EuroView: Mangok Mathiang dominating in Italy
Former Charlotte Hornet two-way player Mangok Mathiang has continued he recent dominance in the Italian Serie A with another monster double-double to be the pick of the Australian's in Europe across the past week.
Despite a massive 20 points and 10 rebounds from centre Mathiang, Vanoli Cremona lost to Dolomiti Energia Trentino 84-89 in the Italian Serie A. Little separated either side, with Cremona trailing by 4 points at half time before taking a two point advantage heading into the final term. However despite the interior dominance of Mathiang who went 6-10 from the field and 8-12 from the charity stripe, Trentino came up with the big shots in the final minutes to steal the win.
It was Mathiang's sixth double-double of the season, and the first time he had scored 20 points for Cremona. Averaging an impressive 9.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, he has likely done enough so far this season to ensure his inclusion in the Australian Boomers preliminary squad for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Jock Landale was again in good form for Partizan in the EuroCup, compiling an efficient 14 points with 7 rebounds in their outing against Monaco. Despite Landale's good showing, Monaco opened up a big 22 point lead primary through their defensive, holding Partizan to 13 points or less across the opening three periods. While Partizan fought back late, they could not make up for the big deficit, falling short 68-72, registering the first home loss of the Top 16 in Group E.
In the return bout, Partizan traveled to Monaco seeking revenge for the home loss. Partizan came out firing, opening up a 6 point lead at the first break. However Monaco lifted their defensive intensity and did a great job of taking away space and protecting the paint in the second, clawing their way back before taking a 3 point lead into half time. The second half became a war of attrition, and through sheer persistence and determination, Partizan pulled away by 7 late before holding on for a 71-68 road win to improve to 2-2 in Group E, back level with Monaco but giving up the head-to-head by 1 point.
Back in the ABA Liga, Partizan let slide a 5 point lead with just over a minute to play, resulting in Zadar fighting back to force overtime. However Partizan would score first in the extra period, and from there they would never trail again en route to a thrilling 97-92 win to consolidate fourth place in the standings. Jock Landale was limited by foul trouble, playing 20 minutes for 6 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Neither side shot well from the charity stripe, with Zadar likely to rue their missed opportunity after going just 23-38 from the free throw line.
Red Star Belgrade proved too strong for cross-town rivals FMP, earning a convincing 79-62 win. Rookie Duop Reath added 6 points and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes, but competition benchmark Red Star had just too many weapons on the night. They scored at a much more efficient rate on their way to consigning FMP to their third consecutive loss.
With the Turkish Basketball League showcasing their All-Star weekend, Brock Motum and Anadolu Efes Istanbul's only game for the week was their EuroLeague clash against fellow Turkish side Darüşşafaka Istanbul. Efes showed their cross-town rivals no mercy, outscoring their rivals 45-25 in a clinical first half to set up an 82-68 victory. Motum came off the bench to provide 7 points and 2 rebounds in 19 minutes, as Efes won their fourth straight to ensure they remained in fourth position in the standings.
In the German Bundesliga, Ben Madgen and the Crailsheim Merlins played two games and came away with a split set of results.
As the last placed team in the standings, Crailsheim went up against sixth placed Löwen Braunschweig, pushing their higher ranked opponent all the way in what proved to be a better than advertised contest. The Merlins lifted their defensive intensity in the second quarter to open up a 6 point lead at half time. Madgen hit a triple early in the third period to reignite their momentum, as Crailsheim extended their lead to 14 at the last change and within sight of a massive upset. As was to be expected, Braunschweig stormed home in the fourth to tie things up at 86-all with 13 seconds to play. Two missed free throws by Crailsheim with just seconds to play could have won the game, but alas an extra period was required. Overtime saw the Merlins regain the ascendancy early, before holding on to register a second straight win, 99-94. Madgen finished the game as one of five Merlins players in double figures, adding 13 points (4-19 FG), 7 rebounds and 4 assists in 30 minutes.
Crailsheim's aspirations of winning a third straight game were brought crashing down when they took on a red-hot s.Oliver Würzburg and Xavier Cooks. While Madgen battled away for a team-best 13 points on 4-10 shooting with 2 rebounds and 3 steals, the Merlins proved no match for a Würzburg outfit that shot a blistering 63.9% from the field overall, including 47.8% from beyond the three-point arc. Crailsheim found themselves down by 14 at the first break, and never really recovered, going down 69-87. Cooks experienced a rare quiet game offensively, attempting just 4 shots from the field in finishing with 4 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 blocked shot in 25 minutes on court. While Würzburg kept their playoff aspirations alive with the win, after going 1-1 across the past week, Crailsheim are now within sight of climbing out of the relegation zone, as one of four teams with just 6 wins.
With 14 points, Keanu Pinder delivered his best outing in his debut professional season as Legia Warszawa accounted for Start Lublin 83-78 in Poland. The former Arizona forward came off the bench to shoot 7-11 from the field while logging 6 rebounds in 23 minutes as Warszawa defended their blistering 23-8 opening term to win by 5. With Pinder continuing to make the most of his opportunities, it would not be surprising if he worked his way into the starting line-up if he can back up his recent great form with his side now in seventh place.
Daniel Dillon poured in 16 points to lead Paris to a narrow 79-75 upset victory against ladder-leaders Roanne in the French Pro B. Dillon was brilliant, going 6-10 from the field and adding 5 rebounds and 7 assists before fouling out in 25 minutes. However Paris withstood every challenge down the stretch to win their sixth game of the season and fifth in a row to continue their climb toward what looked to be an unlikely playoff berth just a month ago.
Also with six wins is Denain following their 87-60 demolition of Evreux. With Chima Moneke contributing 9 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out in 25 minutes also, Denain had effectively won the game by half time courtesy of their 22 point lead. With Moneke becoming more familiar at his new club, like Paris, Denain could well make a late season run at spot in the playoffs.
It was another positive performance from Matur Maker that helped propel Zlatorog Laško to a commanding 93-78 win against Rogaška in the Slovenian league. Maker added 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals as Zlatorog took control early to ease away to the 15 point win.