Oscar da Silva would have every reason in the world to be struggling right now with ALBA Berlin. He was a last-second addition to the team; he is making his Turkish Airlines EuroLeague debut this season; and he’s having to face centers on a regular basis despite being a power forward. Yet da Silva is thriving for his new team.
The 23-year-old collected 9 points on 4-of-8 shooting to go with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in helping ALBA surprise Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 63-78 on Friday for the road victory. Da Silva and the rest of the team were not fazed by the boisterous crowd at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall. In fact, da Silva helped deafen the Zvezda fans roar with his solid performance.
Just like in Belgrade, the Munich native has been anything but starstruck in his first go-around the EuroLeague, averaging 15.0 points on 71.6% two-point shooting and 81.8% from the foul line to go with 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.8 blocks and just 0.8 turnovers in 29 minutes a game - for an average index rating of 18.5.
da Silva only joined ALBA on a three-year deal on September 30 - one day before the team tipped off the EuroLeague season against FC Barcelona, a game in which he did not play. It should also be noted that ALBA is a club with a very distinct style of play, especially on the offensive end, where players are asked to play more freely and read the game. Yet, da Silva has committed just 3 turnovers in more than 116 minutes of EuroLeague action.
“He’s a very smart guy, and he’s learning very fast. And this is what we need right now: for him to learn quickly,” ALBA head coach Israel Gonzalez said about da Silva following the team’s big win over Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, in which he collected 22 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals for a PIR of 26.
“The domestic league and EuroLeague do not stop and we need him to grow up very fast. He’s a very intelligent player and he is able to do a lot of things. Plus physically he is solid too.”
That’s right … physically. Da Silva is listed as a 2.05-meter forward. Yet he is regularly having to play center as ALBA is facing massive injury concerns to its big men - missing Ben Lammers, Johannes Thiemann and Christ Koumadje.
Still, da Silva is not struggling at all. And that is something which should not surprise anyone any longer.