ASVEL wins to keep Zenit waiting on Top 16
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne finished the regular season with a strong short-handed road victory by winning 81-84 in overtime at Zenit St Petersburg, which now must hope for other results to reach the Top 16. Amine Noua collected 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks while Mantas Kalnietis picked up 14 points and 4 assists in helping ASVEL finished Group C at 7-3. Teenager Theo Maledon added 13 points while Alpha Kaba, Livio Jean-Charles and DeMarcus Nelson each had 12 points for the winners. Zenit will have its fate determined in the other group games later on Tuesday and Wednesday. Zenit, which finished group play at 4-6, can only miss the Top 16 if Dolomiti Energia Trento beats Valencia Basket and Partizan NIS Belgrade beats Turk Telekom Ankara. Philip Scrubb scored 18 points in the losing cause while Sergey Karasev has 14 points. Jalen Reynolds picked up 12 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Reynolds scored the first points of the game and Codi Miller-McIntyre followed with a three-pointer and dunk as Zenit soared ahead 19-10. Maledon hit a three-ball at the other end but Reynolds moved to 10 points for a double-digit lead before ASVEL drew within 27-21 after 10 minutes. Karasev and Evgeny Voronov hit back-to-back three-pointers to re-establish the 10-point lead, 36-26.The guests tried cut into the lead with a Kaba dunk at 38-32. Zenit, however, increased the gap to 47-38 at the break.Vladislav Trushkin hit the first basket of the second half and the lead was 11 points again. But the ASVEL defense played tougher and held the home side scoreless for 4 minutes to pull within 49-44. ASVEL grabbed the lead for the first time in the game 51-52 through Kalnietis.There were five lead changes and two ties the rest of the quarter, including the game being knotted 57-57 after 30 minutes. Scrubb hit 5 quick points in the fourth as the Zenit lead moved up to 66-61. ASVEL responded with the next 6 points to pull ahead, only to see Scrubb convert a three-point play and hit a long trey for a 72-67 Zenit advantage. Nelson punched back with a three-ball and then Maledon hit free throws with 50 seconds left to make it 73-72. Gal Mekel split foul shots with 34 seconds left to put Zenit up 74-72 lead but Jean-Charles hit a reverse layup to even the score with 26 seconds left and send the game to overtime. There were five lead changes in the overtime as Kalnietis made it 79-80. Noua added another score and then Maledon hit 2 of 2 free throws with 1:22 minutes left for an 81-84 lead. Kaba secured the win as he blocked Scrubb’s three-pointer with 0.5 seconds to play.
Theo Maledon may be only 17 years old but he showed he can step up when it counts, compiling 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and just 1 turnover in nearly 30 minutes of action. He also hit free throws late in regulation and in overtime.
ASVEL did a great job sharing the production with six players scoring at least 12 points.
ASVEL turned the ball over just 10 times and won the rebounding battle 43-35, including 13 offensive rebounds to 6 for Zenit.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018