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EuroView: Newley lands the first blow over Andersen in Eurocup
The highlight of this week's Euroview of major continental competitions is the rare match-up of two Australian's with Brad Newley and David Andersen meeting this week in France in the highly anticipated Herbalife Gran Canaria and Asvel Lyon Villeurbanne encounter.
Brad Newley and Herbalife Gran Canaria showed Europe this week they are the real deal by winning their fifth straight game of the Eurocup season when they defeated David Andersen and Asvel Lyon Villeurbanne in Lyon. Gran Canaria displayed up-tempo play at both ends of the floor combined with excellent ball movement showing why they have earned nothing but respect across the continent this season in their 92-75 win.
Newley was instrumental in the visiting team's effectiveness at both ends of the floor by taking care of the intangibles while scoring 16 points to go along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. On the other side, Andersen could not find the groove he has been in this Eurocup season going 1/6 from the floor for 5 points in 20 minutes of action.
Gran Canaria remain atop their group a game in front of JDA Dijon while Asvel at a 2-3 record are fortunate to sit in 3rd position in a tight group from that position down. Gran Canaria will have a 6-0 record in their sights this week as they come up against bottom-placed Fox Town Cantu in Italy while Asvel enjoy another hit-out at home taking on against Artland Dragons Quakenbrueck.
Another Spanish team in the Eurocup is CAI Zaragoza and while like Asvel they are enjoying indifferent success with a 2-3 record after defeat this week, a light that continues to shine brightly is the play of European debutant Chris Goulding. Althought CAI Zaragoza went down this week on the road to Brose Baskets Bamberg 90-74 the game's leading scorer was Goulding who went for a season-high 25 points.
Shooting 9/14 from the field, Goulding come off the bench for a stint of 28 minutes and continues to show his adaptation to European basketball has been nothing but a smooth one. Averaging 17.3 points on the season, Goulding is 10th in the league in points, 4th in 3-pointers made and 1st in FT% having made all 17 free throws attempted this season.
CAI Zaragoza will hit the road again this week heading to France in a big game against fellow 2-3 record holders Paris Levallois.
Elsewhere in the Eurocup Ryan Broekhoff had a rare off-night from long range going 1/7 from long distance for 5 points and 7 rebounds as Besiktas Istanbul withstood Szolnoki Olaj 73-70. The win was key for Besiktas as they cling on to top position in their group over strong sides Union Olimpija Ljubljana and BC Khimki Moscow.
This week sees a highlight match of the round as Besiktas travel to Slovenia to take on 2nd placed Union Olimpija who are always a difficult proposition at home.
Unfortunately Stelmet Zielona Gora from Poland are now the only winless team in the Eurocup after this week tasting defeat at the hands of Ventspils 79-69 on their own home floor. Daniel Johnson came off the bench for the Polish side struggling from the field for 2 points while pulling down 7 rebounds.
A good sign in the Euroleague this week was the return to form of big man Nathan Jawai for Istanbul-based team Galatasaray. Seeing lean minutes in previous weeks, Jawai enjoyed 16 minutes of game time showing some glimpses of past aggression on the offensive end scoring 9 points and 4 rebounds. Unfortunately for Galatasaray the ask was too big taking on the might of Olympiacos in Greece. They went down 93-66 with strong first and last quarters getting the Greeks the win to move to an unblemished 5-0 record.
Although Galatasaray now own a record of 2-3 and sit 3rd in their group, they would have a 2nd place finish still in their sights being such a strong team at home. It is there this week where they can get one up on 2nd placed Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade. Jawai will be hoping the good signs he showed Coach Ergin Ataman against Olympiacos will see further court time come his way.
Elsewhere Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv had the unenviable task of trying to win a game in Spain going up against Unicaja Malaga. After getting off to a 3-0 start to the season, Unicaja dropped a game on the road against CSKA Moscow and now find themselves back in the pack in Group B at 3-2 as Maccabi got the big road win against them this week 70-66.
New to Maccabi this season after spending last season in Russia with Lokomotiv Kuban, Centre Aleks Maric has seen limited court time in recent weeks under new Coach Guy Goodes. The story was much the same this week as Maric took to the floor for just 2 minutes as the bulk of playing time for the Israeli side continues to be seen by the team's starting line-up. Maccabi will now try for a 2nd road win in as many weeks as they head to France to battle it out with bottom-placed Limoges CSP.
Euroleague Top 10 Plays of the Week: Round 5
Daniel Dillon returned to the court this week after a recent ankle injury and starred for Romanian side CSM Oradea in their 2nd Eurochallenge encounter of the season. Dillon went an impressive 9/11 from the field for a 23 point and 6 rebound performance. Unfortunately Dillon's starring role was not enough to get the win against Russian side Avtodor as they suffered a big defeat 101-74.
While the performance of Dillon was encouraging having come off an ankle injury, speaking on the Eurochallenge website Dillon was disappointed in the final numbers on the scoreboard.
"(It was) a very disappointing performance from our side. It wasn't at all what we have done in practice," he said.
"We have to move on, but I know there are a lot of things we have to learn from this game."