Mangok Mathiang and Doup Reath both delivered big games in Europe this week.
Mathiang came up with a big game when it mattered as his struggling Bahecesir gained a much-needed 92-91 overtime win against the higher ranked Besiktas in the Turkish Super League.
Mathiang compiled an imposing 20 points (, 14 rebounds with 6 blocked shot to help ensure his team won a 5th game of the season and move further away from the competition cellar. In playing a herculean 50 minutes, more than any other player in the game, Mathiang shot an efficient 8 of 13 from the field while converting a perfect 4 of 4 from the free throw line in a monster performance.
Mathiang's performance followed another solid effort in the FIBA Europe Cup, albeit in a tough 68-100 loss to Pinar Karsiyaka. While he contributed 6 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocked shots, he was restricted to just 24 minutes of playing time before fouling out. His team now has a 1-2 record in Group L in the second round, and will need to bounce back against Enisey Krasnoyarsk this week.
FMP Belgrade endured a tough outing against Ogokea in the Adriatic League, going down 82-91 despite a big game from forward Duop Reath.
After giving up a 9 point lead in the opening term, FMP were never able to reel in the margin in a solid contest. Reath was impressive, scoring a team-high 19 points on 7 of 10 shooting, including 4 of 5 three-pointers. He also managed 7 rebounds with 1 steal in playing almost 28 minutes. FMP are now tied for 4th place and with work ahead of them.
Also in the ABA Liga, Dominic Gilbert started for Zadar and provided 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in a 60-89 loss to Cibona Zagreb. Zadar are in second last place, just a single game out of the relegation zone.
Despite a big performance from Angus Brandt who delivered his third double-double of the season, OriOra Pistoia fell short to Dolomiti Energia Trentino 71-74 in the Italian Serie A. Pistoia were undone when Trentino pulled away in the second term, putting the defensive locks on as they opened up an 11 point lead. While Pistoia finished strongly, they could not find a way to steal the win.
Brandt started and scored 10 points with a game-high 13 rebounds in 29 minutes, donating $10 per point and rebound he delivered to the Australian bushfire relief, an effort his team replicated. While the big man is averaging over 10 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, his side is remains in 15th position in the standings.
After suffering their first defeat of the season against Lietkabelis last week, Zalgiris Kaunas backed back for their 17th victory in a narrow 89-84 win against Nevezis. In a quiet offensive game for Jock Landale, Zalgiris withstood a furious final quarter charge to register a 5 point win. Landale added 5 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 25 minutes.
While Zalgiris maintained a 5 game lead on second place in the Lithuanian league, in the EuroLeague they fell to a red-hot Real Madrid 82-88. Landale was one of four Zalgiris players to score in double figures, adding 11 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals, however try as he may, Zalgiris could not find a way to stop Real Madrid winning their 13th game in a row. Landale donated $3,500 to the Australian bushfire appeal throughout his efforts.
Brock Motum played less than 2 minutes in Valencia's 91-93 loss to Olympiacos also in the EuroLeague. Motum was then left out of the active team for their big Spanish ACB win over Joventut. While it is not uncommon for teams to rotate their imports in and out of domestic competitions due to restrictions, Motum remains on the outer at Valencia.
Rytas Vilnius dropped their EuroCup game against UNICS Kazan 86-91 in the opening game of Group G in the Top 16. Cameron Bairstow came off the bench to provide 5 points and 3 rebounds in just under 10 minutes.
Bairstow would be using sparingly in Rytas' return to the Lithuanian league, a heartbreaking 81-83 loss to Juventus on a buzzer-beating game-winner. Bairstow played 5 minutes for 2 rebounds and 1 assist as Rytas remained tied in second place in the standings.
In the French Pro B, Chima Moneke came up with 17 points and 4 rebounds as Quimper registered an 86-76 win against Gries-Oberhoffen. His team pulled away in the third term and managed to hold on for the win, ensuring they remained in second place in the standings, one game clear of third.
Kenu Pinder was in action for Legia Warszawa in the Polish national league, playing a role in a close 92-85 victory against Polski Cukier Torun. The athletic forward compiled 4 points and 8 rebounds in almost 20 minutes as a starter, helping his team into 14th position in the standings.
In the Dutch Basketball League, Matt McCarthy continued to excel for Donar Groningen as they came away with a 98-69 win against Landstede. McCarthy came off the bench to add 10 points (4-7 FG) with 4 rebounds in just 16 minutes as his team 44-33 first half advantage to earn victory and consolidate outright second place in the standings.