Darussafaka edges Levallois on the road
Darussafaka Istanbul overcame an early double-digit deficit on the road before pulling out a hard-fought 64-69 win over Levallois Metropolitans on Wednesday night. The hosts took an early lead, but Darussafaka quickly rallied and neither team went ahead by more than 5 points in the final two and a half quarters of the game, turning it into a contest full of lead changes. In the end, it was Darussafaka that prevailed behind 13 points from each Scottie Wilbekin and JaJuan Johnson. Wilbekin also had 5 assists, while Howard Sant-Roos had 12 points in victory. Klemen Prepelic netted 20 points for the hosts, while Onyenma Nwaelele and Remy Lesca scored 10 apiece in defeat.
Levallois opened the game strong, with a triple from Cyrille Eliezer and back-to-back baskets from Gavin Ware that opened a 13-5 lead. Darussafaka closed in from the free throw line, but 2 more three-pointers, one by Nwaelele and another in the last second of the quarter by Lesca made it a double-digit, 23-13 Levallois advantage after 10 minutes. Darussafaka hit its first triple on the opening possession of the second quarter and slowly started melting the deficit. Wilbekin caught fire, stringing together 7 points that put the visitors up 32-34. Nonetheless, Prepelic scored 10 points in the final 3 minutes of the half to keep things levelled as the teams were tied 41-41 at halftime. Sant-Roos and Johnson hit consecutive triples for the visitors at the start of the third quarter, but Levallois kept it close, and with the help of offensive rebounds from Florent Pietrus, retook a 53-52 lead. Then, however, Wilbekin hit a triple and Will Cummings scored on a breakaway to give Darussafaka 55-57 going into the fourth quarter. Nwaelele hit from the outside and Boris Diaw muscled his way inside to put the hosts back ahead, 60-59, midway through the final quarter, but Sant-Roos answered with a three-pointer that put Darussafaka in front for good.
In Round 2 next Wednesday, Darussafaka will host Cedevita Zagreb, while Levallois travels to face UNICS Kazan.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017