ASVEL leaves Vitoria with first win
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne grabbed its first win of the EuroLeague season by topping TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz 86-88 at Buesa Arena on Thursday. ASVEL improved to 1-3 in the standings while Baskonia dropped to 2-3. Moustapha Fall led the winners with 19 points, Charles Kahudi and Antoine Diot each added 15 and Norris Cole had 10 for ASVEL, which became the first team to win in Vitoria-Gasteiz since 1985. Diot also dished 7 assists for the winners. Tonye Jekiri led Baskonia with 23 points against his former team. Pierria Henry added 20, Luca Vildoza scored 11 and Achille Polonara grabbed 10 rebounds for the hosts.
Diot got ASVEL going with a jumper and David Lighty added a driving layup, but Jekiri singlehandedly put Baskonia in charge, 5-4. Moustapha Fall and Rokas Geidraitis traded dunks and Diot struck from downtown, igniting a 0-7 run that Allerik Freeman capped with a jumper with a 7-14 ASVEL lead. Giedraitis and Dragic rescued Baskonia but Cole scored in penetration and Kevarrius Hayes followed a reverse layup with a jumper for a 16-22 ASVEL lead. Henry downed a jumper and Ilimane Diop added an alley-oop slam but Cole restored a 20-26 ASVEL edge after 10 minutes. Amine Noua scored down low early in the second quarter but Dragic and Henry kept the hosts within 25-30. Diot sank his second triple and Noua soon added a layup-plus-foul that made it a double-digit game, 27-38. Jekiri and Moustapha Dunk exchanged dunks but Vildoza struck twice from beyond the arc and Henry added another one in a 14-0 run that put Baskonia ahead, 43-40. Diot buried a three-pointer to tie it, 43-43, at halftime.
Kahudi downed a three-pointer soon after the break and Moustapha Fall added a dunk-and-foul for a 43-50 ASVEL lead. Henry scored in penetration and Jekiri added consecutive baskets, but Lighty took over with a coast-to-coast layup, Kahudi scored again and Fall provided a highlight with a reverse slam for a 49-58 ASVEL margin. Dragic and Diop buried back-to-back three-pointers and got help from Alec Peters to bring Baskonia within 61-62. Ismael Bako and Cole gave ASVEL fresh air at 61-66 through three quarters. Polonara found his first points early in the fourth quarter and Henry added a layup to make it 66-68. Kahudi rescued ASVEL with 4 quick points and Moustapha Fall added a dunk-and-foul that boosted his team's lead to 66-75. William Howard capped a 0-9 run with a layup. Jekiri answered to bring Baskonia within 71-77. Howard scored again, but Vildoza and Giedraitis gave Baskonia hope at 75-79 with 3 minutes left. Diot downed a big triple, but Henry brought the hosts even closer, 79-82. Jekiri dunked and Henry added a layup but Moustapha Fall scored twice in the paint for an 83-86 ASVEL lead with 22.4 seconds left. Vildoza went for a quick layup and Baskonia fouled on Kahudi, who made the resulting free throws for an 85-88 ASVEL lead. Vildoza went to the foul line with 2.5 seconds and intentionally missed his second attempt, but Diot grabbed the rebound to seal the win.
Moustapha Fall was a dominant force in the paint, giving ASVEL the balance required to challenge Baskonia at Buesa Arena and eventually win. He finished the game with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting plus 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 6 fouls drawn for a PIR of 28.
A layup by Pierria Henry brought Baskonia within 66-68 early in the fourth quarter. ASVEL found a go-to guy in Charles Kahudi, who scored the first 4 points in a 0-9 run in which Moustapha Fall had a dunk-and-foul and William Howard added a fastbreak layup. ASVEL got a double-digit margin, 66-77, and kept control of the game until the end.
Two-point shots were the main difference in this game. Both teams made 27 two-point shots, but ASVEL only needed 40 attempts (67.5%) and Baskonia required 50 shots (54%). It was ASVEL's best two-point shooting percentage this season and its fifth-best mark in EuroLeague action. Its record is 72.7% (24 of 33) against Khimki Moscow Region on December 26, 2019.
Did you know?
ASVEL became the first French team to win in Vitoria-Gasteiz in over 35 years. Baskonia's only previous home loss against a French team also came against ASVEL, 84-94, in the 1985-86 Korac Cup second round on October 30, 1985. Current Baskonia president Josean Querejeta and Real Madrid head coach Pablo Laso, who was 18 back then, scored 10 points apiece in that game. Baskonia had registered 16 consecutive wins against French teams since that loss.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action next week. Baskonia visits CSKA Moscow, which features four former players - including power forward Toko Shengelia - on Thursday, November 12. A day later, ASVEL hosts Zenit St Petersburg.
Thursday, November 5, 2020