Asvel Basket finished in the 7th spot in the Belgrade Nike International Junior Tournament following an 80-77 win over BC Crvena Zvezda on Sunday morning in Belgrade, Serbia. Asvel opened the games with an 80-76 win over Zvezda, lost the next three but managed to avoid the last place in the standings with an almost identical result. Zvezda arrived to the tournament with a long list of injured players, and ended up losing all 5 games, but all but one in no more than 6 point difference. Gide Noel finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, Adrien Coussy added 17 points, Theo Leon delivered 12 and Rudy Deal scored 11 with 8 rebounds. Ognjen Filipovic was the top scorer of Zvezda with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Ivan Saicic and Jovan Djordjevic scored 13 points each.
The first quarter showed Zvezda take an 18-23 lead, but an assist by Noel to a three pointer cut it down to just 4. Zvezda replied with 6 points in a row to take a double-digit lead, but Asvel recovered quickly and finished the first half down by only 2 points, 35-37. Diacono carried Asvel on his back and led his team to its first lead since the first quarter, 45-43 midway in the third, and when Noel stepped up with 4 points in a row the gap extended to 55-45. Filipovic started to gather more points, and together with Saicic led Zvezda back to a 63-63 tie with 7 minutes on the game clock. Noel wasn't about to give up, and remained the dominant force to put Asvel back on top, and stay safe in front. Djordjevic hit a three pointer right before the buzzer to cut the margin to just 3 with the buzzer, but not enough to make the needed difference.
Saturday, February 13, 2010