Euroleague in Review: Games 1-3

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Taking a look back at the first three game days of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague. Which teams are hot early on? Which players should be considered MVP candidates? Which youngsters have shown up on the big stage? Who is struggling?

GROUP A

Game Day 1

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JSF NANTERRE 59 - 62 CSKA MOSCOW

After beating an NBA team in an exhibition game (go Timberwolves!), CSKA might not have taken French Euroleague debutant JSF Nanterre seriously enough in its opening game. In a small but atmospheric arena in Paris, coach Etore Messina saw his team getting overwhelmed by JSF in the opening quarter. Sparked by Will Daniels who had 11 points in the first quarter alone, JSF took a 20-11 lead.

CSKA point guard Sonny Weems struggled, converting only 3 of his 12 shots. Milos Teodosic only hit 1 of 5 shots and shooter Fridzon got off only one shot in 16 minutes.  It took a strong effort by Sasha Kaun (16 points on 8 shots, 9 rebounds) and Sonny Weems (12 points) to hold CSKA early in the game and take the lead after a run in the third quarter. Yet, Nanterre didn't give up and saw itself behind by three with the last shot of the game. Young Mam Jaiteh took a shot for the tie but missed. Unfortunately for JSF, their biggest off-season acquisition, Sergii Gladyr didn't turn hot, missing 5 three point shots and turning the ball over three times in 22 minutes. CSKA got away with a black eye.

Top performers: Sasha Kaun (16 points, 9 rebounds) - CSKA, Will Daniels - NAN (18 points, 7 rebounds)


Budivelnik Kiev 84 - 102 Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbu

Darius Lavrinovic - KIEV (21 pts, 4 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl, 1 blk), Emir Preldzic - IST (14 pts, 7 asst, 1 stl, 1 to)


FC Barcelona 67 - 60  Partizan NIS Belgrade
Joey Dorsey - BAR (8 pts, 10 rebs, 2 assts, 3 stls, 3 blks), Joffrey Lauvergne - BEL (9 pts, 13 rebs, 1 blk)


Game Day 2

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Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 75 - 70 FC Barcelona

Fener's coach surprised with his starting lineup by inserting 17 year old point guard Kenan Sipahi. Sipahi responded well in a marquee game by scoring the first three points for Fener and getting a steal. In the end, Sipahi played 11 fun minutes in which he scored 5 points, but his inexperience was visible as he got three fouls quickly in his stints.
Fener didn't play basketball as well as you'd usually need offensively to beat Barcelona, but capitalized on 10 turnovers and an uninspiring impression by point guard Marcelinho Huertas who had 10 assits with no turnovers in the Euroleague opener. Fenerbahce led comfortably most of the game, but a 12-2 run in the last 4 minutes made it a one posession game with just 20 seconds to go before Linasz Kleiza iced the game.

Top performers: Linasz Kleiza (22 pts, 4 rebs, 2 stls) - IST, Ante Tomic - BAR (16 pts, 9 rebs, 4 assts, 1 blk)

CSKA Moscow  72 - 67  Budivelnik Kiev

Aaron Jackson - CSKA (6 pts, 5 assts, 4 stls), Micah Downs - KIEV (23 pts, 4 rebs, 4 assts, 2 blks, 1 asst)

Partizan NIS Belgrade  73 - 43.  JSF Nanterre
Bogdan Bogdanovic - BEL (16 pts, 3 rebs, 5 assts, 1 stl, 1 blk), Will Daniels - NAN (5 pts, 7 rebs, 2 stl, 1 ast, 1 blk)


Game Day 3

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FC Barcelona 67 - 71 JSF Nanterre
Whoops. What a weird group. Two top teams, Barcelona and CSKA have shown very streaky performances in this group which culminated in Barcelona's shocking defeat to JSF Nanterre.... in Barcelona.
Barcelona shot the ball well from the floor (52%) and looked to coast to an easy win after some resistance from Nanterre. Leading by 9 points at the start of the 4th quarter, Barcelona got major contribution by 20 year old shooter Alex Abrines who ended with 15 points on 10 shots.
Nanterre, however, went on a ridicolous 17-6 run in 6 minutes to take the lead. Up by two points in the last minute, Nanterre made the mistake of fouling Victor Sada who tied the game with free throws. Fortunately for Nanterre, Je'Kel Foster had his superhero cape with him and drove against terrible help defense by Barcelona for an easy lay-up with 8 seconds left to get the historical win. A very promising debut for Nanterre so far and fortunately for them, Sergii Gladyr finally showed up too, showing how dangerous this team can get at full strength.

