Fenerbahce dominates ASVEL
Fenerbahce BEKO Istanbul claimed its third win in a row by defeating LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne 86-64 at Ulker Sports and Event Hall on Tuesday night. The hosts struggled offensively in the early going but managed to finish the first quarter leading 23-15 and raise the difference to 49-28 at halftime. Even though the visitors tried to come back to the game early in the third quarter and got within 49-37, a nice run led by Derrick Williams calmed things down for the home team. Fenerbahce improved to 8-11 to tie ASVEL, which suffered its third consecutive loss. Williams and Nando De Colo led the winners with 16 points apiece, followed by Kostas Sloukas with a double-double of 10 points and 10 assists. Luigi Datome contributed 12 points and Jan Vesely added 10 of its own in his comeback. Amine Noua and Livio Jean-Charles posted 12 and 10 points respectively, in defeat.
Defenses prevailed in the early going as only Malcolm Thomas and Theo Maledon were able to score for each side after 3 minutes. Datome connected from downtown, followed by a couple of buckets and a pair of free throws by De Colo to put Fenerbahce in front, 11-5, midway through the first quarter. Even though ASVEL tried to react through Maledon and Adreian Payne, the hosts noticed no threat to their lead thanks to their full-court pressure and easy points coming from the line. Sloukas made it a double digit-lead, 20-9, after sinking free-throws. Three-point plays by Jean-Charles and Antoine Diot made it 20-15, but an unsportsmanlike foul called on Payne stopped ASVEL’s comeback, as it was unable to score a single point in the last 2 minutes of the first quarter. Fenerbahce held ASVEL scoreless to reach the end of the first quarter leading 23-15. The first team to find its momentum in offense after the break was Fenerbahce, which outscored 8-0 behind a monster dunk by Vesely in just a couple of minutes to escape 31-17. The visitors were unable to react at that point, struggling to find the open man. A three-pointer by Sloukas, followed by a couple of free-throws by Joffrey Lauvergne and another shot from deep by Williams extended the margin to 20 points, 39-19, with 4 minutes remaining in the half. Fenerbahce kept rocking inside with Lauvergne and Vesely to finish the half with a comfortable margin, 49-28.
ASVEL came up very focused on defense after the break and managed to hold Fenerbahce scoreless for more than 4 minutes to reduce the gap to 49-37 behind a good offensive effort by Jordan Taylor and Payne. Williams came to the rescue with a big three, followed by a free throw by Vesely and a basket by De Colo to cool the game down and make it 55-37. Another score by Williams allowed Fenerbahce to surpass the 20-point lead, right before Amine Noua closed the third quarter with ASVEL trailing 62-43. Noua remained hot early in the fourth, sparking ASVEL to a 0-6 run that reduced the gap to 13 points. James Nunnally and Datome showed up then to give Fenerbahce some fresh air from behind the arc, making it 70-51. The teams traded baskets for a while, which allowed Fenerbahce to retain a strong margin and keep ASVEL at a safe distance. Payne’s fifth foul seemed to represent the end for ASVEL with still 4 minutes to go, as Datome and Nunnally combined for 11 points in Fenerbahce’s final run to close it at 86-64.
Not on my board
Fenerbahce BEKO Istanbul ranked last in rebounding, averaging less than 30 per night before this game. Even though it allowed 3 offensive rebounds, Fenerbahce outrebounded ASVEL 17-8 at halftime, which helped it build a 20-point margin and take control of the game.
Too late and too short
LDLC ASVEL tried to react early in the third quarter and came within 12 points (49-37) after keeping Fenerbahce scoreless for almost 5 minutes. But once Fenerbahce found Derrick Williams on offense - he scored 8 of his team’s 13 after that - all hope vanished for the visitors.
It’s good to be back
Jan Vesely had played only eight games so far because of injuries. He had missed the previous last nine games for his team. He had a great return, as he was able to post 10 points, 4 boards and 2 assists for a PIR of 13 in just 22 minutes and 32 seconds.
Fenerbahce BEKO Istanbul will play at home again on Thursday when it welcomes FC Barcelona. LDLC ASVEL will stay in Istanbul, against Anadolu Efes the day after.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020