Le Mans Sarthe Basket made it to the Eurocup Last 16 by overwhelming Power Electronics Valencia 80-44 at home in Group B on Tuesday. Le Mans was second in Group B with a 3-3 record due to its tie-break advantage against Triumph Lyubertsy and will face Alba Berlin, Aris BSA 2003 and DKV Joventut in Last 16 Group I. Power VLC was already the Group B champion, finished it with a 5-1 record and is set to go against Unics Kazan, Galatasaray Cafe Crown and Hapoel Jerusalem in the next round. Le Mans handed Power VLC its worst loss ever in 158 games in European club competitions. The guests missed all of its 25 three-point attempts, a new all-time Eurocup record since the competition was created in 2003. Dee Spencer led the winners with 20 points. Marc Salyers added 14 while JP Batista had 11 for Le Mans. Victor Claver had 9 points for Power VLC, that played without Kosta Perovic, Thomas Kelati, Rafa Martinez and Nando De Colo. Spencer had 4 triples in a 28-8 opening run. Le Mans boosted its margin to 49-24 at halftime and than again to 67-39 after 30 minutes, enough to seal the outcome.
Salyers got Le Mans going with a jumper and Batista soon gave the hosts a 4-0 lead. Marko Marinovic shined with an off-balance layup that Batista matched in the other end. A three-point play by Spencer and a power basket by Zach Wright allowed Le Mans to boost its margin to 12-4. Charles Kahudi scored inside, Salyers added a hook shot and Spencer struck four times from downtown to make it a 20-point game, 28-8. Claver and Florent Pietrus stepped up for Power VLC but Antoine Diot and Guillaume Yango allowed Le Mans to stay way ahead, 32-12, after 10 minutes. Yango and Thierry Rupert dunked it early in the second quarter and a layup by Maleye Ndoye boosted the hosts' lead to 38-14. Power VLC could not find the way to the basket and Spencer soon made it a 28-point game, 42-14. Toko Shengelia and Hector Piquer sank free throws buy Salyers and Batista gave Le Mans another game-high lead at 47-18. Shengelia and Jose Simeon brought Power VLC within 49-24 as both teams headed back to the locker rooms.
Le Mans stayed on fire immediately after the break, as Salyers sank a jumper, Spencer nailed his fifth triple and Ndoye scored down low to set the crowd on fire at 56-24. Serhiy Lishchuk tried to change things for Power VLC with consecutive baskets but he didn't find much help around. Salyers and an unstoppable Ndoye struck from downtown and Kahudi soon joined the three-point shootout to boost the hosts' lead to 65-31. Claver scored inside, Pietrus dunked it and Matt Nielsen copied him soon after that to bring Power VLC within 67-39 after 30 minutes. Le Mans improved its defense early in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Diot and Rupert ignited a 8-0 run highlighted by Yango's dunk, good for a 75-39 Le Mans lead. Everything was said and done already, as all Le Mans fans were already celebrating that their team will keep fighting for Eurocup glory. Meanwhile, Power VLC will be back with a full lineup for its Last 16 game in two weeks' time.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010