Le Mans Sarthe Basket took the lead in its two-way Turkish Airlines Euroleague second Qualifying Round series by beating Asvel Basket 85-75 in Game 1 on Tuesday. Le Mans has a 10-point lead in the series that now travel to Lyon, France for Game 2 on Friday. JP Batista paced the winners with 18 points. Alain Koffi added 13 on 6-of-6 two-pointers, Ryvon Covile had 12, Antoine Diot got 11 while Charles Kahudi contributed 10 for Le Mans. AD Vassallo led Asvel with 29 points. Mickael Gelabale added 14 while Andrija Zizic had 11 for the guests, that led 18-26 early in the second quarter. A late 8-1 run allowed Le Mans to get a 40-38 edge at halftime. Le Mans boosted its margin to 59-49 on a jumper by Covile but Vassallo singlehandedly brought Asvel back in the game, 68-67. Diot and Batista combined for all points in a final 7-0 run that may be critical in the outcome of the series.
Koffi got Le Mans going with a layup that Gelabale matched in the other end. Vassallo sank a jumper and soon followed a three-pointer with a layup-plus-foul to give his team an early 6-11 lead. Kahudi rescued Le Mans with free throws and Koffi scored twice around the basket to make it a one-point game, 12-13. Gelabale struck from downtown and a jumper by Zizic gave Asvel some fresh air at 12-18. Batista and Alex Acker stepped up for Le Mans but Gelabale allowed Asvel to stay ahead, 18-22, after 10 minutes. Paul Lacombe hit a jumper early in the second quarter and Kim Tillie soon gave the guests an eight-point margin, 18-26. Covile and Thierry Rupert combined for all points in a 6-0 Le Mans run but Zizic and another three-point play by Vassallo kept Asvel ahead, 24-31. Covile dunked it and Kahudi had 4 points in a 6-0 run that brought Le Mans within 32-33. Zizic silenced the crowd with a put-back layup and Davon Jefferson scored in transition to restore a 32-37 Asvel edge. Batista shined with 4 points and Marc-Antoine Pellin added a bomb from downtown in a 8-1 run that Rupert capped with free throw to put Le Mans back ahead, 40-38, at halftime.
Vassallo and Koffi traded baskets immediately after the break and a three-point play by Zizic allowed Asvel to regain the lead, 42-43. Dewar answered from downtown and a jumper by Kahudi helped Le Mans to get a 47-45 edge. A layup-plus-foul by Diot ignited an 8-0 run that Koffi capped with another three-point play to boost the hosts' lead to 57-48. A jumper by Covile soon gave Le Mans its first double-digit lead, 59-49. Vassallo - who else? - took over with 7 unanswered points and then matched Covile's jumper with foul shots for a 61-58 Asvel deficit. A three-pointer by Diot and a put-back layup by Acker kept Le Mans ahead, 66-62, after 30 minutes. Vassallo buried a jumper early in the fourth quarter and Gelabale struck from downtown to get Asvel within 68-67. A layup by Tillie soon tied it at 69-69 with 7 minutes left. Zicic matched Kahudi's free throws with a layup but another triple de Dewar restored a 74-71 Le Mans edge. Batista scored twice in the paint and another triple by Diot sealed the outcome, 81-75, with 2 minutes left. Asvel struggled to score right when it mattered. Meanwhile, Batista followed a layup with a jumper to make Le Mans tie its biggest lead of the night, 85-75, seconds before the final buzzer.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010