Top performers: Alex Abrines (15 pts, 2 rbs, 2 stls, 2 blks) - BAR, Sergii Gladyr - NAN (12 pots, 5 rebs, 4 stls, 2 ass, 2 blks)

Foster's game-winning lay-up.

Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 86 - 60 CSKA Moscow

Bo McCalebb - IST (14 pts, 5 assts, 4 stls), Kyle Hines - MOS (17 pts, 7 off. rebs, 1 asst)

Budivelnik Kiev 74 - 69 Partizan NIS Belgrade
Darjus Lavrinovic - KIEV (22 pts, 8 rebs, 3 assts, 2 blks, 1 stl), Bogdan Bogdanovic - BEL (16 pts, 3 rebs, 3 stls, 2 assts, 1 blk)



Standings:


Team W L Pts Opp Pts +/-
Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 3 0 263 214 49
CSKA Moscow 2 1 194 212 -18
Partizan NIS Belgrade 1 2 202 184 18
FC Barcelona 1 2 204 206 -2
Budivelnik Kiev 1 2 225 243 -18
JSF Nanterre 1 2 173 202 -29



GROUP B

Game Day 1

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Zalgiris Kaunas 63 - 83 Real Madrid

What happens if you turn the ball over 27 times in a basketball game? There's a good chance you're going to lose. What if you're playing Real Madrid with Nikola Mirotic in god-mode? You're going to lose bitterly.

Absolutely nothing went right for Zalgiris which loves to play Real because of the fans negative affliction with Floppy Fernandez. Offensively, Kaunas didn't see any light against Real's defense which ended up with 17 assists and left five players with 3+ turnovers. Defensively, Zalgiris didn't show any quality to stop Real's attacks, resulting with 83 Real poitns on just 32 shots (68 % 2FG!). Mirotic was impressive with 18 points on 5/6 shooting and 5 assissts. As the final slap in the face, Rudy Fernandez had a remarkable performance, seeming to be everywhere on the floor at once.


Top performers: Paulius Jankunas (15 pts, 8 rebs, 1 ast) - KAU, Rudy Fernandez - MAD (11 pts, 6 rebs, 9 assts, 3 stls, 2 to)

Anadolu Efes Istanbul 87 - 67 EA7 Emporio Armani Milan

Jamon Gordon - AIST (16 pts, 6 rebs, 7 assts, 4 stls, 2 blks), Keith Langford - MIL (20 pts, 5 rebs, 2 assts)

Brose Baskets Bamberg 84 - 70 Strasbourg
Jamar Smith - BAM (19 pts, 3 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl), Romain Duport - STR (13 pts, 5 rebs, 3 blks, 1 asst, 1 stl)


Game Day 2

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Real Madrid 98 - 58 Brose Baskets Bamberg
Euroleague is supposed to consist of the cream of the crop of European basketball, but due to different league strenghts, 20-30 point blowouts of course every once in a while. A 40-point blowout with 98 points in 40 minutes is remarkable though, especially since Bambergs really isn't cannon fodder.
However, against the Germans, Real was working like a German engine on offense and defense, pretty much deciding the game in the first quarter where Bamberg only got to score 7 points on 15 shots and commited six turnovers. Nikola Mirotic got to only to play 17 minutes but made these productive ones and become the teams MVP.

