EuroView: Goulding outshines the Outback Shaq
There was no rest over the holidays for many of Europe’s best teams as Goulding, Broekhoff, Newley and Anderson were in action twice this week. Many teams struggled with the fatigue and two of our Aussies faced off over in Spain.
Nathan Jawai & Chris Goulding
In his debut for Andorra in the Spanish ACB, Nate Jawai came up against fellow Boomer Chris Goulding, as Jawai helped Andorra record a surprise 72-59 victory of CAI Zaragoza. Although Jawai’s team came away with the victory, it was Goulding who excelled. Goulding showed his range which has been on display in the EuroCup. He scored 17 points, going 4/7 from downtown and matching his Eurocup form, where he shot 45% from behind the arc. Although Goulding’s shooting was a bright spot for CAI Zaragoza, the team as a whole was stifled. Andorra played an effective 2-3 zone, which crippled Zaragoza’s offense and held them to 36% shooting from the floor. Jawai was solid in his debut with 8 points and 3 rebounds in just 13 minutes as he looks to integrate himself into Andorra’s line up. Despite his limited minutes and minimal impact on the box score, Jawai asserted himself on the court and made his presence felt with mismatches on both ends of the court in a performance that shows promise for the future.
CAI Zaragoza responded from the disappointing loss with a 105-94 home victory against Laboral Kutxa. Goulding again chipped in with 17 points on 12 shots as CAI Zaragoza showed an improved effort as they impressed their coach Joaquin Ruiz with their tenacity on offense. However, it was the rebounding and defence in the definitive moments that stamped their authority on the match and showed that if it all comes together in the future they can contend for the Copa Del Ray.
Also in Spain, Brad Newley had a mediocre week as his Herbalife Gran Canaria came away with a pair of wins. First off, was an uneventful 88-77 victory over Baloncesto Fuenlabrada who sit fifteenth on the league table. Newley was solid, yet unspectacular with 13 points as he went 5/10 from the field. Whilst not prolific, Newley was able to come up with baskets when needed as his team showed an improved defensive game yet, struggled to score for stretches of the match. The game was up and down as the pace of Gran Canaria was countered by the strength and power of their opponent.
Two days later, Gran Canaria would be pushed to the limit in a thriller as they required overtime to defeat Ucam Murica CB 85-89. In a game where both defenses shut the perimeter down, Newley scored just two buckets and went 0/4 from three-point range as he scored 7 points to pair with 3 rebounds. The victory was crucial for Gran Canaria as they head into 2015 with an even 7-7 record and will look to improve both domestically and abroad in the EuroCup.
It was a rough Christmas for Ryan Broekhoff in Turkey as he produced just 2 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist in Besiktas Integral Forex’s Christmas Day match against cellar dwellers Eskisehir Basket. In a game that went according to script, Besiktas dominated down low with 48 points in the paint compared to Eskisehir Basket’s 28. Besiktas came away with an 87-79 victory as they outclassed their opponents in every way, shooting 55% from the field with a polished offensive effort. This was the fifth consecutive win for Besiktas, and it gave them great momentum for their next matchup against eighth ranked Torku Konyaspor Basket.
Away from home, Besiktas was in red-hot form to start the game as they opened up a 31-18 lead over Torku Konyaspor Basket. Broekhoff was instrumental in the first quarter and throughout the game as he scored 15 points on just 6 shots. Ryan also contributed 8 rebounds and 2 steals in 30 minutes. After the first quarter, the match was a tight affair as Torku Konyaspor Basket moved the ball well and troubled the Besiktas defense. Besiktas managed to hold off the opposition's surges as they closed out a 79-84 victory to tie league leaders Anadolu Efes and Fenerbache Ulker Istanbul with a 10-3 record. Broekhoff will look to repeat his performance in the next game in the top of the table clash with Anadolu Efes when he matches up on the twelfth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Dario Saric.
Also in Turkey, Aleks Maric had a quiet debut for Galatasaray Liv Hospital following his departure from Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv as he added 2 points and 1 rebound in 7 minutes for the visitors as they clinched a 77-79 victory over rival Darrussafaka Dogus. Maric will look to improve and play his way into a permanent role, as he was unable to do so at Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv.
Aleks Maric of Maccabi Tel-Avi - Courtesy Euroleague
It was also a busy week for David Andersen in France as his Asvel Lyon Villeurbanne were in action twice in the past week. In the first game Asvel jumped out of the blocks with a 20-7 first quarter, as they went on to record an 80-67 victory over Le Mans. Asvel was surprisingly energised at home. They dominated the boards 37-24 and displayed a well-rounded offense as they produced a season high 23 assists. In Andersen’s second game back from injury he had 7 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists in 24 minutes. He struggled noticeably with shooting the ball, going 3/10 from the field.
Just two days later Asvel was again in action at home against STB Le Havre. Andersen and his Asvel teammates started the game well, but fatigue showed itself after. They were outscored 23-36 through the latter half, which resulted in STB Le Havre cruising to a surprise 54-65 win. Andersen played a minor role in this game. After an initial burst of 5 consecutive points in the first quarter, he ended up recording a total of 11 points and 3 rebounds in 21 minutes. Asvel will go into the New Year strengthened by the addition of former Detroit Pistons guard and 2014 Pro A league Finals MVP Alex Acker. Asvel will look to Acker to create on offense, following the departures of Edwin Jackson and Travis Bader.
Over at Poland, Daniel Johnson continues to struggle for minutes in the strong Stelmet Zielona Gora frontcourt as his team recorded a crucial 73-59 victory over third ranked Rosa Radom. Johnson played 11 minutes as he contributed 5 points and 1 rebound as Stelmet ZG played an aggressive style, opening up a 16 point lead in the first quarter as Rosa Radom were forced into committing 26 fouls. The triumph saw Stelmet ZG move above Rosa Radom and into third position, tied with Slask Wroclaw by way of a 10-3 record.