This is what happens when 6’10 Italian center Tomas Ress tries to jump with Jerome Dyson:
Dyson has been on absolute fire the last 5 games in Italian Series A League play averaging a ridiculous 26.2 points, 6.6 assists, 6 rebounds and 2.5 steals for #2 Banco Di Sardegna. Sassari competes in both the Italian Series A League (national) as well as the EuroCup (regional). The club also competed in the Euroleague (Euro NBA, think Niels Giffey/Marcus Williams) earlier in the season but failed to reach the Top 16. They were booted into the Top 32 of the EuroCup (one level down) to play for a chance at the EuroCup crown and an automatic bid back to the Euroleague for next season. Essentially, the EuroCup (and lesser regional leagues) is a chance for clubs without the necessary accolades to qualify for Euroleague play automatically, similar to how conference tournament’s work with March Madness. European clubs rely heavily on sponsors who rely heavily on exposure, better leagues = more exposure = more money = better players.
To gauge the scope of the EuroCup, here is a map of all participating clubs (minus late additions):
Dyson is having a career year for Sassari with his 18.5 points per game, 4.8 assists per game and 2.3 steals per game good for 4th, 4th and 1st respectively in Series A play. On January 11th, Dyson dropped 30 points (6-10, 3P), dished out 8 assists and added 4 steals. In fact, his DEEP 3’s in the last two minutes led Sassari to the come-from-behind victory. Follow the link below for highlights (shots come at 2 minute mark):
Sassari returns to action January 20th when they battle Buducnost (Montenegro) in EuroCup play. The matchup pits Dyson against former Big East standout Omar Cook (St. John’s). Dyson and his squad will need to finish in the top two of Group H to advance to the Final Eight – they currently sit at 3rd with a record of 1-1. Other Group H members include Buducnost, Canaria (Spain), and Banvit (Turkey).
We always knew Dyson could make plays like this…
…now he is making winning plays.
With the LKL playoffs looming in the near future, rounds 21-23 were pivotal for Lietkabelis as they battled the top three clubs in the LKL. Lietkabelis came out of the rough stretch a very respectable 1-2 considering they had not beaten any of the top three previously this season.
Round 21 saw #10 Lietkabelis 3 game win streak come to an end at the hands of #1 Tonybet, 83-73. Down 56-35 at half, Lietkabelis rallied in the 3rd quarter to cut the lead to 8. Tonybet took advantage of 26 personal fouls shooting 82% (23-28) to close out the game. American Darrick Leonard led the way with 14 points and Ryan Olander added 8 points/2 rebounds in the losing effort.
Watch here: http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2788013&season_id=87901
The biggest win of the season for #10 Lietkabelis came in Round 22 as they defeated #2 Zvaigzdes, 75-73. Croatian guard Goran Vrbanc paced Lietkabelis with 25 points in a game that featured 9 lead changes and saw neither team gain more than an 11 point advantage. Tied after 3 quarters, Lietkabelis shot 85% (11-13) from the foul line to seal the deal. Ryan Olander provided 4 points/6 rebounds in 20 minutes of action for Lietkabelis.
Watch here: http://lkl.lt/lt/top/rungtynes/?game_id=2788019&season_id=87901#stf
Lietkabelis traveled to the capital city for a Round 23 bout with #3 Lietuvos Rytas in Vilnius. Unfortunately they could not build on the momentum from the Zvaigzdes win, falling 85-74. Colombian Juan Palacios (Louisville) led L-R with 20 points/8 rebounds while American Omar Cook (St. John’s) chipped in 6 points/4 assists off the bench. Lietkabelis did manage to control the boards- even with former NBA forward Darius Songaila lurking in the paint- however their inability to shoot the ball (28% from 2) led to the undesirable outcome. American Ryan Olander put up 6 points in the losing effort. Lietkabelis hosts #4 Siauliai tomorrow starting another huge stretch for the club’s playoff push. With just 9 games remaining Lietkabelis remains at #10 with games against #9 Nevezis and #7 Juventus following tomorrow’s match.
Remember: only the top 8 teams advance.
This game is not yet available for viewing.
Update from the last 3 weeks in LKL play:
On December 18th, 2013 8th ranked Dzukia defeated 10th ranked Lietkabelis in Panevezys by a 74-64 margin. Lietkabelis entered the 4th up 2 before a foul-plagued final quarter allowed for a 27-15 run by the visitor. Nigerian Chukwudinma Odiakosa (Illinois State) led Lietkabelis with 20 points and 7 rebounds while Ryan Olander added 9 points and 6 rebounds in a losing effort.
On December 21st, 2013 3rd ranked Zvaigzdes defeated 10th ranked Lietkabelis 86-50 at home. Lietkabelis was held to just 5 points in the first quarter and never recovered from the early deficit. Zvaigzdes shot 43% (9-21) from deep including a 3-3 effort off the bench from Latvian swingman Ingus Bankevics. American Parrish Brown (Maryland) paced Lietkabelis with 14 off the bench and Ryan Olander contributed 8 points and 2 rebounds.
Top-ranked Lietuvos-Rytas moved to 8-0 with a 98-68 victory over #11 Lietkabelis December 27th in Panevezys. Colombian Juan Palacios (Louisville) led Lietuvos with 16 points and 7 rebounds while American Zabian Dowdell (Virginia Tech/Phoenix Suns) collected 7 points and 8 assists. Dowdell finished his college career as the seventh leading scorer in Virginia Tech history (1,785) and top five in assists (380), however shockingly went undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft. In 2011 he was the subject of a Sports Illustrated article giving a behind the scenes look at 10-day contracts in the NBA (link found below). UCONN fans remember Palacios as a key contributor for Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals from 2004-2008. Lietuvos also features former St. John’s point guard Omar Cook who was not featured in Friday’s action. Ryan Olander scored 11 first half points -including two pick and roll dunks- battling Palacios in the post. Parrish Brown (Maryland) chipped in 8 points and 8 rebounds for Lietkabelis who fell into last place with their third consecutive loss.