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EuroView: Mangok Mathiang light continues to shine bright
Mangok Mathiang has been a shining light in what has proven a difficult season for Bahçeşehir Koleji in the Turkish Basketball Super League. With the Australian big man turning in some monster performances, he has been able to help them register their seventh win of the season and have them positioned just 3 wins outside the playoff equation - a position that many would not have predicted earlier in the season/
In their most recent outing, Mathiang played a starring role yet again as Bahçeşehir registered an impressive 91-87 upset win against sixth placed Darüşşafaka. Mathiang was an efficient presence in the paint, shooting a scintillating 9 of 11 from the field on his way to logging 21 points with 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. A 27-13 third quarter set up the win, however not before Bahçeşehir held off a furious final quarter fightback. The former NBA player leads the league in rebounds with 10.6 per game, while he is second in blocks in swatting 1.4 per game.
There were Aussies on both ends of the court when Zadar took on FMP Belgrade in the Adriatic League this week. In a tight game, Dominic Gilbert's Zadar managed to come away with a narrow 81-76 upset win over Duop Reath and FMP thanks to a big 26-18 third term. Gilbert added 4 points and 10 rebounds for the winners, while Reath came up with 7 points and 5 rebounds, both players in starting roles. It was a tough loss for FMP against last placed Zadar, dropping them to seventh place and 2 games outside of the finals equation.
Valencia managed to cling to sixth place in the Spanish ACB courtesy of a 95-66 dismantling of S. Pablo Burgos. Motum poured in 11 points and 4 rebounds in just 11 minutes in the victory. The 2016 Rio Olympian hit all five of his free throws as the minutes were shared around in the lopsided win. It followed his 3 point outing for Valencia in their 86-93 loss to Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague. Unfortunately for Motum, he would not step onto the court in their following game against French side ASVEL Villeurbanne, a game in which Valencia lost 65-72.
Also in EuroLeague, Jock Landale's Zalgiris Kaunas came up with a thrilling home overtime win against Milan to keep their finals aspirations alive after winning their eighth game in 11 outings. Landale contributed a solid 14 points with 2 rebounds as Zalgiris pulled away in extra time for a 105-97 win in front of their frenzied home crowd.
Landale and Zalgiris made light work of CBet in their returning to the Lithuanian league, coming away with a commanding 94-79 win. The Zalgiris bench enjoyed a good workout, with Landale playing just 14 minutes for 5 points and 2 rebounds as his side maintained their 5-game lead in first place in the standings.
Rytas Vilnius stayed in contention for second place in the Lithuanian league as they edged ahead of Juventus 70-66. Cameron Bairstow played a small role off the bench in this outing, chiming in with 3 points and 2 rebounds in 7 minutes.
It was a good bounce back performance from Vilnius who were rebounding from a 61-86 loss to Monaco in the EuroCup, a game in which Bairstow provided 3 points and 5 rebounds in 16 minutes as a starter. the good news is that Rytas would carry over their Lithuanian league form to account for Turkish side Galatasaray 83-75 in their next game. Bairstow had a good outing too, starting again for 9 points and 3 rebounds in playing 14 minutes. It was an important win, keeping their hopes of advancing out of Group G in which they currently boast a 3-3 record.
Harry Froling made his Polish League debut for Spojnia this week, albeit in a 65-85 loss to Slask. Froling was brought off the bench to play a foul plagued 14 minutes, where he added 3 points and 4 rebounds. The loss against sixth ranked Slask has Spojnia sitting in ninth position, just outside the top eight.
Chima Moneke continued his scoring dominance in the French Pro B, compiling 17 points with 5 rebounds as Quimper accounted for his former club Denain 79-51. Moneke made a living from the charity stripe in this game, making an incredible 13 of 14 from the free throw line.
AJ Ogilvy this week signed with Greek A1 side Iraklis. While he is yet to debut with his new team, Iraklis won their most recent game against Ionikos Nikaias 107-75 to cement their playoff position where they currently sit in seventh place.