By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Both sides lacking efficient defense for large stretches, Panathinaikos overcame a slow start to lead most of the way and beat slumping LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, 86-82, in Astroballe Thursday.
Paris Lee packing 14 points, four assists, and two rebounds emerged as the top performer in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 29 contest. Dwayne Bacon poured five of his 13 points in the fourth quarter as the team coached by Christos Serelis held on to the lead. Derrick Williams added 13 more points.
“Good team win. We needed it. Good win for us. Confidence for me, just coming back from being out last game,” said the second leading scorer of EuroLeague, Bacon referring to last week’s meeting with Crvena Zvezda Meridianbet in Athens, “I am just happy that we competed as a team.”
Among the early standouts, Mateusz Ponitka put in seven points and three rebounds but did not return after a foot injury in the second quarter. Nate Wolters was a late scratch and joined Dimitris Agravanis on the injury list. Seldom used Nikos Pappas was also held out.
The reigning champions of France and recently crowned Leaders Cup winners sidelined both youngster Zaccharie Risacher and Joffrey Lauvergne. In double-double mode for the first time since Round 12, Youssoupha Fall combined 13 points with 12 rebounds. Limited by foul trouble, Nando De Colo registered 12 points and seven assists.
Up six points at the end of the first period, ASVEL conceded 32 points in the second quarter and fell into a double-digit hole. Ensuing comeback bids fell short. Consequently, the eighth EuroLeague loss in a row shaped an 8-21 record.
“Great fight,” T.J. Parker answered a question about attempting to turn the tables at the end, “I think we weren’t there from the beginning of the game. That intensity we show, that is what we need to do, especially at home, to get a win.”
Facing elimination from the Playoffs in back-to-back games, the Greens instead jumped to 10-19. A third win on the road in a total of 15 away games, including losses in the previous nine trips.
“We want to be competitive. We want to make wins because we lost a lot of games. And our psychology was bad. But now, day by day, we try to work harder,” reacted Serelis.
Derby of the eternal enemies
Eager to finally snap the 11-game losing streak to Olympiacos, the Greens will play host to the Reds hoping to go up to 15-3 in Greece’s Basket League. Staying at OAKA Altion for the next EuroLeague challenge, they will face FC Barcelona Thursday.
“The only thing we can do right now is preparing for the Playoffs in the Greek league. We have a big game on Sunday against Olympiacos,” Lee focused on the domestic portion of the season after the win in Villeurbanne, Lyon, “And that was a good preparation game.”
At 14-9 in France’s Betclic Elite LNB Pro A, ASVEL will turn to Cup mode with Cholet in the Quarterfinals Saturday and a possible Semifinals matchup Sunday. From Coupe de France to a EuroLeague home game versus Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv Thursday.
Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net