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International Roundup: Splitter Doesn’t Miss Scola

International Roundup: Splitter Doesn’t Miss Scola
Oct 02, 2006, 03:27 pm
Our weekly international roundup is back. A few leagues had already kicked off before last week, and still many others are yet to get on the march, but the start of the Adriatic League (the most prolific when it comes to draft prospects) and the ACB League (the world’s strongest domestic competition outside the NBA) set the right moment to bring the International roundup back.

Coming off his MVP performance at the ACB SuperCopa, the show goes on for Tiago Splitter. Without his frontcourt mate Scola in the fold, he’s become the inside reference for Tau Vitoria, which means plenty of minutes and opportunities to score. Yesterday, in the opening round of the ACB League, he had 17 points and 8 rebounds, both team-highs in the game, leading his squad to a one-point victory over a quite competitive Pamesa team in Valencia. It’s interesting to note that, out of those 8 rebounds, only 4 were defensive, continuing with his relative struggles while securing the defensive glass.

Less troubles had DKV Joventut to beat ViveMenorca, getting a nice contribution from Rudy Ferández with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.

In the Adecco LEB league (Spanish second division), Vitor Faverani posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, although it wasn’t good enough for his team Cai Zaragoza to collect the victory. This is the second loss in two games for this team, one of the strongest in the league, and probably one of the top-10 drawers attendance-wise in all of Europe.

The Adriatic League comes full of interesting performances, even if none looked outstanding.

Teammates in the U-20 Croatian National Team this summer, Stanko Barac and Jure Lalic, faced each other in a rather balanced showdown. Barac had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks for Siroki Eronet, while Lalic amassed 17 points and 6 rebounds for Zadar, also getting the final victory by a close margin.

Barac, one of the surprises in the U-20 European Championships, is also one of the most interesting players to follow this season in the Balkans, just as Emir Preldzic, who had an even bigger impact in that competition, and who made his debut in the Adriatic League posting a double-double for Geoplin Slovan with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 2 steals. It’s important to stress his rebounding production: despite his 6-9 size, he’s a skinny small forward, and it seems like he can translate his rebounding ability from the youth stage to professional competition, even if it’s rather weak and young one as the Adriatic, but nevertheless facing a Euroleague team such as Union Olimpija Ljubljana. His teammate Mirza Begic managed to score 11 points and grab 3 rebounds before fouling out after only 16 minutes of playing time. The victory, for Olimpija.

After spending one season playing only the Croatian League, Split is back in the Adriatic League. They celebrated their comeback with a victory against Bosna Asa BHT. Hrvoje Peric had 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists for the Croatians.

FMP got a one-point victory over Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) in overtime, with Milos Teodosic coming off the bench to contribute with 16 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists, as well as the game winning shot. Partizan enjoyed a totally different kind of victory, rolling over Hemofarm by a 31-point margin. With perennial MVP Dejan Milojevic off to the ACB League, where he indeed was the MVP in the first weekend (what a surprise...), the youngsters have taken over Partizan successfully so far. Uros Tripkovic had 13 points, 4 assists and 5 steals, while Luka Bogdanovic delivered 13 points and 3 rebounds.

France played this weekend the second round of games, and Ali Traore matched the amount of points he had in the first match, scoring 14, plus 9 rebounds and 2 blocks to help Le Havre win over Besançon. Traore is a physical beast for his age, and looked quite mature enough in the Treviso camp in order to get consistent production this season. Yannick Bokolo’s 14 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals were useless for Le Mans against Asvel Villeurbanne. It’s the second loss for this Euroleague team. Let’s hope they can get in shape before top European competition starts.

We finish by paying a visit to the Australian NBL to check what Joe Ingles is up to. After his 29-point debut performance, he kept the effort with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in the loss against the Sydney Kings. Perhaps the defenses are not on par with what you usually see in top European leagues, and it’s certainly easier to get production in those 48-minute games (Ingles played 34 minutes this weekend, which is not common to see in Europe for youngsters, and often even for well-established veterans), but his consistency so far is remarkable. The guy has some serious tools, such as size, mobility, an excellent stroke, good ball-handling skills and a really nice feel for the game. By the way, today he turns 19 years old. Happy birthday!

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