Jonah Bolden continues to emerge as he enters the half-way mark of his first season of professional basketball in playing in Serbia. He has been able to show he can play inside and out, find the open man, patrol the paint, and also excite the fans with his highlight reel dunks.
FMP Belgrade lost a tight tussle against fellow Serbian side Mega Leks in the Adriatic League. Promising first year forward Jonah Bolden filled the stats sheet, collecting a double-double consisting of 14 points (5-of-12 FG) and 10 rebounds alongside 3 assists, 3 steals and 4 blocked shots. He was simply everywhere, including slamming home two massive dunks, in what proved to be a very close contest. FMP opened strongly before the home side edged ahead at the half to eventually hold off the visitors and record a narrow 76-72 win. FMP will need to beat 12th ranked Krka next week to avoid the chance of being in outright last place.
Make sure you take the time check out Bolden's massive poster!
In Lithuania, Ben Madgen's Lietkabelis Panevezys continued their great season with a hard-fought 93-85 win over third-placed Lietuvos Rytas. Across the first 2 periods, neither team was able to gain the ascendancy, with both sides locked up at 41-all at the main break. Yet Lietkabelis was able to put a little distance between them and Lietuvos Rytas mid-way through the third term, holding on for the 8 point victory. Madgen was rock-solid in 23 minutes, adding 6 points (3-of-6 FG) with 4 rebounds as his coach ran the bench. With the win, Madgen's side is now two games clear in second place and a further two games behind Brock Motum's Žalgiris Kaunas.
Competition powerhouse Žalgiris Kaunas hosted Nevėžis and for the first 5 minutes both teams traded baskets. However from that point on, Žalgiris dominated, pulling away to a commanding 89-62 win. With the result never seriously in doubt, Žalgiris played out their bench, with the entire roster playing 10 minutes or more. Subsequently Brock Motum only saw 12 minutes of action, however in that time he was outstanding. The versatile 6'10 forward hit 4-of-5 from the field to finish with 11 points and 2 rebounds in another polished performance.
Dan Trist came off the bench and played just 17 minutes but poured in 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting (4-of-5 FT) as Horsens IC held off a fast finishing Naestved 92-76 in Denmark. Horsens opened strongly with a 31-22 first period to put them in the front seat. They continued to pull away and would lead by 15 points at half time. Naestved had the better of their opponents on the offensive glass and were able to deliver more scoring output from their bench, yet the competition leaders proved to strong.
Horsens backed up to account for Stevnsgade 98-73 behind a commanding 54-35 second half scoring blitz. Trist's side dominated all facets of the game, with the 6'9 forward adding 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting in 17 minutes off the bench. This time he also added 5 rebounds as his side improved to a league-best 13-1.
Jonathon Mines and Vrijednosnice Osijek played three games over the past week, recording good wins over Kvarner (84-66) and KK Zagreb (75-69). In those two wins, Mines played a role off the bench, adding 3 points and 4 rebounds against Kvarner and 4 points against Zagreb. However, Mines stepped up to the starting line-up in his sides' contest against first placed Jolly Jadranska Banka Sibenik. Mines would connect on 6-of-12 from the field including two triples to finish with a team-high 18 points, also chiming in with 3 rebounds in playing 38 minutes. In a very close game, Vrijednosnice Osijek were outscored by 9 points in the second period, ultimately proving difference in going down 62-64 in a thriller. Vrijednosnice Osijek's winning streak ended at 4 wins, and are now in sixth position with an 8-5 record.
In the British Basketball League. Daryl Corletto was one of six Raiders players to score in double figures a s Plymouth held off Worcester for a close 87-84 win. Corletto piled on a team-high 19 points (6-of-10 FG) with 4 rebounds and 4 assists, while fellow starter Rhys Carter added 13 points and 8 rebounds, as the Raiders came from behind thanks to a 21-11 final term. First year professional Peter Hooley came off the bench to contribute 10 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Plymouth remain mid-table with a 8-6 record and are now currently on a two game winning streak.
The Leuven Bears were no match for Kangoeroes Basket Willebroek in the Belgium EuroMillions League, being overrun 67-100. A blistering 36-21 first term saw the home side get off to a great start, and while Leuven did not allow the lead to balloon out any further in the second period, a telling 26-9 third quarter landed the knockout blow. For the Bears, Clint Steindl had a rare quiet game as he was totally shut down. He only added 2 points on 1-of-10 shooting in 30 minutes and was unusually a non-factor for a team struggling in last place with just 3 wins.