With the European season now in full swing, a number of Australian men stepped up to deliver big performances over the past week, including Ben Madgen, Brock Motum, Venky Jois and Clint Steindl.
In Lithuania, Ben Madgen continues his outstanding start to the season with Lietkabelis Panevezys in guiding them to an 86-79 win against Nevėžis. Madgen poured in a team-high 17 points on a sizzling 5/7 shooting and 6/7 from the charity stripe. He also added a game-high 8 rebounds with 3 assists to round out a big game, ensuring Leitkabelis maintain their position in 2nd in the standings, just 1 win behind Brock Motum's BC Žalgiris Kaunas.
Žalgiris were impressive in dismantling Juventus to record a big 90-66 win to maintain first place. With Žalgiris sharing the minutes in a blowout, Motum played just 14 minutes, adding 13 points on 3/4 shooting (6/6 FT) with 4 rebounds to continue his great form this season. With Motum and Madgen leading their teams strongly so far, there is a real possibility the two may go head-to-head for the 2017 Lithuanian championship.
First year professional Venky Jois compiled a 17 point and 13 rebound double-double in leading Tartu Rock to a convincing 88-57 victory against Audentese in Estonia. The 6'8 forward was outstanding, connecting on 8/10 shooting and swatting 2 shots in ensuring Tartu remained on top of the Alexela KML standings with an unblemished 4-0 record. with his latest big outing, Jois is now leading the competition in rebounding with 11 per game, while he is also 4th for blocks with 1 per outing.
Despite another shooting clinic delivered by Clint Steindl, the Lueven Bears fell to Proximus Spirou Charleroi 88-95 in Belgium. Steindl connected on 6/11 three-pointers in exploding for a team-best 24 points, also adding 2 rebounds and 4 assists in a dominant individual performance. Leuven fell to a 3-4 record and now reside in 6th position in the EuroMillions Basketball League standings. In averaging 20.25 points per game, Steindl is 3rd in the league for scoring, 1st in three-point field goals made (15), and 7th in three-point shooting percentage (50%).
FMP Belgrade enjoyed a tough 67-62 win against lowly Karpoš Sokoli Skopje in the Adriatic League to record their third victory of the competition. Entrenching his position in the starting lineup, Jonah Bolden contributed a valuable 9 points (4/7 FG) with with 6 rebounds in 24 minutes. While Karpoš Sokoli continue searching for their first win of the season, FMP moved up into 6th place with a 3-5 record.
Ryan Broekhoff added 6 points and 3 rebounds in Lokomotiv Kuban's 86-61 demolition of Parma in the VTB United League. It was a timely victory for Lokomotiv who were able to improve their season record to 2-2 while Parma remained without a win in last place. After enjoying a great individual season last year, Broekhoff has been quiet so far to open the competition. He has not been able to reach double-digits in scoring, but as has become expected, he continues to contribute defensively and fit in with the team's offensive structures.
Dan Trist made his season debut with his Danish club Horsens IC in a high-scoring 104-98 win against the 2nd placed Bakken Bears. The 6'9 forward added 4 points (2/5 FG) with 5 rebounds and 2 steals in 19 minutes off the bench as he blew off the cobwebs. Horsens have opened the season on an unbeaten 5-0 run, and with Trist now entering the lineup, they will be looking to dominate the league.
Vrijednosnice Osijek went down fighting in a 66-78 loss against GKK Sibenik in Croatia. 6'4 guard Jonathon Mines came off the bench to provide some instance offence, scoring 8 points in 13 minutes. Despite his spark, Osijek dropped their second game of the season to slide down to 6th place.
In the British Basketball League, Rhys Carter went close to a rare triple-double in the Plymouth Raiders' 64-84 loss to the London Lions. Carter amassed 10 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists in an all-round performance, but Daryl Corletto was blanketed to go scoreless in a big loss that sees them sit in 5th position in the standings.