By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
William Howard returned to action this week and poured a team-high 17 points fueled by 9/9 free throws. The French forward put up nine points in the deciding fourth quarter.
“It’s good for me, every time I step on the court I give it everything I have and try to give my team the most I can,” he said after the match referring to his personal-best in points in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
Guerschon Yabusele made out a 12-point contribution. Derrick Walton Jr. and David Lighty added 10 points each in the Regular Season Round 21 contest played at the Astroballe. Former Valencia guard Antoine Diot threw in nine points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
“A big thing about us, we want to be known for our defense. Us coming out bringing energy and intensity, we were able to hold a good team like this under 80 points,” pointed out Kevarrius Hayes following his seven points, four rebounds, and three steals, “It’s all about focus, I think we played good defense as well in our last game, but we’ve got to bring it to the end and complete a full 40 minutes to get a win. That’s what we did tonight.”
Down 52-51 towards the end of the third quarter, the hosts launched a 17-4 run spilling into the fourth period. The double-digit cushion proved more than enough for the jump to 7-14 in Europe’s premier club continental competition.
“After the tough loss on Tuesday, everybody was disappointed,” noted head coach T.J. Parker, “That’s the only reaction you can have and the only way we’re going to win. We held one of the best teams on offense to 77 points and that was the key.”
On the other end, the team coached by Jaume Ponsarnau went down to 11-10 with key players, Bojan Dubljevic and Klemen Prepelic remaining sidelined. Nikola Kalinic produced 18 points with 6/7 two-pointers and Derrick Williams logged in 11 points.
“They played better than us, much harder than us,” admitted Ponsarnau, “We went into the game with good ideas but in the second quarter, we had problems with their physicality and especially their rebounding. We entered the second half with a good mentality and created problems for their defense, but they finished the third quarter with good feelings and the start of the fourth quarter decided the game.”
On a positive note, Vanja Marinkovic was back in action after sitting out the last three months due to a right shoulder injury. However, the Serbian guard did not get on the board remaining on the court for 2:50.