Top performers: Nikola Mirotic (12 pts, 8 rebs, 3 stls, 2 blks - KAU, Damir Markota - BAM (9 pts, 5 rebs, 2 assts)

EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 82 - 75 Zalgiris Kaunas

Nicolo Melli - MIL (20 pts, 9 rebs, 2 stls), Paulius Jankunas - KAU (16 pts, 4 assts, 3 rebs, 2 stls)

Strasbourg 66 - 76 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Alexis Ajinca - STR (18 pts, 9 rebs, 2 blks, 1 ast, 1 stl), Scotty Hopson - AIST (20 pts, 6 rebs, 4 stls)



Game Day 3

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Brose Baskets Bamberg 88 - 86 Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Anton Gavel - Brose Baskets Bamberg celebrates - EB13

Bamberg only had a week to get its head straight and forget the debacle against Real Madrid on the road. Facign Efes Istanbul, another very good team, Bamberg tried to bounce back at home, while the undefeatedTurkish team looked to exploit any doubt and broken confidence Bamberg might have substained after being outclassed.

A mostly close game seemed to take a disappointing turn for Bamberg as Istanbul took a 14 point lead midway through the third quarter. Sparked by two three pointers by Casey Jacobsen, Bamberg embared on an impressive 20-2 run to take a 8 point lead themselves. 8 consecutive points by Efes' Greek Kostas Vasileiadis brought Istanbul back into the game and a two-pointer by Jamon Gordon gave Efes the lead with time for just one posession. The play Bamberg run wasn't pretty as Efes defense was all over Casey Jacobsen's catch-and-shoot three pointer, but Jacobsen was still hot and drained it as if he was still dressed up as Ray Allen for Halloween the night before. It was exactly the type of game Bamberg needed.

Casey Jacobsen's gamewinner

Top performers: Casey Jacobsen - BAM (23 pts, 3 rebs, 2 assts, 1 stl), Dusko Savanovic - AIST (17 pts, 4 rebs, 2 stls)

Zalgiris Kaunas 88 - 64 Strasbourg

Martynas Pocius - KAU (23 pts, 5 assts, 2 rebs, 1 blk), Ricardo Greer (8 pts, 7 rebs, 5 assts)

Real Madrid 93 - 74 EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
Nikola Mirotic (19 pts, 6 rebs, 2 assts), Keith Langford - MIL (17 pts, 6 assts, 2 rebs, 2 stls)




Standings:

Team W L Pts Opp Pts +/-
Real Madrid 3 0 274 195 79
Anadolu Efes Istanbul 2 1 249 221 28
Brose Baskets Bamberg 2 1 230 254 -24
Zalgiris Kaunas 1 2 226 229 -3
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 1 2 223 255 -32
Strasbourg IG 0 3 200 248 -48

GROUP C

Game Day 1

Olympiacos Piraeus 69 - 61 Unicaja Malaga

Olympiacos opener game against Unicaja Malaga was a bumpy start to its three-peat mission. Bothered by the consequent double teaming on Vassilis Spanoulis, and the strong defense of inside man Fran Vasquez, Olympaicos saw itself behind by seven after the first half. Offensively, Malaga struggled too, however and finished the game with 35% shooting from the floor where they had to rely on Vasquez too, their best and only offensive option that night apart from Zoran Dragic (who still seems to be Wario to Gordan Dragic's Mario) and free throws-drawing Carlos Suarez.

In an ugly yet exciting third quarter, the Greek fans saw a 9-0 run by Piraeus which was answered immediately by Malaga and gave the guests a 10 point lead. Highlighted by two three pointers by Matt Lojeski and Printezis, Piraeus closed the quarter strong and made it a one point game which was extended into a 25-4 run that gave them an ugly win.

