Asvel Villeurbanne Lyon held off Cimberio Varese 83-80 to keep alive its chances of advancing to the next round on Wednesday night. Asvel improved to 4-4 in a share of the third place with Valencia Basket in Group C, while last place Cimberio Varese dropped to 1-7 as it was mathematically eliminated with two games to play. The hosts took the lead for good late in the third quarter behind baskets from Edwin Jackson, and held 66-54 at the start of the fourth period. Varese rallied behind triples from Dusan Sakota and Keydren Clark, but Asvel held on. Jackson paced the winners, scoring 12 of his 18 points in the third quarter. Uche Nsonwu had 15 points plus 7 rebounds, Amara Sy scored 14, while Chris Wright collected 10 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists for Asvel. Frank Hassell and Adrian Banks each scored 15 in defeat, with Hassell pulling down 8 rebounds. Clark netted 12, and Erik Rush 11 points in defeat.
In the opening minutes of the game, Sy hit a three-pointer and Nsonwu basket-plus-foul among his 7 early points, for 15-9. But Hassell scored twice from close range, and Achille Polonara hit from long range for the visitors who cut it to 22-20 after 10 minutes. Early in the second quarter, Rush had a put-back and a triple for Cimberio, and 26-29. It started raining threes in the second quarter, as teams exchanged leads. Travis Leslie and Jackson scored from downtown to put Asvel back in front, but Nicola Mei answered for 36-36. After Ebi Ere and Sy traded triples, Nsonwu scored inside to give Asvel 42-39 halftime lead. After the break, Jackson hit from long range, while Banks scored twice inside for the visitors. After Clark and Jackson traded triples, Hassell had a basket-plus-foul 52-51. But Jackson was on fire, scoring three more times, and Marko Keselj added a jumper before the buzzer for 63-54 at the end of the third quarter. Keselj sunk a triple at the start of the fourth for 66-54, but Dusan Sakota answered twice from downtown, cutting it to 68-64. Asvel remained in the lead with a triple from Wright and a dunk from Nswonu for 77-71. Clark kept Varese with a chance, hitting from behind the arc, but Sy had a basket plus-foul for 80-74. After a timeout, Clark hit another triple with 39 seconds remaining, but Sy scored on ensuing possession, sealing the win for the hosts.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013