Nemanja Nedovic saves Crvena Zvezda in a crazy finish

2022-11-17T21:12:00+00:00 2022-11-17T22:00:11+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

17/Nov/22 21:12

After giving up a 16-point lead, Crvena Zvezda mts dominates crunch time to take down shorthanded LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne

By Eurohoops Team/

Scoring the last eight points of the game, Crvena Zvezda mts outlasted LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, 71-67, Thursday.

Struggling to connect most of the way, Nemanja Nedovic made the decisive bucket pushing his side to a 69-67 lead with 7.3 seconds remaining.

Under the guidance of the new head coach Dusko Ivanovic, Crvena Zvezda fouled with 5.3 seconds left and was lucky enough to watch Yves Pons missing both free throws. A jump ball, the second in the last minute of the crazy Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 8 contest, led to Ognjen Dobric sinking two free throws and completing the 8-0 finishing sprint.

Evenly splitting his points in the middle quarters, Nikola Ivanovic recorded a total of 16 points. “We should be proud of ourselves for this tough game we won at the end,” underlined the Montenegrin point guard.

Making the difference, Nedovic ended up with 11 points behind 4/12 field goals. Reuniting with his former coach, Luca Vildoza was the driving force in the nearly perfect first half drawing ten of his 12 points.

In the first game with Ivanovic in charge, Stefan Lazarevic sat out after appearing in the seven previous EuroLeague affairs under head coach Vlada Jovanovic. From three consecutive losses across all competitions and changing the play-caller, the Belgrade outfit jumped to 2-6 in Europe’s top-tier continental club competition.

“You can feel the weight of the losses, because of our record in the EuroLeague. They started playing extremely physically in the second half. They switched a lot. We could not adjust. We became nervous. But we put in the extra effort that we missed in previous games and won at the end,” was the immediate reaction of Luka Mitrovic after delivering eight points and eight rebounds, “I hope from this point, there is only one way for us, that is going up.”

In command for the first half, the reigning champions of the ABA League went into halftime slightly shy of the biggest lead, up 38-23. ASVEL then exploded for 30 points in the third quarter.

“We knew we were facing a very good team. In the first half, we played very good defense. In the second half, we lost our intensity, especially our patience in the offense. But because we believed from the first to the last moment, I think, we won this game,” summed up Ivanovic, “It is very important for my team right now, to believe.”

Both Nando de Colo and Jonah Mathews were sidelined alongside long-term resident of the injury list Joffrey Lauvergne (knee). Forced adjustments did not work in the first half but sure did after the break. Threes started falling and the crowd at Aleksandar Nikolic Hall was neutralized until the late surge. The French champions did not hold on and fell to 3-5.

ASVEL drew its first lead with 6:40 remaining in the fourth quarter and were up, 67-63, with three minutes left. David Lighty dropped 16 points. Charles Kahudi followed with 14 points after scoring 25 overall in his first five showings of the EuroLeague season. Retin Obasohan got 13 points before fouling out.

“We controlled the game. We went up by eight points. After that, we lost possession. [Ben] Bentil made a three. It was tough. After that, we did not find a solution offensively to score a basket,” head coach T.J. Parker described the reaction of his team down the stretch, “And I think, Obasohan going out of the game kind of hurt us.”

A double-game week is coming up

Before next week’s busier schedule, Crvena Zvezda will aim for 5-1 in the AdmiralBet ABA League playing host to Cibona Saturday. From there, visiting Alba Berlin Tuesday and welcoming Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv Thursday shape Round 9 and Round 10 of the EuroLeague Regular Season.

Sitting at 5-3 in France’s Betclic Elite LNB Pro A, ASVEL will visit JDA Dijon Saturday. FC Bayern Munich will be at Astroballe Wednesday. An away fixture opposite Panathinaikos follows Friday.

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