Top performers: Brent Petway - PIR (15 pts, 8 rebs, 1 ast), Rudy Fernandez - UMAL (12 pts, 10 rebs, 3 blks)

Montepaschi Siena 75 - 84 Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul

Daniel Hackett - SIE (26 pts, 5 rebs, 3 assts - 11 for 14 shooting!), Zoran Erceg - GIST (15 pts, 11 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl)

Stelmet Zielona Gora 73 - 94 FC Bayern Munich
Przemyslaw Zamojski - GOR (11 pts, 3 assts, 2 rebs), Nihad Djedovic - MUN (17 pts, 5 rebs, 4 asst, 1 stl)

Game Day 2

FC Bayern Munich 89 - 79 Montepaschi Siena

After an easy win against Polish Stelmet Zielona Gora, Euroleague debutant saw its first real test in Italian team Montepaschi Siena. Munich did look a little nervous at first, allowing an 8-0 run by Siena, but solidified itself after a 9-0 run. Bayern kept rolling on to a 16 pont lead fter four quarters which was temporarily at danger after a strong showing by Siena in the fourth. Nevertheless, Bayern closed it out in remarkable fashion a week before playing  the hardest game in team history, against Olympiacos.

Top performers: Nihad Djedovic - MUN (14 pts, 5 assts, 4 rebs, 2 stls), Joshua Carter - SIE (14 pts, 10 reb, 1 asst)

Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul 67 - 78 Olympiacos Piraeus

Nate Jawai - GIST (22 pts, 5 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl, 1 block), Matthew Lojeski - PIR (15 pts, 5 rebs, 1 asst)

Unicaja Malaga 101 - 68 Stelmet Zielona Gora
Nik Caner-Medley (20 pts, 10 pts, 1 asst, 1 st l - 9 for 11 shooting!), Vladimir Dragicevic - GOR (20 pts, 5 rebs, 2 asst, 1 blk)

Game Day 3

Olympiacos Piraeus 88 - 83 FC Bayern Munich

After two solid showings so far, Bayern did not disappoint and gave Olympiacos a real test. The game started well for Olympiacos, especially star player Spanoulis who had 7 points and a couple assists after the first quarter. The second quarter didn't go much bette rfor Bayern as Matt Lojeski and Evangelos Mantzaris turned hot, trading baskets with Bayern and staying up by 7.

With three minutes to go in the third, Olympiacos was already up by 15, but a crazy 15-0 run by Bayern, sparked by triplets by Heiko Schaffartzik and Delaney tied the game. the game's dramatic late stage saw Munich blow multiple chances to take the lead and Olympiacos shaky free throw shooting eventually was enough to beat the aspiring team from Germany.

Top performers: Bryant Dunston - PIR (19pts, 8 rebs, 3 blks, 2 assts, 1 stl), Malcolm Delaney - MUN (20 pts, 3 reb, 3 asst, 1 stl)

Unicaja Malaga 84 - 57 Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul

Nik Caner-Medley - UMAL (16 pts, 6 rebs, 1 blk), Milan Macvan - GIST (11 pts, 9rebs)

Stelmet Zielona Gora 73 - 65 Montepaschi Siena
Chrisian Eyenga - GOR (13 pts, 9 rebs, 3 blks, 1 asst), Daniel Hackett - SIE (12 pts, 7 rebs, 6 assts, 1 stl)

Team
W L Pts Pts Opp +/-
Olympiacos Piraeus 3 0 235 211 24
Unicaja Malaga 2 1 246 194 52
FC Bayern Munich 2 1 266 240 26
Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul 1 2 208 237 -29
Stelmet Zielona Gora 1 2 214 260 -46
Montepaschi Siena 0 3 219 246 -27

GROUP D

Game Day 1

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Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 84 - 83 Panathinaikos Athens

The fans in Vilnius could enjoy the most exciting of the EL so far between two hot teams (62.5% & 63.9% 2PT) which was decided by the very last shot in overtime. Both teams split first quarters even with Athens winning the 3rd by one point and Vilnius the 4th.

With 4 minutes to go in the 4th, Reinaldas Seibutis put Vilnius in front by two. After many misses (among them two free throws by Diamantidis), the lead went up to 4 thanks to split free throws by Seibutis and Juan Palacius. Diamantidis split another pair of free throws to cut the lead to three but bounced back rom his shaky free throw shooting by draining a three that sent the game to overtime. After a dunk by James Gist, Athens looked like the winner, but Seibutis delived again and hit an awkward leaning jumper for the win with 5 seconds to go.

