First year professional forward Jonah Bolden once again showed that he is NBA-caliber, delivering a massive performance in Serbia, complete with another highlight reel.
Bolden delivered a sublime performance in Serbia that is sure to have further excited NBA scouts. Bolden was outstanding, exploding for 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting that included 4-of-8 on three-pointers as FMP Belgrade held off Mornar Bar 92-85. The 6'10 forward did his damage inside and out, slamming home some monstrous dunks while also adding 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in a complete performance. FMP were the more efficient team behind the play of Bolden, scoring on 27 assists and shooting 66.7% from the field and 57.9% from beyond the arc in winning their third straight game.
In the VTB United League, Lokomotiv Kuban opened with a dominant 29-16 first quarter against Kalev and then powered away for a 95-64 win. Ryan Broekhoff played his role, adding 7 points with 4 rebounds in 25 minutes of action. In the blowout win, Lokomotiv played their entire roster with just one player unable to score. Now boasting an impressive 10-2 record, Lokomotiv is in second place, locked with Unics Kazan and 1 game behind CSKA Moscow. Lokomotiv's Aussie sharpshooting swingman has quietly moved into 4th place for three-point shooting percentage, connecting at a 50% clip (21-of-42).
After a tight opening term, Neptūnas ran away from Lietkabelis Panevezys to record a convincing 86-61 win in Lithuania. Neptūnas got it done from long-range, landing 14-of-26 three-pointers to Lietkabelis' 6-of-25, while they also dominated the rebound count 27-25. Australian guard Ben Madgen was just one of two players to score in double digits for Lietkabelis, adding 11 points (4-of-8 FG) with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. It was not Lietkabelis' night, losing just their 5th game of the season which resulted in a slide to 3rd position.
Pieno žvaigždės put up a fight against Lithuanian leaders Žalgiris Kaunas. There was only 3 points separating the teams in a tough, defensive contest before Žalgiris pulled away in the third period thanks to a 19-9 term. While Pieno žvaigždės fought back, they were not able to prevent a 56-63 loss. Brock Motum was one of the keys to Žalgiris' win, one of three players to score in double figures with 11 points (2-of-4 3PT) and 3 rebounds. Žalgiris remain alone at the top of the league standings, 4 games clear of their closest rivals.
Horsens IC bounced back after a rare loss to easily dispatch Randers 102-69 in Denmark. Forward Dan Trist came off the bench to connect on 4-of-7 from the field for 8 points with 5 rebounds and 4 steals in the big win. Behind the play of Trist, Horsens IC forced Randers into 23 turnovers while outscoring their bench 39-21. The win ensures Horsens IC remain in first place in the standings with Bakken hot on their heels.
Joining Trist in Denmark is Queensland guard Matthew Adekponya who has signed with Naestved. After his most recent stint in Europe in playing for the Nidaros Jets in Norway, Adekponya made his debut in an 89-66 win over SISU Copenhagen. He came off the bench to add 6 points on 3-of-4 shooting with 2 rebounds in 11 minutes. Naestved is locked in equal 4th position with Horsholm and hoping Adekponya can help them reach the post-season.
Estonian competition benchmark Tartu Rock handed 7th ranked Tarvas a 110-64 masterclass. Tartu did their best work in the paint, outscoring their opponent 56-30 as they completed dominated the contest. Forward Venky Jois started and while adding just 2 points, he pulled down 7 rebounds with 2 assists as Tartu ran their entire roster with all but one player scoring.
After an injury interrupted season with Melbourne United, Igor Hadziomerovic signed to play with Araberri in the Spanish second division (LEB Gold). In a 72-80 loss to Melilla, Hadziomerovic would make his debut, playing 8 minutes off the bench for 2 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. His side was beaten on the boards but also in bench scoring, falling to 7th place in what is a very close competition.