By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
ASVEL Villeurbanne returned with a major bang in EuroLeague after a nine-year absence. With club president Tony Parker watching his team’s efforts in Astroballe arena, the French squad overpowered Olympiacos 82 – 63.
“Not even in our dreams we couldn’t expect a better start,” was the reaction from the official Twitter account of ASVEL. It was the first win by a French club in EuroLeague since Limoges beat Olimpia Milano in December 2015.
David Lighty and Jordan Taylor scored 16 points apiece for ASVEL while Tonye Jekiri added 13 points.
A festive French return to EuroLeague
“It’s been some years since the EuroLeague has been in France, and to have this atmosphere here in Astoballe was a perfect beginning. We believed in ourselves, we believed in each player no matter who is in the game he can go out and execute, get the job done,” Lighty said after the game.
Vassilis Spanoulis joins the “4000 points” club.
Giorgos Printezis led Olympiacos with 15 points while Nikola Milutinov posted a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Punter dropped 11 points and Vassilis Spanoulis nine en route to reaching the 4000-point mark in EuroLeague.
Though, the captain of the Reds wasn’t able to enjoy it much due to ASVEL’s dominance down the stretch and his team’s horrid performance in the fourth period. The hosts outplayed their opponents 26 – 16 in the final quarter to turn the match into a rout.
Olympiacos had led 10 – 17 late in the first quarter but everything went downhill for the team afterward. ASVEL began gaining more and more ground until they became the undisputed bosses of the match in the final lap.
No 3-pointers, no party.
For Olympiacos coach David Blatt, his team couldn’t have hoped to win the match being rather inefficient from both the 3-point (4/17) and the free-throw line (15/23).
“The interest in this game is that you have to make some shots. If you don’t, the game’s dynamics change quickly. When you are 23% from beyond the arc and 65% from the free-throw line, most chances are that you’re going to lose. That’s a reality.”
Photo credit: EuroLeague