ASVEL edges Valencia, takes Group C lead
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne extended its winning streak to five games by edging visiting Valencia Basket 73-69 at home on Tuesday night. ASVEL took sole possession of first place in Group C with a 5-1 record, while Valencia dropped to 4-2. It was a game in which neither team held a lead bigger than 8 points. DeMarcus Nelson scored 20 points to lead ASVEL, A.J. Slaughter added 14 and Mantas Kalnietis contributed with 11 points and 6 assists. Louis Labeyrie collected 17 points plus 9 rebounds for Valencia, Mike Tobey had 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists and Guillem Vives scored 10 in the losing effort.
Valencia had a better opening as Tobey scored 6 points and Matt Thomas hit a triple before feeding Labeyrie for a fastbreak dunk to open an early 8-14 lead. The hosts answered, however, with Theo Maledon and Nelson leading the way. A triple from Slaughter gave ASVEL a 20-17 edge at the end of the first quarter. Valencia scored the first 6 points of the second, and three-pointer from Will Thomas made it 22-26. But ASVEL got right back in it, and neither team gained separation the rest of the half, which ended with 37-37 on the scoreboard. The teams traded baskets in the third quarter, too. Vives and Labeyrie hit a triple apiece to give the visitors a 46-47 edge and Tobey nailed a triple to make it 50-52. But the hosts scored the last 8 points of the quarter, including a three-point play by Kalnietis with 1.7 seconds remaining that made it 60-54 after 30 minutes. David Lighty extended the margin to 8 points on the first possession of the fourth, but Valencia replied with a 0-6 run. ASVEL regained breathing room with a triple from Slaughter before Valencia used a three from Fernando San Emeterio and an alley-oop dunk by Labeyrie to close within 67-65. However, a steal from Nelson and Eric Buckner's put-back in the final minute helped ASVEL secure the win.
The teams traded leads in the third quarter, before David Lighty's assist for a dunk by Khadim Sow sparked a run of 8 consecutive points for ASVEL to end the quarter. Valencia remained without a single point for the final 2:52 of the third quarter before Lighty raced the length of the court for a dunk to cap a 10-0 run, making it 62-54. It was the biggest lead of the night, and the hosts never relinquished it again.
This youngster belongs
17-year old Theo Maledon played arguably his best game this season. In 17 minutes on the floor, he might have scored only 3 points, but he did it by beating the shot-clock on a first-quarter three-pointer. The uber-talented youngster pulled down 5 rebounds, dished 2 assists and collected 2 steals against one of the top teams in the competition.
The only thing ASVEL did not accomplish was win a tiebreaker, since Valencia won their Round 1 clash by 22 points.
Did you notice?
ASVEL's win continued the all-time trend. In six EuroCup games between these two teams, the home teams have won all six contests.
In Round 7, ASVEL will travel to face Dolomiti Energia Trento, and Valencia will be at home to welcome Turk Telekom Ankara.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018