EuroView: Motum's 25 points leads Zalgiris to big win
Australian big men Brock Motum and Dan Trist stood out this week in the European national leagues, while Brad Newley played his 150th Spanish ACB game in a career milestone.
Brock Motum was the focal point for BC Zalgiris Kaunas as they crushed Dzukija 101-62 in Lithuania. Motum played just 26 minutes yet delivered 25 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in a fine display. The Australian forward was doing it all, including in the paint while also demonstrating his ability to stretch defenses in raining down 3/4 from beyond the arc. Zalgiris responded very well following the loss to Lietuvos Rytas last round, coming out in full form and building an imposing 30 point lead at the half. They collected 20 more assists than the visitors and committed just 7 turnovers. The game was a foregone conclusion after only a matter of minutes, highlighting how desperate Zalgiris were to send a message to their opponents and the rest of the league.
Despite being separated by just one spot on the league table, Brussels easily accounted for VOO Verviers-Pepinster 92-61 in Belgium. Brussels led from the start and controlled the game with ease on the back of brilliant ball movement and a strong defensive presence. Verviers-Pepinster converted just 1/16 from three-point range and that one three-pointer came from Ben Madgen who contributed 16 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in a very good outing. Madgen was 6/14 from the field and looked like the only one likely to score for the visitors. Verviers-Pepinster will remain in 10th position with just 4 wins and 10 losses.
In the clash between the two top four sides in the Spanish second division, it was league-leaders Palencia who ran away with victory 74-82 over San Pablo Burgos to secure its 17th win of the season. Mitch McCarron came off the bench for 14 minutes and scored 4 points (2/6 FG) alongside 4 rebounds. It was an even performance from the league leaders, with all but one player scoring and Daniel Rodriguez leading the way with 25 points. Palencia are riding a four-game winning streak and seem as strong as ever on the back of this impressive performance.
Also in the LEB Gold competition, Dan Trist had a strong performance for Oviedo in their 65-69 road win against Ourense. In what proved to be a tight contest, the visitors managed to open up an 11 point margin at the final break. Ourense road their home crowd to within 4 points late in the game, however Oviedo was able to make their opportunities from the charity stripe to hold on to that final margin. Trist was on target, making 8/13 from the field for a game-high 19 points with 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals in the important win that moved Oviedo into equal 3rd place with three other teams.
In Brad Newley’s 150th Liga Endesa game, 5th ranked Herbalife Gran Canaria peformed as expected when they met 17th ranked Estudiantes. In a fast-flowing first quarter, Gran Canaria gained the ascendancy and were able to hold the hosts at bay until the third period when they extended the lead to 17 and sealed the win. Savouring the moment, Newley scored 11 points with 4 rebounds and 3 assists in another solid outing. While the Australian Boomer struggled with his outside shot, shooting just 1/5 from behind the arc, he was able to get it done in other ways. Gran Canaria were good enough to win easily on the back of their talented and well-structured offensive setup. They can generate some real momentum as they have a very winnable game next up against 12th ranked CB Canarias in Tenerife.
Lokomotiv Kuban recorded a very important win over 5th ranked CEZ Nymburk in what proved to be a routine victory in the VTB United League. Despite starting slowly, Lokomotiv played well after the first quarter and looked by far the better team. Ryan Broekhoff played his role for Lokomotiv yet again, adding 12 points, 9 rebounds and 1 assist. Broekhoff was in the face off the offense with his typically solid defense to go with his shooting from deep, connecting on 3/5 three-pointers. It was the 5th consecutive victory for Lokomotiv and importantly, they jump Nymburk on the league table with the win.
Daniel Dillon put up 14 points and 8 assists in an expected win for PGE Turow in Poland. Turow rebounded their way to a 78-101 victory with 45 rebounds (13 offensive), compared to just 24 for Start Lublin. Dillon set up his Turow teammates and committed just 1 turnover, with five Turow players scoring in double digits. The game went to script, as bottom-ranked Lublin never rally stood a chance as Turow secured their 7th win of the season.
In the Adriatic League, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica improved to an impressive 19-2 as they accounted for Metalac 61-67. the visitors powered their way to a 21-12 opening quarter lead and while the hosts fought back, Buducnost were never headed. Australian big man Aleks Maric was a solid performer, chiming in with 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 blocked shots as he continued to anchor the middle. Buducnost are now riding a 12-game winning streak ahead of their next game against 6th ranked Partizan Belgrade.