ASVEL stops ALBA at home
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne recorded its sixth home win by downing ALBA Berlin 93-81 at the Astroballe on Friday. ASVEL improved to 7-8 while ALBA dropped to 4-11 and is on a four-game losing streak. David Lighty led the winners with 14 points. Charles Kahudi and Adreian Payne each had 12 while Livio Jean-Charles had 10 for ASVEL. Martin Hermannsson led ALBA with 17 points. Luke Sikma added 15, Landry Nnoko 13 and Rokas Giedraitis 12. Kresimir Nikic and Marcus Eriksson shined early to give ALBA an 11-14 lead but Kahudi and Jordan Taylor helped ASVEL tie the game, 18-18, after 10 minutes. Hermannsson and Sikma rescued ALBA, allowing the guests to get a 36-38 edge at halftime. But Payne, Antoine Diot and Amine Noua fueled a 26-3 run that broke the game open, 71-52, early in the fourth quarter. Nothing changed after that moment, with ASVEL keeping full control for good.
Payne scored down low to get ASVEL going and Diot struck from downtown for a 5-1 lead. Payne hit a jump hook but Nikic and Eriksson fueled an 0-8 ALBA run which Sikma capped a layup. Edwin Jackson took over with a driving layup and Taylor added a catch-and-shoot jumper to make ASVEL regain the lead. Giedraitis struck from downtown and fed Makai Mason for a fast break layup, but Kahudi rescued ASVEL with a three-point play and a layup, then Taylor scored in penetration to tie the game, 18-18, after 10 minutes. Diot stepped up with a driving layup early in the second quarter and Payne added a turnaround jumper for a 22-20 ASVEL lead. Eriksson struck from beyond the arc and Nnoko added an alley-oop layup, igniting an 0-11 run highlighted by Hermannsson's driving layup. Ismael Bako ignited the home crowd with a huge dunk, Lighty added a put-back basket and Payne added a fast break slam that made the guests call timeout at 32-36. Livio tied the game with a power layup but Hermannsson restored a 36-38 ALBA edge at halftime. Jean-Charles and Hermannsson traded baskets soon after the break, then Rihards Lomasz struck from downtown for a 41-40 ASVEL lead. Sikma answered from beyond the arc and Eriksson put ALBA back ahead, 43-45. Lighty downed a jumper but Hermannsson and Nnoko scored around the basket to make it a four-point game, 45-49. Taylor joined the three-point shootout and a dunk by Payne provided another lead change, 51-49. Diot hit a triple and Noua dunked, before Noua buried another three-point shot and a layup that made it a double-digit game, 63-52. Payne, Diot - with a big block - and Jackson joined forces to boost the host's margin to 67-52 after 30 minutes. Taylor scored again early in the fourth and Kahudi hit a jumper to cap a mamooth 26-3 run, giving ASVEL a 71-52 lead. ALBA kept trying in the final 7 minutes and managed to get within single digits, 76-68, but even then ASVEL stayed in charge until the final buzzer.
Adreian Payne had not played since Round 1 against Olympiacos Piraeus and his energy, determination and aggresiveness gave ASVEL a much-needed extra boost at both ends. He finished the game with 12 points on 6-of-6 two-point shots, adding 3 rebounds, an assist and 2 blocks for a PIR of 16 in 17 minutes.
ALBA managed to tie the game, 51-51, midway through the third quarter. But then a three-pointer by Antoine Diot and a dunk by Amine Noua ignited a 20-3 run in which Payne and Edwin Jackson also contributed to make ASVEL break the game open, 71-52. ALBA never recovered.
ASVEL shot the ball with much better percentages and that allowed the French powerhouse to control the game. ASVEL hit 29-of-44 shots inside the arc (65.9%) and 8-of-18 from downtown (44.4%). ALBA was limited to 15.8% from beyond the three-point line (3-of-19) and was worse than ASVEL from two-point range (55.3%, 26-of-47).
Did you notice?
It was the first showdown between the teams in any European competition since January 7, 2003. ALBA's last win at the Astroballe came on February 18, 1999 - 82-88 behind 28 points from Wendell Alexis.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action on Thursday, December 26. ALBA hosts KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz in the German capital at 20:00 CET. ASVEL welcomes Khimki Moscow Region at 20:45 CET.
Friday, December 20, 2019