It’s hard to overlook a couple of 20+ points haul when handing out the overseas player of the week gong. Jillian Harmon and Mike Karena were outstanding for their respective clubs but the performance of Isaac Fotu, in the strongest league in the world outside of the NBA, is too compelling to ignore.
It was a contentious decision amongst the voting panel of one but Fotu earns this week’s gong.
The Tall Blacks forward came up with a double double of 14 points and 10 rebounds against Real Madrid, one of the major club sides in the world, shooting the ball at a highly efficient 7 from 11 shots. Unfortunately Zaragoza was caned 57-31 in the second half to go down 94-68 to top of the table Madrid. Real remain unbeaten with a 5-0 record whilst Zaragoza (2-4) sits in the bottom half on the Liga Endesa table.
Despite scoring 25 points Jillian Harmon is relegated to second spot. Harmon led all scorers as Le Mura Lucca won a third straight game in the Italian League beating Broni 71-63. For good measure the power forward added 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
Third place went to Mike Karena as he helped propel Sammic ISB to a tight 91-88 success against Cambados. Karena was impressive with 23 points (11/16FG), 7 rebounds and a brace of assists. Sammic are tied for top spot, with a 4-1 record, in the Silver section of the Spanish second division.
Fourth spot went the way of Perth Lynx swingman Toni Edmondson. She scored 13 points and added 5 rebounds and 6 assists as the Lynx protected home court with an emphatic 93-60 win against Jordan Hunter’s Adelaide Lightning
Bubbling under last week:
Micaela Cocks scored 10 points but defending Australian WNBL champions Townsville Fire slipped to a third straight loss this time going down 74-62 on their own court to Bendigo Spirit
Tai Wynyard recovered from a left cheek fracture to take his place in the Kentucky University lineup on Monday (NZ time). Wynyard played 9 minutes for the Wildcats and scored 6 points (2/2FG, 2/2FT) as well as grabbing 3 rebounds – all off the offensive glass.
In other News:
This weekly roundup is largely reserved for reviewing the performances of overseas-based Tall Blacks and Tall Ferns.
However this week I feel the urge to give a mention to former Junior Tall Black Alex Talma.
Talma signed for Texas A&M for the 2014-15 season but was ruled ineligible after playing the 2014 NBL season with the Waikato Pistons.
The Westlake Boys High alumnus had an unhappy time at A&M and transferred to Biola University but was forced to sit out another season, this time red shirting due to the complex collegiate transfer rules in US college basketball.
Finally last Friday Talma’s patience and perseverance was rewarded. The ‘6 8” power forward produced a strong 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals performance as Biola Eagles, the defending NAIA Golden State Conference Champions, thumped Sierra 85-53 in their opening game of the 2016-17 season.