE Turow in their narrow 3 point loss to Stelmet Zielona Gora in Poland. The dynamic guard scored 19 points (7/12 FG) alongside 7 rebounds and 6 assists in a complete performance from the former Arizona Wildcat. Dillon played 33 minutes and was one of five Turow players to score in double digits, however despite the spread of play between Turow’s best players, the visitors hot shooting was too good for the hosts.
Stelmet connected on 14/32 from three-point range while also going 21/24 at the line. The ability of the Stelmet lineup to play so well inside and outside kept the opposing defense guessing throughout the contest. The game ultimately came down to the final moments and unfortunately Turow folded when the game counted most. Dillon can hold his head up, as his standard was exceptionally high, which is starting to become the norm as he has adapted to the Polish league and his new team mates.
Still in Poland, Ater Majok enjoyed a big performance in Trefl Sopot's tough 64-70 loss to Slam Stal Ostrow. The 6'10 forward had a great all-round game, delivering a 12 point (5/8 FG) and 11 rebound double-double with 1 assist, 2 steals and 4 blocked shots. Despite Majok's presence in the paint to help earn a 41-30 rebounding advantage, Ostrow's additional depth as evidenced through their scoring output from the bench proved an advantage in earning the victory. With the loss, Trefl Sopot are now 3-12 and fall to second last in the Tauron League.
Lokomotiv Kuban secured an important 78-70 win over Zenit St Petersburg in the most hotly contested game of the round in the VTB United League. Lokomotiv were slow out of the blocks in the first quarter, but rose to the challenge and outscored the visitors 44-31 in the second and third periods. Ryan Broekhoff was cold from downtown (0/3 3PT) yet still managed to finish with 9 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. The versatile swingman played 31 minutes and made his presence felt on the defensive end, something that doesn’t show up in the box score. Broekhoff led Lokomotiv in minutes played (31) and his defense helped tremendously as a strong defensive unit limited St Petersburg to just 3/19 from three-point range. After the invaluable win, Lokomotiv has risen to 6th on the league table.
Brad Newley was second in scoring for Herbalife Gran Canaria as they were comprehensively beaten by Fuenlabrada 92-72 in the Spanish ACB. Newley’s 10 points came on 3/6 shooting from the field and 3/4 at the free-throw line as Gran Canaria struggled at the line, converting just 13/23. While this certainly didn’t help the Gran Canaria cause, Fuenlabrada were just too good on offense. The hosts were a remarkable 15/30 from three-point range and shot 67% from the field on two point attempts. The result was one of the surprises of the round and Gran Canaria would be very disappointed that not only they lost, but in such a poor manner. The win sees Fuenlabrada move to within one game of Gran Canaria in the 5th position in the Liga Endesa.
Over in the LEB Gold competition still in Spain, Mitch McCarron’s Palencia has secured top spot for another week following a hard-fought 91-86 win over Coruna. The game was played at a fast and furious pace, yet McCarron appeared to have trouble adapting, scoring 6 points (2/6 FG) with 2 rebounds and 1 assist. The pace was troubling for McCarron and this was evident in the five fouls he picked up in just 18 minutes on the court. Nevertheless, Palencia charges ahead with an imposing 14-2 record.
Dan Trist scored 12 points with 2 rebounds and 1 assist in Oviedo’s big loss to Penas Huesca also in LEB Gold. In the battle between 5th and 6th on the league table, it was the later the prevailed and as a result, Penas Huesca moved up and into 5th position on the league table. Huesca just did everything a bit better than Oviedo but stamped their authority on the game with their rebounding. Huesca grabbed 37 rebounds, compared to just 23 for Oviedo. Combined with the 17 turnovers Oviedo committed, they just didn’t have enough possessions to put a winning score on the board and, in the end, they were thoroughly outplayed.
No one played more than 24 minutes for BC Zalgiris Kaunas as they crushed Lietkabelis 84-58 in Lithuania. Zalgiris started the match with a 26-14 quarter and were in control from then on. Hence forward Brock Motum only played 16 minutes, providing 6 points and 4 rebounds in that time. Motum did his bit when required and played as well as could be expected in such a big win.
Zalgiris also faced Juventus and improved their record to 17-1 in the process after coming away with a sound 90-78 win. While Motum was sparsely utilised in this game in being limited to just 9 minutes on court (2 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists), Zalgiris executed at both ends to demonstrate their superiority. They landed 11/23 from downtown, 19/22 from the line and also 19/33 from the 2-point territory as they outplayed their opponents. Despite only having 1 loss, Zalgiris are just 1 game ahead of Lietuvos Rytas.
Following two double-digit scoring games, Aleks Maric produced 6 points and 7 rebounds in a big win over Tajfun. His Montenegran side, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, were clearly the better side on both ends of the court and it showed in the final scoreline, 81-61. Tajfun had the edge on the glass, but the hosts did everything else far better and were impressive on defense and the way in which their offensive structure looked to score as a unit. It was a routine performance from the league leaders, who are one game clear on top of the Adriatic League with a 16-2 record.