Seibutis for the win!

Top performers: Darius Songaila - VIL (13 pts, 8 rebs, 3 assts, 1 stl), Jonas Macilius - ATH (13 pts, 8 rebs, 2 assts)

Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 84 - 87 Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar

Blake Schilb - VIL (17 pts, 8 rebs, 6 assts), Richard Hendrix - KRA (19 pts, 9 rebs, 3 asst, 1 stl)

Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 84 - 80 Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
Tibor Pleiss - VIT (12 pts, 8 rebs, 2 assts), Ricky Hickman - TEL (20 pts, 3 rebs, 2 assts)

Game Day 2


Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 96 - 82 Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade

Poor Belgrade. The team that has looked solid so far just couldn't do anything against a super hot Maccai team that hit 15 of 28 three pointers. Belgrade shot it well itself with 57% of its two pointers converted, most notably Boban Marjanovic who was 9/12 from the field, but it wasn't enough against the range shooting of Joe Ingles, Devin Smith and David Blue who each had 3 converted threes.

Top performers: Joe Ingles - TEL (16 pts, 5 assts, 3 rebs, 1 stl), Boban Marjanovic - BEL (20 pts, 13 rebs, 1 stl, 1 blks)

Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 68 - 53 Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius

Richard Hendrix - KRA (17 pts, 11 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl, 1 blk), Andreas Glyniadakis - VIL (11 pts, 4 rebs, 1 asst, 1 stl, 1 blk)

Panathinaikos Athens 95 - 74 Laboral Kutxa Vitoria
Michael Bramos - ATH (21 pts, 5 rebs, 2 assts, 1 blk - 7 for 11 threes!), Andres Nocioni - VIT (23 pts, 12 rebs, 3assts, 1 blk - but also 5 tos)

Game Day 3


Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 86 - 90 Panathinaikos Athens

Another bitter defeat for the underdog Belgrade. After drowning in Tel Aviv's three point shooing last week, Belgrade looked like the sure winner at home after taking a 48-33 lead after the first half. However, Athens outscored Red Star 41-26 in the second half and survived in overtime. Athens took a three point lead in the last moments of the game, but a three pointer by Blake Shilb sent it to extra minutes. There, a team effort by Athens closed out Belgrade.

Top performers: Blake Schilb - BEL (19 pts, 5 assts, 3 rebs, 1 stl), Dimitris Diamantidis - BEL (12 pts, 9 assts, 4 stl, 3 rebs)

Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 58 - 73 Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv

Mantas Kalnietis - KRA (13 pts, 5 assts, 4 rebs, 1 stl, 1 blk), Joe Ingles - TEL (14 pts, 10 rebs, 4 assts, 1 stl)

Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 64 - 85 Laboral Kutxa Vitoria
Omar Cook - VIL (13 pts, 10 assts, 3 stls, 2 rebs), Andres Nocioni (20 pts, 9 rebs, 2 stls, 1 ast)

Team W L Pts Pts Opp +/-
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv 2 1 249 224 25
Panathinaikos Athens 2 1 268 244 24
Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 2 1 243 239 4
Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar 2 1 213 210 3
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 1 2 201 236 -35
Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade 0 3 252 273 -21

BEST PLAYER CAMPAIGNS AFTER 3 GAMES

Here are some stats for the best players so far:


