Limoges blasts Arka to clinch Top 16 berth
Limoges CSP advanced to the Top 16 on Wednesday thanks to a 104-86 victory over Arka Gdynia at home. The win lifted Limoges to 4-6 and the team advanced thanks to its tiebreaker over Tofas Bursa, which it defeated twice this season. In the first quarter, Arka seemed a threat to the hosts, but Jonathan Rouselle turned the game upside down with 8 points in the second quarter to put Limoges on the right path. Arka finished its EuroCup season with a 1-9 record. Isaiah Miles led the winners with 22 points behind 5 of 5 three-point shooting, Axel Bouteille added 13 and Samardo Samuels and Sekou Doumbouya had 12 apiece. For Arka, James Florence had a career-high 28 points on 7 of 8 three-point shooting and Marcel Ponitka added 12.
Limoges started strong with a 5-0 run that was halted by some problems with the scoreboard. Arka soon joined the scoring train, but Samardo Samuels shined on both ends of the court. The hosts had some problems with turnovers and Arka used that to jump ahead, completing a 2-12 run to lead 7-12. Dwight Hardy finally stopped the bleeding for Limoges with a steal and dunk, but the hosts were up to 7 turnovers after 8 minutes. However, Arka ran into turnover problems also that allowed the hosts to put an end to the first quarter at 18-16. Limoges rolled at the start of the second quarter with an effective offense propelled by Rouselle and Doumbouya as Arka kept adding turnovers. The Limoges lead went over double digits in the last plays of the second quarter, while the guests tried to cut that from beyond the arc, but at the break, it was 48-33 for the hosts. Six straight points by Samuels in the third quarter kept the hosts away around the 20-point mark and Miles contributed also from beyond the arc with the hosts at 8 of 13 late in the third. Young Maciej Leszczynski made his EuroCup debut with Arka and scored his first points at the end of the third quarter, 80-59. Florence took it upon himself to get Arka back in the game, scoring non-stop from downtown and he managed to make it 86-70 with six minutes to go. However, Miles and Limoges managed to settle things down again and the hosts cruised to victory to get the last Top 16 ticket.
It took a while, but once Limoges started netting threes, there was no stopping it. The hosts finished at 10-of-17 shooting (58.8%) led by Miles, who was 5 of 5 from behind the arc. Rouselle made 2 of 3 and even big man Samuels netted a triple.
Point guard Jonathan Rouselle came to Limoges's rescue when it looked like Arka might take control of the game. Rouselle erupted for 8 points and 2 assists in the second quarter that not only stopped Arka's burst, but also launched Limoges for the rest of the game.
Did you notice?
Youngster Maciej Leszczynski made his EuroCup debut with Arka Gdynia. This is his debut season with the Arka first team after one season playing with its U20 and the second teams. Leszczynski scored 8 points, collected 1 rebound, dished 1 assist and drew 3 fouls for a performance index rating of 11 in less than 9 minutes.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018