The Aussie men were in the thick of the action in their respective national leagues over the past weekend in Europe.
In Turkey, Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul defeated Turk Telekom Ankara 76-59, backing up their opening round Eurocup win from earlier in the week. Australian Ryan Broekhoff has continued his outstanding form from the FIBA World Cup by collecting a 14 point and 13 rebound double-double in playing a huge 36 minutes as a starter. In collecting 13 boards, the Valparaiso graduate is now second in the league with 8.5 rebounds per game across two games. He also chimed in with 2 assists and 1 blocked shot with just 1 turnover, accumulating the highest ranking of 22 amongst any player in the game. Besiktas needed the win after an opening round loss, and now improve to 1-1 to open the season with games against Zenit St Petersburg in Eurocup and Royal Hali Gaziantep in the Turkish League to come this week.
Galatasaray Liv Hosital Istanbul were beaten in a close 67-69 encounter with Banvit on the road, also in the Turkish League. Australia's Nathan Jawai was used sparingly, playing a scoreless 5 minutes for 2 fouls and 1 turnover. Jawai's team is a perennial contender and would be expecting to return to the winners list against Valencia in Euroleague and then again again versus Erdirne Eskisehir back in their domestic competition.
After a great opening round Eurocup win, Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas came back down to earth thanks to an all-the-way 80-61 win by Euroleague team FC Barcelona. Despite the home team taking control, Brad Newley was solid if unspectacular. The Aussie chimed in with 6 points, 9 rebounds and 1 assist in 28 minutes. A Eurocup date with Telent Ostend next awaits ahead of their round 4 Spanish ACB clash with Unicaja, looking to improve upon their 1-2 national league win-loss record.
Chris Goulding - Courtesy © Basket CAI Zaragoza (Esther Casas)
Chris Goulding was in action for CAI Zaragoza also against a Euroleague team in the form of Valencia. Zaragoza pushed their more credentialed opponents all the way before falling short 69-77. The Aussie marksman connected on 3/4 from beyond the arc on his way to 11 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist in 25 minutes. His team is now 1-2 to open the Spanish ACB and next face Montakit Fuenlabrada after their Eurocup clash with Strasbourg.
Still in Spain, former Sydney King center AJ Ogilvy has been sidelined due to a foot injury that has been diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. Sustained at training, he is now expected to be out of action for 2 more weeks. With their Australian big man unable to suit up, La Bruixa d'Or Manresa has been reduced to a 0-3 record and is currently sitting at the bottom of the Spanish ACB standings. Needless to say they need Ogilvy back in their line-up as soon as possible.
ASVEL Lyon Villeurbanne may have enjoyed a winning start to their Eurocup campaign, however things have not gone their way in the opening 4 rounds of the French Pro A National League. David Andersen's team have slumped to 1-3 after they lost to Chalon 56-64 at home. It was a game that both ASVEL and Andersen would rather forget, with the veteran Australian Boomer going scoreless on 0/7 shooting with 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals in 23 minutes. Now in second last place, ASVEL will be looking to bounce back and rediscover the form that almost had them playing in Euroleague. They next face fellow French side JDA Dijon in Eurocup this week followed by an encounter with JL Bourg Basket in the French Pro A.
In a game featuring two unbeaten teams, Eurocup side Stelmet Zielona Gora lost a 68-69 nail-biter to Slask Wroclaw in the Polish League. The home side made the go-ahead basket with just 9 seconds left, sending Zielona Gora home empty-handed. For the visitors, former Adelaide 36er Daniel Johnson had a rough night in battling foul trouble. He finished the game with 5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in being restricted to 15 minutes. Slask Wroclaw sit atop of the standings, with Zielona Gora now 1 game behind with a 2-1 record ahead of games against Greek side PAOK Thessaloniki in Eurocup and then AZS Koszalin back in Poland.
Over in Slovenia, Ball State alumni Majok Majok is playing for KK Helios Domzale. In their recent 76-75 narrow home win over Sencur Gorenjska, the Aussie big man netted 3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals despite being limited to just 13 minutes due to foul trouble. With the win the Suns improve to 2-0 to open their season ahead of travelling to Tajfun for their round 3 contest.
Despite another all-round performance by Aussie spark plug Daniel Dillon, CSM Oradea proved no match for U-Banka Transilvania in Romania. Dillon produced 11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal in 29 minutes but was unable to prevent a devastating road loss against a red-hot opponent. After being reduced to 1-2 after 3 rounds, they will be keen to get back on the winners list when they next take on CSU Sibiu.
Rounding out this week's update is Aleks Maric and Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv who were able to hold off Hapoel Eilat 80-72 in Israel. Maric came off the bench and in a foul limited 12 minutes collected 3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and drawing 7 fouls from the opposition. Improving to 3-0 to open the domestic season, Maccabi next take on Russian super power CSKA Moscow this week in Euroleague followed by an encounter with lowly Ironi Nahariya back in the Israeli Winner League.