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Professional Bahamian Basketball Players Shine In Asia, Europe

IT was an active weekend for Bahamian basketball across pro leagues in Asia and Europe as several players made their season debuts and others had season-high performances.

In Turkey, Zane Knowles led Baikesir Buyuksehir Belediyespor to a thrilling win in a close finish in their first game of the season in the Turkish Basketball League.

Knowles finished with a double double - 16 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots in an 80-79 win over Kagitspor.

The seven-year veteran reached an agreement with Baikesir in the offseason.

In a busy 2019-20 campaign, Knowles played in three leagues and two countries before the COVID-19 pandemic brought basketball to an end globally.

He concluded the year with Levski Lukoil of the Bulgarian NBL League. In just two games with the club he averaged 13 points, seven rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.

Prior to Bulgaria, he began the season with PAOK Thessaloniki in the Greek Champions League where through 12 games he averaged 6.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

In Greece he also played 16 games in the Greek A1 League where he averaged 9.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

In France, Willis Mackey had a breakout game for JSA Bordeaux Métropole Basket and it led to the team’s first win of the season as they improved to 1-2.

Mackey finished with 17 points (on 6-9 shooting from the field), seven rebounds and two blocked shots in a 99-78 win over Challans in the Nationale Masculine 1 (NM1) League, the third-tier division of club basketball in the country.

In his debut with the club, he came off the bench to finish with four points and four rebounds in an 80-56 loss to Lorient and was moved to the starting lineup in game two when he finished with six points in a 97-80 loss to Les Sables.

Mackey spent last season in Salamanca, Spain with Aquisima Carbajosa of the Liga Española de Baloncesto Aficionado, commonly known as Liga EBA. He led the club with 16.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, was named the EBA’s Eurobasket Player of the Year, Import Player of the Year, Forward of the Year and was an All-EBA 1st Team selection.

In Japan, Kadeem Coleby and his Akita Northern Happinets lost their first games of the Japanese B-League season.

Coleby and the Happinets dropped to a 4-2 record after a pair of losses to the Rkukyu Golden Kings. He finished with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots in a 74-53 loss in game one.

In game two, Coleby finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, two blocked shots and four assists in an 82-76 loss.

Through five games this season with four starts, Coleby is averaging 13.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in his fourth season with the Happinets.

This is the B League’s fifth season after the COVID-19 pandemic brought an early end to the 2019-20 season. Each team will play 60 regular season games. The playoffs commence on May 13 and the finals will follow on May 29.

Travis Munnings produced a season-high scoring effort in Portugal’s Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol (LPB).

Munnings finished with a game high 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists to help UD Oliveirense to an 88-57 win over Galitos-Barreiro to improve to 2-0 on the season.

Oliveirense is the two-time defending champion and Munnings joined their quest for a third consecutive title after last season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Munnings concluded last season with La Rochelle Stade Rochelais of France’s NM1 League. He averaged 17.5 points, eight rebounds and 3.8 assists per game through six games.

In Japan, Kadeem Coleby and his Akita Northern Happinets lost their first games of the Japanese B-League season.

Coleby and the Happinets dropped to a 4-2 record after a pair of losses to the Rkukyu Golden Kings. He finished with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots in a 74-53 loss in game one.

In game two, Coleby finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, two blocked shots and four assists in an 82-76 loss.

Through five games this season with four starts, Coleby is averaging 13.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in his fourth season with the Happinets.

This is the B League’s fifth season after the COVID-19 pandemic brought an early end to the 2019-20 season. Each team will play 60 regular season games. The playoffs commence on May 13 and the finals will follow on May 29.

Travis Munnings produced a season-high scoring effort in Portugal’s Liga Portuguesa de Basquetebol (LPB).

Munnings finished with a game high 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists to help UD Oliveirense to an 88-57 win over Galitos-Barreiro to improve to 2-0 on the season.

Oliveirense is the two-time defending champion and Munnings joined their quest for a third consecutive title after last season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Munnings concluded last season with La Rochelle Stade Rochelais of France’s NM1 League. He averaged 17.5 points, eight rebounds and 3.8 assists per game through six games.

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