The Belgrade Nike International Junior Tournament started on Friday morning with a thriller as Asvel Basket culminated a comeback, and was almsot paid in the same way by Crvena Zvezda to survive in the end, 80-76. Poor free throw shootingi n the final minutes by the French team, allowed Zvezda to threaten the win until the last seconds, but in the end Asvel Basket survived. The wins puts Asvel with a 1-0 record in Group A while Crvena Zvezda drops to 0-1. Gide Noel led the winners with 18 points, Lambert Diacono posted 17, Rudy Deal added 13 and Theo Leon and Adrien Coussy posted 10 apiece. For the losers, Jovan Djordjevic led the way with 19 points and Marko Radonjic added 12.
The first quarter was really balanced throughout the 10 minutes. Marko Radonjic and Jovan Djordjevic took the wight of Crvena Zevzda in offense, while for
Asvel, Lambert Diacono was the main alternative in attack as he scored a free throw in minute 5 to make it 12-14. However, in the last plays of the first
period, Ognjen Filipovic and Djordjevic hit a 0-5 burst for 17-22 after 10 minutes. The scoring run continued up to 17-26 in the second quarter until Antoine
Cornud stopped the bleeding with a free throw. Igor Topic scored for a Zvezda double-digit lead, 22-32, but in the final moments of the first half, Asvel
came back strong as Diacono scored again making it 36-41 at the break. The score was as close as 40-43 when Adrien Coussy hit the layup as Djordjevic tried
to keep his team ahead. Asvel completed the comeback in minute 24 through Coussy, 48-47, and the score was tied several times until the end of the third
quarter, which arrived with an Asvel edge, 57-55. Mallal Fall and Gide Noel hit back-to-back threes to put Asvel ahead by 63-55 and Cornud added a layup to
complete the 8-0 run. Radonjic and Djordjevic tried to keep Crvena Zvezda on the right track, 71-61 in minute 35, and then Filip Puljezevic joined in to make
it 76-70 in minute 38. Four more free throws by Radonjic trimmed the defeicit even more, 76-72, as the game was entering the decisive moments. Noel forced a foul to score the ensuing free throw and Rudy Deal did the same thing, but Zvezda still had time left and Topic lifted a layup for 78-76. Already in the last minute, Deal added a new free throw and Theo Leon added a new one to put Asvel's first win in a secure place, 80-76.
Friday, February 12, 2010