Reggio Emilia KO’s ASVEL, wins Group H
Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia advanced to the 7DAYS EuroCup Quarterfinals as the Group H winner on Tuesday with a 75-68 victory over ASVEL Villeurbanne at PalaBigi. Amedeo Della Valle scored 19 to pace Reggio Emilia, which improved to 4-2 and reached this stage for the first time since 2006. It will have to wait until after Wednesday’s games to learn the identity of its next opponent. ASVEL dropped to 3-3 and was eliminated. The result also sent UNICS Kazan into the quarterfinals from second place in Group H. In a back-and-forth game, ASVEL led at halftime before Reggio Emilia started the second half on a 10-2 charge and went on to lead by as many as 9 in the fourth quarter. ASVEL rallied to within 2 in the final minute, but Julian Wright and Chris Wright teamed up on a key steal that led to a game-clinching layup by Pedro Llompart. Chris Wright scored 9 and Llompart added 9 points and 5 assist for the winners. Justin Harper paced ASVEL with 14 points, Charles Kahudi scored 13, Darryl Watkins tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds and A.J. Slaughter 10 points and 5 assists in defeat.
Della Valle had a jumper-plus-foul, followed by a three-pointer, before a layup from big man Riccardo Cervi gave the hosts an early 8-4 edge. Slaughter connected on a pair of jumpers and ASVEL strung together a few defensive stops before a fastbreak layup from Harper gave ASVEL its first lead of the night, 14-15. However, Julian Wright scored a pair of baskets inside to end the first, and Chris Wright had an acrobatic layup early in the second quarter to make it 20-15. The visitors hit 4 of 5 free throws, before jumpers from Slaughter and Watkins helped them to 24-27. However, Reggio Emila turned to zone defense, while on offense Cervi scored 4 points, Della Valle hit a short jumper and then dished to Marko Markoishvili for a layup that made it 32-27 and prompted an ASVEL timeout. The visitors were held without a three-pointer for the opening 18 minutes, but then Harper and John Roberson hit back-to-back triples to send ASVEL into the break with a 32-33 lead.
Llompart drained a three-pointer and Jalen Reynolds added a jumper to open the second half. Despite a basket by Kahudi, Della Valle and Llompart completed a 10-0 Reggio Emilia run to start the half. Layups by Reynolds and James White made it 47-39 midway through the third quarter. Amine Noua did his best to keep ASVEL close and a three-pointer by Harper closed the gap to 49-45. After Markoishvili and Kahudi traded threes, Harper’s basket-plus-foul drew ASVEL within 1. Chris Wright free throws put the hosts up 54-51 through three quarters. After ASVEL got within 1 again, Chris Wright connected from downtown and Garrett Nevels drove through the ASVEL defense for a slam and Julian Wright banked in a shot for a 61-54 advantage. Nevels’s steal and eventual layup put the hosts up by 9, when ASVEL called timeout. The visitors bounced right back with Watkins free throws and a triple by Slaughter. A layup and free throws by John Roberson clawed ASVEL within 65-63 with three minutes left, but Della Valle answered with 5 points in a row, which brought the crowd to its feet. Harper nailed a three with 46 seconds left that made it 70-68. Julian Wright came up with a key play on defense to knock the ball loose and Chris Wright grabbed and fed Llompart for a layup that all but iced the game in the dying seconds.
Tuesday, February 6, 2018