Okobo leads ASVEL past Panathinaikos
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne confirmed its outstanding form by downing Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 70-84 in the Greek capital on Friday. ASVEL improved to 5-2 while Panathinaikos dropped to 2-5. Elie Okobo paced the winners with 35 points. Chris Jones added 13 while Kostas Antetokounmpo had 12 for ASVEL. Daryl Macon and Ioannis Papapetrou led Panathinaikos with 16 points apiece, and Jeremy Evans added 12 for the hosts. Okobo stepped up for ASVEL early in the game and got plenty of help from an outstanding Antetokounmpo - 6 points, 3 rebounds and 3 blocks in under 4 minutes - to give ASVEL a 18-24 lead after 10 minutes. Macon and Evans gave Panathinaikos a 34-27 margin but David Lighty, Jones and Okobo allowed ASVEL to regain a 38-43 margin at halftime. Nemanja Nedovic stepped up after the break but Okobo kept ASVEL in charge, 55-58, at the end of the third quarter. Okobo took over in the fourth quarter, hitting back-to-back three-pointers in crunch time to seal the outcome down the stretch.
Dylan Osetkowski got ASVEL going with a layup and Jones scored twice for a 4-7 lead. Okobo added a driving basket, a three-pointer and an acrobatic fast break layup to boost ASVEL's lead, but Georgios Papagiannis took over with an alley-oop slam and Nedovic added a coast-to-coast layup. Antetokoumpo exploded a put-back dunk and Jones hit a jumper, but Papapetrou kept the Greens within 17-18. Charles Kahudi nailed a mid-range shot and Antetokoumpo added another put-back, a buzzer-beating tip-in and a couple of blocks for a 18-24 ASVEL lead after 10 minutes. Evans took over with an acrobatic layup and soon added a backdoor slam in a 6-0 run that tied it at 24-24. William Howard downed a three-pointer but Evans and Macon put Panathinaikos ahead, 30-27. Papapetrou’s reverse layup was matched by Antetokounmpo’s huge dunk and Jones added a floater to make it 34-33. Lighty followed a turnaround jumper with a bomb from downtown, then Jones scored off a steal for a 36-40 ASVEL lead. Papapetrou hit a jumper but Okobo beat the halftime buzzer with a step-back triple, fixing the score at 38-43.
Okobo took over with a fantastic driving layup soon after the break and Lighty added a layup for a 38-47 ASVEL lead. Papagiannis tried to change things with an alley-oop slam and Nedovic added a triple, but Okobo kept the guests way ahead, 43-51. Okaro White followed a put-back dunk with a layup to give Panathinaikos hope, but Okobo scored again before Antetokounmpo hit a jump hook for a 50-58 ASVEL margin. Papapetrou joined the three-point shootout, and got help from Macon to get the Greens within 55-58 after 30 minutes. Macon ignited the crowd with an off-balance jumper early in the fourth, but Howard answered from beyond the arc, Lighty swished a five-meter jumper and Paul Lacombe added a backdoor layup, giving ASVEL fresh air at 59-65. Papapetrou tried to change things for Panathinaikos but Okobo buried a couple of jumpers and son added a triple. Macon kept his team as close as 68-72 with under 3 minutes left, but Jones nailed a jumper, then Okobo followed free throws with a critical three-pointer that sealed the outcome, 70-79.
Okobo sets club record
Elie Okobo led LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne to a 70-84 road victory against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens on Friday night. By doing so, he set a new club record with 35 points. ASVEL's previous EuroLeague scoring record belonged to Ali Traore, who had 29 points against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul on October 28, 2009. Okobo buried 8-of-12 two-point shots, 5-of-7 three-pointers and 4-of-4 free throws, adding 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 5 fouls drawn for a PIR of 37. He also stepped up when it mattered most, scoring 25 points in the second half, and 17 in the final 5 minutes, including back-to-back triples to seal the outcome down the stretch.
ASVEL wins on three-pointers, steals
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne played with great energy in its Round 7 game against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens in the Greek capital, but its greater accuracy from downtown also made the difference in this game. ASVEL collected 12 steals, a new season-high, and made Panathinaikos pick up as many as 19 turnovers. The Greens had only 5 steals and forced ASVEL to 14 turnovers. Moreover, Panathinaikos only hit 5-of-19 shots from downtown (26.3%), whereas ASVEL did much better from beyond the arc, burying 10-of-21 attempts (47.6%).
Antetkounmpo puts on a show at home
Kostas Antetokounmpo was a human highlight reel when his team, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, visited Panathinaikos OPAP Athens in Round 7 on Thursday. Antetokounmpo was on the court for less than 4 minutes in the first quarter, but found the time for a couple of put-back slams and three blocked shots. Soon after that, he shocked everyone in OAKA with one of the plays of the year, a wild dunk in traffic over Jeremy Evans. Antetokoumpo finished the game with a career-high 12 points on 6-of-7 two-point shots, adding 6 rebounds, a steal and 3 blocks for a PIR of 20, also a personal best, giving him a very happy return to his hometown.
Friday, October 29, 2021