Bilan leads ASVEL to the Top 16!
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne became the first team to reach the Top 16 from 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season Group C by downing Turk Telekom Ankara 78-83 in the Turkish capital on Tuesday. ASVEL improved to 6-2 in the standings and will keep fighting for EuroCup glory in 2019 regardless of other scores. Meanwhile, Turk Telekom dropped to 3-5 but still depends on its own results to advance. Miro Bilan led the winners with 23 points. A.J. Slaughter and DeMarcus Nelson added 13 points each, Mantas Kalnietis had 11 and David Lighty 10 for ASVEL. Reggie Redding led Turk Telekom with 19 points. Sylven Landesberg added 18, Vladimir Stimac 15 and Kenny Gabriel 13.
T.J. Campbell got Turk Telekom going with back-to-back three-pointers and soon added another one for a 12-3 lead. Kalnietis answered from downtown but consecutive baskets by Stimac made ASVEL call timeout at 16-6. Nelson and Slaughter stepped up for the guests before free throws by Landesberg and Redding restored a 25-16 Turk Telekom lead after 10 minutes. Slams by Amine Noua and Bilan brought ASVEL back to life at 27-23. A three-point play by Slaughter and a triple by Kalnietis completed the comeback for a 29-31 ASVEL advantage. Slaughter and Kalnietis kept scoring and a turnaround jumper by Lighty forced a Turk Telekom timeout at 36-41. Lighty scored again and a deep jumper by Bilan gave ASVEL a 38-45 margin at halftime. Bilan and Eric Buckner each dunked twice after the break to keep the guests way ahead, 45-53. A wild alley-oop finish by Gabriel gave Turk Telekom hope at 54-57, but Nelson and Slaughter fueled a 1-7 run that gave ASVEL fresh air at 55-64. Landesberg got Turk Telekom a bit closer, 60-67, after 30 minutes. Redding stepped up in the fourth quarter and Gabriel dunked again to get Turk Telekom as close as 72-76 with under 4 minutes left. Redding brought the hosts even closer, 78-80, in the next-to-last minute, but Bilan split free throws and fed Noua for a layup that sealed the outcome, sending ASVEL to the Top 16.
Mantas Kalnietis barely missed a triple-double, finishing the game with 11 points, a EuroCup career-high 8 rebounds and 9 assists. He had a performance index rating of 24.
With Turk Telekom trailing 78-81 and having the chance to score, Bilan had a critical block on Redding, then collected a steal of the ensuing inbound pass and fed Noua for a layup that sealed ASVEL's win. Bilan delivered on offense but also on defense, right when it mattered.
ASVEL finished the game with 21 assists and just 7 turnovers, taking great care of the ball. It also had a better hustle numbers, with more offensive rebounds (7-5), steals (6-2) and blocks (3-0).
Did you notice?
ASVEL trailed 27-18 early in the second quarter but went on to hit 11 of its next 13 two-point shots to rally and take a seven-point lead, 38-45, at halftime.
ASVEL hosts Partizan NIS Belgrade on Tuesday, December 11 at 20:30 CET. A day later, on Wednesday, December 1 at 18:00 CET, Telekom hosts Dolomiti Energia Trento.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018