By Eurohoops team/ [email protected]
ASVEL was tested against CSKA Moscow and proved to be victorious with a 70-68 home win, which proves that the French champions are for real with Elie Okobo once again stealing the show with 14 points and big plays down the stretch.
The hosts got a 68-67 lead with two minutes left thanks to Okobo and after two missed opportunities for each of the two teams, Daniel Hackett went to the line for CSKA and missed two free throws with 40 seconds left.
Okobo got the ball again and with a floated made it a three-point game (70-67). CSKA got the ball again with 12 seconds on the clock, Will Clyburn was fouled, made the first free throw, missed the second, and somehow managed to take a three at the buzzer, but he missed.
“It could have gone either way, it was a hassle situation, here and there, a couple of free throws, a couple of better looks and better decisions defensively like not to give the good hand to a great scorer as Okobo, his left hand”, said CSKA coach Dimitris Itoudis after the game.
Youssoupha Fall finished the game with a double-double for the winning side (12 p. 10 r.) and David Lighty added 10 points. Draft prospect Victor Wembanyama played for nine minutes and made only one of his five shots at the halftime buzzer.
Despite an admirable 23-8 start in the game for ASVEL, CSKA Moscow reacted with a 9-1 run in the second period and cut the lead to five (27-22). The hosts managed to keep a nine-point advantage at halftime (39-30), but the “Army Team” continued their comeback and closed the third quarter leading by three (54-51), setting the stage for the big finish.
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