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EuroView: Venky Jois' near triple double in Croatia
Venky Jois was in outstanding form in Croatia, going close to recording a first career triple double to lead the way for the Aussie men in Europe this past week.
The Croatian adventure for Venky Jois continues to go from strength to strength, with the 6'8 versatile forward again impressing for Vrijednosnice Osijek. In an overtime thriller, the Melburnian poured in 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting and went close to registering a triple double. He would also rack up 12 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocked shots in one of his best performances as a pro since graduating from Eastern Washington. It was a tight contest, with Osijek getting pipped in the extra period, going down to KK Split 100-91 in a nail-biter.
Jois is having a breakout season for Osijek. He is second in the league in scoring with 18.6 points per game while averaging a league-best 10 rebounds per outing, and is also tenth in the league for steals (1.8spg). While his side has a 2-3 record, with Jois firing on all cylinders, they are a chance to challenge for a finals berth.
Maccabi Tel Aviv have not been able to do any wrong to open the season, maintaining their unbeaten start in the Israeli Winner League following a narrow 86-90 win over Maccabi Rishon. Tel Aviv opened strongly and held a commanding 15 point lead at the last break, however Rishon were not done. They came home strongly to fall just 4 points short of an upset come-from-behind win. Jonah Bolden was back in the starting five, collecting 5 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists in just 20 minutes as the minutes were spread around.
In the VTB United League, Lokomotiv Kuban unleashed a devastating 38-7 opening term on their way to burying Avtodor 110-77. Never challenged, Lokomotiv drained 9-of-16 from deep and shot a sizzling 72% inside it as they overwhelmed Avtodor with 18 steals and forcing 23 turnovers. Ryan Broekhoff was a key player, connecting on 2-of-2 three-pointers to finish with 8 points, 3 rebounds and 4 steals in just 20 minutes. Lokomotiv improved to 3-1 and in touch with the leaders CSKA Moscow and Unics Kazan who are both undefeated.
Brock Motum came off the bench to play 20 minutes in Anadolu Efes Istanbul's 89-96 victory over Trabzonspor in the Turkish Basketball Superleague. He would go 2-of-6 from the field for 4 points with 3 rebounds. It was a good win for Efes who are now 4-1 in their national league and well in contention for placing at the pointy end of the ladder.
It all came down to the wire for Bristol in their game against Surrey in the British Basketball League. Michael Vigor led from the front in compiling a 15 point and 14 rebound double-double as the Flyers finished with a 15-2 run to steal a thrilling 85-86 win.
Over in Norway, the Nidaros Jets fell to the Asker Aliens 69-98. Joel Spear had 10 points and 4 assists with 2 steals in the loss. Nidaros would bounced back to overcome the Centrum Tigers 84-78. Speak would go close to a triple double, adding 10 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals in the solid win.
The Baunach Young Pikes went down to Karlsruhe 76-67 in the German second division. Promising point guard William McDowell-White added 9 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals in the loss. Unfortunately for Baunach, they sit alone in last place with a 0-8 record and still searching for their first win.
In Spain, Matt Donlan came off the bench for 5 points in 5 minutes as Huesca lost to Palencia 64-67 in the LEB Oro. Dan Trist did not fare much better despite his recent good form, playing just 15 minutes off the bench for 2 points and 2 rebounds as Ourense lost to Valladolid.