Round 2 of Eurocup and Euroleague action has been won and done. Yet again there were some great performances by the Australian men, including some that came in tight affairs.
We commence with all the Aussie action from Eurocup where Ryan Broekhoff continues to come up big for Besiktas.
On the road against Zenit St Petersburg in Russia, Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul came away with a nail-biting 90-86 overtime victory to improve to 2-0 in Group D. Besiktas blew a double-digit lead in the third quarter and missed the potential game-winner in regulation but were able to hold on thanks to American import Chris Lofton's 32 point outburst and late-game heroics. However he had great support from Australian FIBA World Cup representative Ryan Broekhoff who continues to demonstrate his ongoing improvement with 17 points (3/5 3PT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots in 29 minutes of action. He came up with a big blocked shot in overtime to ensure Besiktas remained ahead for good.
Across the opening two Eurocup games the Australian is averaging an impressive 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 steals per game; he will be integral to Besiktas' chances in their next game back in the Turkish League against the currently undefeated Royal Hali Gaziantep.
CAI Zaragoza were on the wrong end of a tip-in at the buzzer in overtime as they lost a dramatic 86-88 result to French outfit SIG Strasbourg on the road. The Spanish visitors did not do a whole lot wrong and looked set to force a second extra period before a last second effort from Strasbourg saw them return home empty-handed. Australian Boomer Chris Goulding continued his emergence, contributing 15 points including 3/3 on triples as he now seems to have found his rhythm in playing in Europe. He also dished out 2 assists as a starter in 29 minutes. Zaragoza are now 1-1 in Group A and next take on Fuenlabrada in the Spanish ACB.
Brad Newley's Herbalife Gran Canara Las Palmas continued their good form in earning an 83-76 road win in Belgium against Telenet Ostend. With the solid win away from home, Gran Canaria improve to 2-0 in Group B. South Australian Newley was his consistent self, chiming in with 6 points, 1 rebound and 2 steals in just 16 minutes. Gran Canaria next face Unicaja in the Spanish ACB and will need Newley at his best to carry over their great Eurocup form.
In a battle of two French sides, ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne took on JDA Dijon in a game that was close from start to finish. The game featured an amazing 20 lead changes, with Australian veteran David Andersen was once again in the thick of the action. Despite Andersen delivering 11 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assist, ASVEL were unable to withstand a final Dijon surge at home to prevent a harrowing 77-78 loss. ASVEL are now 1-1 in Group B, 1 game behind Gran Canaria and Dijon ahead of their French Pro A encounter with Bourg.
Rounding out round 2 of action, Daniel Johnson and Stelmet Zielona Gora ran into a red-hot PAOK Thessaloniki in Greece. Johnson played a key role in ensuring his Polish side remained in touch with the Greek's in the third term, however they were outgunned in the final period, going down 66-85. The Australian forward finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds in 24 minutes, yet it was not enough to prevent his team to slumped to 0-2 to open Group F competition. Zielona Gora's challenge ahead does not get any easier as they next tackle the undefeated AZS Koszalin back in the Polish league.
2014 Euroleague beaten semifinalists CSKA Moscow gained some retribution with a 99-80 blowout of reigning champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv in Group B. Australian center Aleks Maric was highly efficient on the offensive end, going 4/4 from the field on his way to 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block in just 18 minutes on court. The damaged was done however in the third period, with CSKA Moscow outscoring their Israeli opponents 32-13 ensuring they improved to 2-0 while Maccabi were reduced to 1-1 in Group B. Maccabi will be hoping to return to the winner's list when they next take on Ironi Nahariya in the Israeli Winner League.
Turkish side Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul earned their first win of the Euroleague competition in holding off a late Valencia challenge to win 71-64 in Group D. Australian big man Nathan Jawai was used sparingly in playing just 8 minutes for 3 points, 3 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. Hosts Galatasaray won the game in restricting their Spanish opponents to just 12 points in each of the first two terms while scoring a combined 47 points of their own. They will be looking for a further win when they next face Erdirne Eskisehir back in the Turkish League.
Euroleague Top 10 Plays of the Week: Round 2
Some great plays in this week's highlight reel! Check it out...