|BC Goverla's Dante Swanson saw signs of improvement on the weekend, despite a third consecutive defeat in Ukraine's Superleague |
BC Goverla had been playing like a runaway train not long ago but with the EuroChallenge tipping off on Tuesday, the club appears to be off the rails.
Dnipro handed Goverla their third straight setback at the weekend, beating Evgeni Murzin's side 71-68 in the Ukrainian Superleague.
BC Kyiv (78-62) and Ferro-ZNTU (83-76) had beaten them in their previous two encounters.
But captain Dante Swanson, the Goverla guard, says at least in the latest loss, the team was better.
"I think we played a good game," the 30-year-old said.
"Normally, we started the past two games with no energy but in this game we started with good energy.
"On the defensive end, it was real good.
"I think the team (Dnipro) only had 30 points at half-time, so that's how we want to play all the games.
"We just didn't finish good at the end but overall, I think we played a good game."
Swanson had 17 points after hitting seven of his 11 shots from the floor.
He was three of four from long range.
"Maybe I could have played better in the end to help win, but I think I played okay," Swanson said.
The good news for Goverla fans is that Swanson overcame the back problems that have been bothered him of late.
"We're on a losing streak right now but some of the games we've played, we should have won," he said.
"With me and him on the court at the same time, we're one of the fastest backcourts in the league.
"I don't think we've been using our speed a lot in transition, getting a lot of fast-breaks, but if we start to do that, we'll be a big problem for teams."
Goverla are now 7-4 in Ukraine's top flight.
BC Khimik Yuzhny are the other side representing the country in the EuroChallenge and they are 6-5 following a 77-74 defeat to BC Donetsk.
Ramel Curry poured in 20 points for Khimik.
In Spain, Fuenlabrada will be at home in the EuroChallenge on Tuesday and they will go into the game against Norrköping Dolphins on the back of a 71-65 defeat at Murcia.
Center Gustavo Ayon had a game-high 12 rebounds but just seven points for Porfi Fisac's Fuenlabrada.
Sergio Sanchez had a team-high 18 points in the loss.
Slovaks Bemaco SPU Nitra rolled to a 93-75 triumph over Vahostav-Zilina, a game in which fans saw Denis Clemente at his best.
The Puerto Rican made 12 of 22 shots, including four of eight from long range, and also sank five of his six free-throws for Nitra.
"We're constantly improving our team chemistry, and that's why we're playing better and won the game," Clemente said.
As for his fearless approach when his team has the ball, the 1.85m point guard said: "I'm doing a good job when attacking the opponents' basket, which is currently bringing me a lot of points.
"This is what I do: attack the basket."
The high-flying Ater Majok was also in good form, scoring 12 points and corralling 10 boards for Nitra.
In Georgia, no team has been better than Armia - a EuroChallenge outfit.
The latest side to fall against them was MIA Tbilisi, 100-62.
Will Thomas had 23 points and Jeremy Richardson 16 for Armia.
A point guard that will give opponents fits in the EuroChallenge, Sundiata Gaines, had 14 points and 12 assists for Armia.
The Czech Republic's two representatives in the EuroChallenge both won their games at the weekend.
BK Pardubice thrashed Chomutov, 109-71, and BK Prostejov hammered BK Decin, 94-77.
Marcus Arnold had 19 points and eight rebounds for Pardubice and center Bertengeh Gadri led Prostejov in their win with 18 points, five boards and a couple of blocks.
In France, EuroChallenge sides Pau Lacq Orthez, Roanne Basket and Elan Chalon were in action.
Chalon hit 11 three-pointers and improved to 4-1 in the Pro A with an 80-70 win against Strasbourg while Roanne prevailed 86-74 over Le Havre.
Orthez fell 100-89 to Cholet.