ASVEL, Dijon reach French final
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne will meet JDA Dijon in the French League championship game on Saturday after they registered respective wins in the semifinals on Thursday. ASVEL trounced SIG Strasbourg 83-67 as Ismael Bako shined with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Antoine Diot ran the show with 16 points and 7 assists, Davis Lighty scored 13 and Amine Noua 12. Bonzie Colson led Strasbourg with 13 points and Brandon Jefferson added 12. Noua scored 8 points in an 11-0 first-quarter run to lead 21-12 after 10 minutes and extended the difference to 43-31 at halftime. Jefferson and Ishmail Wainright heated up to lead a Strasbourg rally that trimmed the deficit to 51-47 midway through the third quarter, but ASVEL regrouped with 12 unanswered points. Th margin stood at 65-49 after three quarters and peaked at 83-56 as ASVEL cruised to victory.
In the early game, Dijon outlasted 7DAYS EuroCup champion AS Monaco 79-68. Axel Julien paced the winners with 22 points, Hana Vanwijn posted 16 points and 10 rebounds and David Holston delivered 11 points and 9 assists. Dee Bost led Monaco with 15 points, J.J. O'Brien added 13 and Rasid Mahalbasic contributed 8 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. Dijon raced out to a 19-4 start and led 29-14 after 10 minutes. Monaco cut the gap to 42-35 at halftime and a fourth-quarter rally made it 64-61 after a three-point play by O'Brien with 5 minutes remaining. Vanwijn and Holston took over late to secure the Dijon win.