Barcelona bested Cholet Basket 76-62
Despite a strong first quarter by the guests, Regal FC Barcelona managed to pull a home win over Cholet Basket on Thursday night by 76-62 in a Group C duel. Vule Avdalovic led Cholet in the first period to control the scoreboard but a 15-3 run by Barcelona in the second quarter turned things around. At the start of the third, Cholet managed to keep the hosts scoreless for five minutes but that was all. The win allows Barcelona to improve to a 5-2 record, enough to secure a Top 16 berth, while Cholet drops to 3-4, but still has many chances to make it. Boni N'Dong led the winners with his 15 points and 6 boards. Kosta Perovic added 13 and Erazem Lorbek chipped in with 11. For Cholet, DeMarcus Nelson was the only scorer in double digits with 14 points. Barcelona limited Cholet to just one single field goal in the second quarter and wont the assists battle by 16-6.
The game started with Claude Marquis setting the pace for Cholet. His six points in the early minutes allowed the guests to keep the lead at 7-8. Joe Ingles had a great combo with a block and then a
three-point play to keep the defending champs in the game but Cholet was playing aggressive defense and ordered offense thanks to a great Antywane Robisnon who fought in defense and hit a three in offense to
make it 9-11 for the guests. Barcelona tried to run at every chance, but due to the good anticipation of Cholet players, it was not always possible. After timeout, the hosts stepped on court more focused in
defense and looked for Boni N'Dong in the paint but the big man wasn't finding his way to the basket as opposed to Robinson in the other side. Vule Avdalovic was managing the tempo for Cholet almost
flawlessly and he even had time to find the way to the basket to make it 9-15 to make it another Barca timeout. With an open three-pointer by Terence Morris and two straight three-point play by N'Dong,
Barcelona managed to even take the lead by 18-17 with less than 20 seconds to go. However, in the last play, Avdalovic found the space for an impossible three that left Cholet in command after 10 minutes,
The sceond period started with an open Roger Grimau three that put Barcelona in command again. The defense of the hosts seemed to be warming up by the minute while it also looked like Cholet was not having
the same energy as the first minutes in defense. In less than one minute, both Morris and Jaka Lakovic found spots for buckets that forced the guests to call a timeout when the run was 7-0 in the period for
25-20. The only field goal of Cholet in the second quarter arrived almost six minutes into the period when Avdalovic broke an 11-1 Barcelona run to make it 29-23. However, Ingles landed his second
three-point play of the night to make it a nine-point game, 32-23. The Barca defense was a wall that was starting to be too much for Cholet when Grimau and Lorbek started another scoring run for the hosts
that this time was stopped in time by teh gusts, but only through free throws. Sammy Mejoa hit both and so did Avdalovic to kep Cholet in the game, butLorbek was hurting the guests' defense and Kosta Perovic
soon joined the big men party at Barca with his three-point play to make it 42-28 entering the last minute of the first half. Lorbek had atime for another basket and Avdalovic missed an open three to leeave
the game at 44-28 at halftime.
Things looked way different for Cholet at the start of three. Mejia stepped up with five straight point including a three-point play, and Christophe Leonard attacked the basket fast to make it a 0-7 run start to the quarter for the 44-35 Barcelona edge. Now the hosts were struggling a little more in offense as the Cholet defense had regrouped and gathered some energy thanks to the break. Nelson pushed the runa little harder to 0-9 and it had to be Ricky Rubio who, after almost five minutes with no points, blasted a three to keep Barcelona going at 47-37. Nelson stayed as active as ever in the game, but Barca would noy be caught by surprise twice. Dominating now the offensive rebounds, N'Dong scored again for the three-point play to make it again a 15-point game. The dominance of the hosts went through to the final buzzer of the third period, which ended with a 61-44 Barcelona edge.
The last period started with Perovic hitting four straight points to make it a 20-point game, 65-45. Luc-Arthur Vebobe made his first appearance in the game with a layup, but Perovic was still imposing his law in the lane with two more points, keeping Barcelona out of Cholet's reach. Nelson had practically become the only player producing points at this stage for Cholet, while Barcelona tried to manage the effort a little trying to let the minutes go by. After a 0-6 run, Perovic stepped up with free throws to make it 71-65 with two minutes to go in the game. Then Lorbek joined in to rain a three for the 74-57 that sealed the outcome of the game, allowing the defending champs to punch their Top 16 ticket.
Thursday, December 2, 2010