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Former Gonzaga stars Kevin Pangos, Kyle Wiltjer clash in EuroLeague playoffs

UPDATED: Fri., April 20, 2018, 8:29 p.m.

Former Gonzaga point guard Kevin Pangos and his Zalgiris teammates are trying to add a few more chapters to their historic season.

Pangos has helped the Lithuanian team reach the EuroLeague playoffs for the first time since 1999. He averages 12.7 points and 6.2 assists in EuroLeague games and 10.3 points and 4.2 assists for the season.

“It’s something that at the beginning of year we thought we could accomplish. It was one of our goals,” Pangos said in an interview with Eurohoops.net. “We’ve done a great job this season of fighting through the ups and downs and playing our best basketball at a good time.”

Pangos scored 20 points and added six assists in an 87-78 win Wednesday over Olympiacos to take a 1-0 lead in the EuroLeague quarterfinals. Ex-BYU Cougar Brandon Davies had 21 points and eight rebounds for Zalgiris.

Olympiacos returned the favor Friday with a 79-68 victory. Davies scored 20 points, but Pangos was limited to five points and four assists.

Former Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer didn’t play (coach’s decision) in the first two games for Olympiacos, a power in Greece’s A1 League. Wiltjer signed during the season after an injury to Kim Tillie, older brother of Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie. Kim, who returned in March, played 17 minutes Wednesday and 12 Friday.

Wiltjer is averaging 4.5 points in 9.3 minutes per game. He’s hit 42 percent of his 3-point attempts.

With Domantas Sabonis (Indiana), Zach Collins (Portland), Kelly Olynyk (Miami) and David Stockton (Utah) playing in the first round of the NBA playoffs, here’s a rundown of other former Zags playing professionally:

    Eric McClellan, who recently wrapped up his season with Mineros Zacatecas and returned to Spokane, was named guard of the year and first-team All-Mexican LNBP. McClellan averaged 17.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He was the team leader in 3-pointers (68) and minutes (33.4 per game). Mineros lost in the quarterfinals of the league playoffs.

    Nigel Williams-Goss, who plays for KK Partizan in Serbia, has picked up several awards. He was named second-team All-Adriatic League. He made the league’s All-Imports team along with former Washington State Cougar Taylor Rochestie, who was selected guard of the year. Rochestie plays for Crvena Zvezda. Williams-Goss also was EuroCup honorable mention. He’s averaging 17 points and 6.7 assists per game.

    Przemek Karnowski is seeing limited playing time with Fuenlabrada in Spain. He’s averaging 3.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in eight games. He played 13 games previously for Andorra, averaging 7.5 points and 2.5 rebounds. Karnowski was back with Poland’s national team for World Cup qualifiers in February. He averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in four games.

    Gary Bell Jr. hit five 3-pointers and scored 15 points in his most recent game with Aris Thessaloniki (Greece). He averaged 8.2 points in 36 games with a season-high of 18 points.

  • Micah Downs spent the season with Avtodor in Russia. He averaged 14.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in the EuroCup and 9.9 points and 4.3 boards in the VTB United League.
  • Steven Gray split time between Lavrio in Greece and Zadar in Croatia. He’s averaging 21.1 points for Zadar while shooting 53 percent, including 52 percent on 3-pointers. He averaged 10.3 points last winter for Lavrio.
  • Elias Harris’ season was cut short by injury. He played in just three games for Brose Baskets Bamberg in his native Germany.
  • Jeremy Pargo had 13 points and 10 assists but Champville was eliminated by Sagesse 98-75 earlier this week in the Lebanese playoff quarterfinals. Pargo, who earlier this year played in China and for Santa Cruz, the Golden State Warriors’ G-League team, averaged 15.8 points and seven assists in five games with Champville.
  • Kyle Dranginis and Romerstrom Gladiators Trier advanced to the German ProA playoff semifinals with a 69-65 road win over Heidelberg. Dranginis had five points, two boards and two assists. Dranginis is averaging 9.4 points, three assists and 2.5 rebounds in his first season with Trier.
  • Byron Wesley is posting big numbers for Israel’s Hapoel K/S. The former Zag is averaging 19.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He had 23 points and 10 boards in a recent loss to Maccabi.
  • Austin Daye, who played with Hapoel J-M in Israel earlier this season, had 10 points and six rebounds for Italy’s Umana Venezia in Thursday’s loss to Groningen. Daye is averaging 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds.
  • Ira Brown is averaging 11.7 points and 7.2 rebounds for the Okinawa-based Ryukyu Golden Kings in the Japanese B League.
  • Robert Sacre also plays in the Japanese B League. He’s averaging 16.8 points and 7.4 rebounds for Tokyo’s Hitachi SunRockers. Sacre and Brown were SunRockers teammates last season.
  • Abdullahi Kuso is averaging 13.8 minutes, 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds for Kagawa in Japan’s B2 League.
  • J.P. Batista is averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds in his third season with Flamengo in his homeland of Brazil. He’s shooting 60.4 percent from the field and had season-highs of 30 points and 15 rebounds in a November game. Batista played in the Brazilian All-Star game last month.
  • Guy Landry Edi is averaging 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds for Nantes in France.
  • Mathis Monninghoff, who played two seasons at GU before returning to Germany to begin his professional career, is averaging 5.9 points while shooting 39 percent beyond the arc for Germany’s Walter Tigers.
  • Angel Nunez, who spent time at Louisville and Gonzaga before finishing at South Florida, last month joined CDP in the Dominican Republic. He’s listed as a starter but no stats were available. Nunez averaged 7.7 points with Metros in the Dominican Republic league last summer.
  • Mathis Keita, who finished his career at Indiana (Pennsylvania) University after playing two seasons at Gonzaga, is averaging 8.2 points for Roanne in his native France.

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Former Gonzaga forward Sam Dower Jr.’s career sidelined by another knee surgery

UPDATED: 5:29 p.m.

Former Gonzaga Bulldog Sam Dower Jr.’s professional basketball career appears to be over. Dower said in an Instagram post Sunday that it “may be time for the basketball chapter of my life to come to an end.” The 6-foot-9 forward, who signed in August with MKS Dabrowa Gornicza in Poland, explained that he needs another surgery on his left knee, the third in the last 2½ years.