In the opening round of the Turkish Super League, Brock Motum delivered big to ensure Anadolu Efes Istanbul started the season off with a win against Galatasaray, while Jock Landale has started imposing himself with new team Partizan Belgrade in the Adriatic and EuroCup competitions.
Motum was devastating in the first term, scoring 12 of Anadolu Efes' 24 points as they opened up an 11 point lead. The visitors fought back in the second period, lifting their defense to restrict Efes to just 8 points. However Efes regrouped to maintain control of the contest, and when Motum drained a triple early in the final period, the lead was back to 12. Yet Galatasaray kept coming and would pull to within 2 points with 26 seconds left. Cool heads prevailed for Efes, holding on for a 73-70 win.
Motum was superb, dropping a game-high 20 points on 8-14 shooting with 8 rebounds to start the season off in style. New Zealand star Tai Webster added 13 points (4-14 FG) and 5 rebounds for Galatasaray.
Brock Motum | Credit: Anadolu Efes
Jock Landale played in two EuroCup games across the past week and was super impressive for his new size Partizan Belgrade. The Saint Mary's graduate delivered 11 points (5-11 FG), 6 rebounds and 2 assists in his competition debut. Unfortunately, Partizan would go down to Italian side Trento 73-82, but they would not have to wait long to get on the winners least for the 2018/19 EuroCup season.
Partizan would bounce back to defeat Zenit St Petersburg 89-82 in their next game in a relative upset, and Landale's star continued to emerge. The Melbourne-born centre amassed a career-best 16 points on a sizzling 7-8 shooting with 6 rebounds. He also displayed his ability to hit from long distance, draining two three-pointers in a dominant outing as his side improved to 1-1 to open the season, with his side ending an 8-game losing streak in the EuroCup competition.
Both Landale and Duop Reath also enjoyed solid outings in the Adriatic League on the weekend, albeit with differing results.
Partizan maintained their unbeaten start to the season courtesy of a hard-fought 82-79 win against Slovenian side Petrol Olimpija. The 6'11 big man started and made his presence known in the paint, pulling down an equal game-high 11 rebounds to go with his 5 points and 4 assists. He also showed off his passing abilities down the stretch, collecting two assists inside the final 2:15 to help his side edge ahead when it mattered most.
Reath, like Landale, started and was able to provide 8 points on 3-5 shooting alongside 9 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in an encouraging performance. However FMP Belgrade were outclassed by Mega Bemax down the stretch who went on a final term 23-10 run to seal a commanding 89-61 win.
In the German Bundesliga, three teams were in action this past week featuring Australians, and unfortunately none of them were able to register a victory.
The closest to earning a win was Ben Madgen's Crailsheim Merlins who went down to Giessen 90-92 in a tight one. Despite trailing the entire first half and by as many as 16 points, the Merlins fought back in the third quarter to steal the lead. Madgen added 10 points (4-9 FG) with 6 rebounds and 3 assists before fouling out in 27 minutes. His side would push on despite his absence, tying up the scores with 30 seconds to play, before the 49ers scored again and hold on for the narrow win.
Venky Jois would also deliver a solid contribution for RASTA Vechta in their 66-79 loss to Bayern Munich. A commanding 48-26 first half by Bayern Munich did all the damage, and from their Vechta was never able to recover. The 6'8 Jois would finish with 9 points (4-8 FG) alongside 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 blocked shots.
First year professional Xavier Cooks gathered 6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 blocked shot for s.Oliver Würzburg in their second straight loss to Brose Bamburg to open the season. Würzburg found themselves trailing by 16 points at the end of the first term, and were never allowed back into the game.
Still in Germany, William McDowell-White continued to impress for Brose Bamberg's feeder team Baunach, going close to registering a rare triple double in their 75-66 win against PS Karlsruhe. The young Queenslander gathered 13 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals in a commanding display as he awaits a call up to the Bundesliga parent team.
Mangok Mathiang made his official Italian Serie A debut with Vanoli Cremona as they won their opening round clash against Trentino. While Mathiang did not trouble the scorers in the 104-99 victory, he pulled down 6 rebounds and came away with 2 blocked shots in playing 21 minutes.
There are two Australians in the French LNB Pro B this season, with Chima Moneke suiting up for Rouen while Dan Dillon is playing for Paris. Rouen improved their record to 3-0 with a nail-biting 94-92 win against Evreux. Moneke came off the bench to play 29 minutes for 14 points and 6 rebounds in another encouraging performance from the first year professional. Veteran Dillon logged 32 minutes as a starter in guiding Paris to an 83-73 win against Denain and a 3-1 start to the season. He posted 10 points on 4-5 shooting with 4 rebounds and 2 assists, and will be an important piece in his sides chances this season.
Thon Maker's younger brother Matur Maker started for Union Neuchâtel in their 82-84 loss to Fribourg Olympic in the Swiss Basketball League. The 6'9 forward played 19 minutes for 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks, but he could not prevent his side from being overrun down the stretch.
Guard Josh Wilcher exploded for 23 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists as he helped guide Plymouth to a close 87-83 win against Glasgow in the British Basketball League. Wilcher made two clutch free throws in 9 seconds to help hold off Glasgow.
Obi Kyei was one of four players to score in double digits as Forca Lleida prevailed 86-66 over Palma in the Spanish second division (LEB Oro). He posted 13 points on 5-9 shooting with 4 rebounds to help his side to a big win.