| ASK Riga got closer to advance to the Last 16 round in Group A by rallying to down Chorale Roanne 86-70 in Latvian capital on Tuesday night. ASK improved to 3-2 and joins a three-way tie with Zadar and Maroussi Costa Coffee atop the Group A standings. ASK needs to win next week or wait for Chorale to beat Maroussi in order to reach the next round. Meanwhile, Roanne is mathematically out of the competition. Ernests Kalve paced the winners with 23 points. Sandis Valters added 19 and 6 assists, Aigars Vitols had 16 points while Raitis Grafs posted a double-double of 13 points and 15 rebounds for ASK. Chris Monroe led Roanne with 21 points. Aaron Harper added 15, Curtis SUmpter had 12 while Karim Souchu got 10 for the guests, that led 38-44 at halftime and boosted their margin to 40-52 early in the third quarter. ASK returned to the game, as a three-pointer by Kalve kept the hosts as close as 61-62 after 30 minutes. A 13-0 run that Valters capped with consecutive triples sealed the outcome, 76-65, as Roanne never recovered.
Harper got Roanne going while Marc-Antoine Pellin scored off a steal for a 0-4 lead. Grafs and Vitols stepped up for ASK for Harper followed free throws with a triple to keep Chorale ahead, 4-9. Valters sank consecutive jumpers, igniting a 8-0 run that Kalve capped with a layup for a 12-9 ASK lead. Roanne had been scoreless for 4 minutes until Pellin fed Monroe for an easy basket. Monroe soon added a triple but Kalve and Grafs restored a 16-14 ASK edge. Mohamed Kone followed free throws with a layup while a three-point play by Pierric Poupet gave Roanne a 17-21 edge after 10 minutes. Grafs and Monroe traded baskets early in the second quarter while a layup-plus-foul by Karim Souchu kept the guests ahead, 21-26. Kalve kept pacing ASK with free throws and a three-pointer. Roanne found a new go to guy in Sumpter while Souchu scored again for a 26-34 margin. Dairis Bertrans dunked it but a three-point plat by Samba Dia and another basket by Souchu boosted the guests' lead to 30-39. Monroe added free throws but Bertrans and Vitols fueled a 8-0 run that got ASK within 38-44 at halftime.
Just as in the beginning of the game, Harper stroke first in the second half with a layup and a three-pointer to restore a double-digit Roanne lead, 38-49. Grafs answered with a put-back layup but Harper nailed another triple for a 40-52 score. Vitols nailed one from downtown, igniting a 11-1 ASK run in which Andrius Mazutis had 6 points to bring the hosts back in the game, 51-53. Sumpter silenced the crowd with a triple but Vitols and Kalve tied it at 56-56. Sumpter kept pacing Roanne but Kalve kept ASK as close as 61-62 after 30 minutes. Kalve completed the hosts' comeback, 63-62, but Monroe silenced the crowd with a triple. Vitols answered from downtown while Valters and Grafs added consecutive baskets to make Roanne call timeout at 70-65. Valters capped a game-breaking 13-0 ASK run with back-to-back three-pointers, good for a 76-65 lead. Monroe answered from downtown but the hosts were on fire now. Valters nailed another triple and soon added free throws to seal the outcome, 82-68, enough for ASK to keep fighting for Eurocup glory.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009