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EuroView: Newley and Gran Canaria go from strength to strength in Eurocup
In a modest week for Australians in Europe's premier continental club competitions, Brad Newley continues his great form as does his unbeaten team Herbalife Gran Canaria in the Eurocup.
Having already punched their ticket to the next round of the Eurocup, Herbalife Gran Canaria this week hosted Telenet Oostend and were admirably led by Newley who top scored with 16 points as the Spanish team were victorious 79-70 moving to a 7-0 record.
Newley has upped his output on the offensive end in recent weeks both in the Eurocup as well domestically in the Spanish ACB. In 25 minutes of action this week, his 16 points came off shooting 7/14 from the field.
Gran Canaria will now look to secure top spot in their group as they host 2nd-placed JDA Dijon this week.
It was JDA Dijon who got the better of David Andersen and Asvel Lyon Villeurbanne in a French derby in Paris as they enjoyed a comfortable 75-58 win. Andersen only troubled the score sheet for 3 points in 17 minutes of action as Asvel now sit precariously in 4th spot in the group.
This week's match-up against FoxTown Cantu is crucial to their longer term Eurocup aspirations as the Italian side are nipping at their heels in 5th spot in the group.
CAI Zaragoza currently sit in the same spot in Group A with a 2-5 record but only one game out of the top 4. CAI Zaragoza went down in yet another close one this time to group leaders Strasbourg 73-71. This was the Spanish team's fifth game of the season that has been decided by three points or less.
Having led from the front all season, Guard Chris Goulding was kept quiet this week, held to just 5 points in 31 minutes on the court. Goulding will hope his feel for CAI Zaragoza's home court rims will stand him in good stead as they will now try to knock Telekom Baskets Bonn out of 4th spot in the group at home.
Ryan Broekhoff - Courtesy Besiktas Integral Forex Istanbul
In Turkey, Besiktas Istanbul now currently sit atop Group D after sharing that position for most of the season with BC Khimki and Union Olimpija Ljublijana. Besiktas took the honours over Zenit St Petersburg 87-73.
After a string of Eurocup games early in the season scoring in double figures, Ryan Broekhoff has tapered off in previous weeks as the strong Turkish team continue to play a well rounded game. Broekhoff scored 8 points and pulled down 4 rebounds in the win.
Besiktas next match sees them in what promises to be the match of the round as they travel to Russia to take on BC Khimki in Moscow. The Turks were the victors by two points in their last meeting as BC Khimki will be eyeing revenge and top spot in this one.
Stelmet Zielona Gora finally troubled the win column this week defeating PAOK Thessaloniki 84-77 for their maiden win of the season. Centre Daniel Johnson looks to remain in his position in the rotation for the Polish club by coming off the bench. This week he contributed 7 points in 18 minutes game time.
In the Euroleague Aussie big men Nathan Jawai and Aleks Maric both find themselves in similar positions as they struggle to gain any meaningful minutes in Europe's top competition.
Maric took to the court for just under 6 minutes and 2 points as Maccabi Tel Aviv lost at home to CSKA Moscow 84-61. With Maccabi's Nokia Arena once an intimidating cauldron for visiting teams, this was Maccabi's second loss at home this season. Now sitting at a 4-3 record and third place in Group B, questions will now be asked whether the Israeli club can make it as far as this year's Final Four in Madrid and defend their Euroleague crown.
Meanwhile Jawai and Galatasaray now sit at a 3-4 record as they lost on the road to Valencia Basket 78-71. Jawai did not trouble the scorers in less than 4 minutes game time.
In what is shaping at one of the closest group stages in recent Euroleague history, only FC Barcelona and CSKA Moscow remain unbeaten while Real Madrid and Olympiacos also top their groups with 5-2 and 6-1 records respectively.
With FC Barcelona atop of Group C, it is this week's match-up between second and third in this group that will be a highlight of the round as Panathinaikos Athens travel to the Turkish capital to try and knock off Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul.
Euroleague Top 10 Plays of the Week: Round 7
The Eurochallenge took a break this week. Next up for Daniel Dillon and CSM Oradea is BC Astana at home where he will go up against former Australian Guard Anatoly Kolesnikov (Bose).