ASVEL defense suffocates ALBA in Berlin

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

LDLC ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne doubled-up early in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season with a win, 71-67, on the road against ALBA Berlin on Friday evening.

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Chris Jones registered a game-high 22 points, off 13 points in the final quarter. Elie Okobo carried recent momentum with 13 points and seven rebounds in the Round 2 match. Kostas Antetokounmpo had nine points, four rebounds, and two blocks, before fouling out late in the contest.

The team coached by T.J. Parker had ten turnovers in the first quarter and 20 overall at the Mercedes-Benz Arena but improved to 2-0. The defense did the trick playing at the home of 2022 Final Four as the hosts were forced to 12 turnovers of their own and limited to 6/33 from beyond the arc, 45.7% from the field.

The French champions have prevailed in all four 2021-22 fixtures so far, including the 2-0 record in the Betclic Elite LNB Pro A. The perfect start was extended despite missing Raymar Morgan (back), David Lighty (personal), Antoine Diot (calf), and Victor Wembanyama (sick).

An early seven-point advantage for the team coached by Israel Gonzalez was met by a 13-0 sprint by ASVEL to restore its lead. The visitors started building safer distance after the break and held on down the stretch, taking better care of the ball and locking down on defense.

Maodo Lo matched his career-high 22 points connecting four triples in the losing effort. Oscar da Silva went for 14 points, six rebounds, and three steals in his EuroLeague debut. Marcus Eriksson, Christ Koumadje, Christoph Tilly, and Johannes Thiemann were all out along with another addition to the injury list Ben Lammers, who will miss several weeks.

Both teams are heading to a domestic fixture on Sunday prior to the first EuroLeague double-game week of the season. The German champions will visit MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg, and from there host Fenerbahce Beko on Tuesday and Baskonia on Thursday. The losing side will take on JDA Dijon, before Anadolu Efes on Tuesday and Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv take their turns at Astroballe.

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