TEAM PLAYER AGE MP MIN PTS OREB DREB REB ASS STL TO BLK POINTS
PER
SHOT
eFG% TS% USG% AST% AST%-
TOV%
ORB% DRB% TRB% ORTG
1 REAL MADRID MIROTIC, NIKOLA 22 64
21,0 16,3 2,7 3,7 6,3 1,0 1,7 0,7 1,0 2,33 90% 93% 21% 8% 0,96 16% 20% 18% 181
2 LOKOMOTIV KUBAN HENDRIX, RICHARD 27 67
22,0 14,7 2,7 5,3 8,0 1,7 1,0 1,3 0,3 1,57 71% 69% 31% 19% 8,27 14% 25% 20% 124
3 FC BARCELONA TOMIC, ANTE 26 67
22,0 12,3 1,7 3,0 4,7 2,3 0,3 1,0 1,0 1,76 67% 69% 25% 25% 15,02 8% 14% 11% 134
4 PANATHINAIKOS ATHENS BRAMOS, MICHAEL 26 50
25,0 15,0 0,0 4,0 4,0 1,5 1,0 0,0 0,5 1,88 94% 94% 17% 12% 12,19 0% 22% 11% 174
5 MONTEPASHI SIENA HACKETT, DANIEL 26 111 37,0 15,3 0,7 5,3 6,0 5,0 0,3 2,3 0,0 1,77 67% 71% 18% 26% 8,19 2% 18% 9% 128

All Hail Mirotic.



BEST UNDER-23 CAMPAIGNS AFTER 3 GAMES

Here are some stats for the best young players so far:

TEAM PLAYER Age MP X MIN PTS OREB DREB REB ASS STL TO BLK POINTS
PER
SHOT
eFG% TS% USG% AST% AST%-
TOV%
ORB% DRB% TRB% ORTG
1 PARTISAN BELGRADE BOGDANOVIC, BOGDAN 21 72 24,0 13,0 1,3 2,0 3,3 2,7 2,0 0,7 0,7 1,11 47,1% 50,6% 31,0% 23,3% 18,32 6,3% 9,9% 8,0% 122

2

PARTISAN BELGRADE LAUVERGNE, JOFFREY 22 100 33,0 5,7 2,7 9,7 12,3 1,7 0,0 1,3 1,0 1,06 40,6% 47,9% 12,0% 8,4% -10,03 9,1% 34,5% 21,3% 107
3 EA7 EMPORIO ARMANI GENTILE, ALESSANDRO 21 61 20,0 10,0 0,3 1,7 2,0 1,0 0,3 1,7 0,0 1,30 56,5% 59,5% 27,8% 9,8% -6,78 2,2% 11,2% 6,6% 108
4 EA7 EMPORIO ARMANI MELLI, NICOLO 22 73 24,0 9,3 4,0 2,7 6,7 0,3 1,0 1,7 0,7 1,33 57,1% 61,5% 21,4% 2,6% -15,37 21,7% 14,9% 18,4% 119
5 FC BARCELONA ABRINES, ALEJANDRO 20 69 23,0 8,7 0,7 1,0 1,7 0,0 0,7 1,7 0,7 1,13 56,5% 56,5% 22,5% 0,0% -17,86 3,1% 4,4% 3,8% 89

A big disappointment so far has been Leo Westermann who is second among all players under the age of 23. In 31 MPG, Leo is averaging just 6 points, 3 assists with 2.7 TO's with 0.90 PPS and an ORTG of 83.

http://www.index.hr/images2/dario_saric_cvike_nikola_vilic_cropix.jpg
DRAFT DARIO SARIC WATCH

Hello Saric haters and welcome to my favorite part of all this whole column. Throughout the season I will keep an eye on funny-faced Croatian point forward Dario Saric. You bet that by the end of the season, we will all regret Flip not giving him a lottery promise. Fortunately, Saric will play lots of games as he is in the weird Croatian multi-league system as well as participating in the Eurocup.

So what has Dario been up to? Here are his per game stats for domestic league and Eurocup so far:

Dario Saric Per Game Games MPG PPG 2FG 2FG% 3FG 3FG% FT FT% OREB DREB AST STL BS TO
Adriatic League 6 27,30 13,30 27-40 68% 4-14 29% 14-24 58% 2,00 5,00 1,30 0,80 0,00 1,80
Eurocup 3 30,30 14,70 17-26 65% 1-4 25% 7-11 64% 2,30 4,30 3,00 1,30 0,70 2,70

So far, so good. Especially the international play is encouraging. Let's see what he does the next few weeks.

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