U18 ASVEL Villeurbanne booked the first ticket to the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Finals by fighting past host U18 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 73-80 to take first place at the ANGT Belgrade.
ASVEL is ANGT Belgrade winner!
ASVEL held Zvezda scoreless for the final 5:53 minutes to bring home the win and take first place at an ANGT for the first time in club history. With the victory, ASVEL will be playing at the ANGT Finals at the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four. Killian Malwaya scored 22 points to pace five ASVEL scorers in double figures. Francois Wibaut had 15 points, Kymany Houinsou collected 14 points and 10 rebounds, Romain Parmentelot added 13 points, 7 assists and 5 steals and Yaacov Noam chipped in 10 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists. It marked the fourth straight season that Zvezda did not finish first at its home ANGT after eight straight first place showings previously. Luka Vudragovic led Zvezda with 19 points but only had one point after the first quarter. Ognjen Matovic tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds and Lazar Djokovic had 10 points in the loss.
Vudragovic sandwiched three-pointers around a Matovic triple and Zvezda led 9-0 as ASVEL was held scoreless its first four possessions until Houinsou’s emphatic dunk. The Zvezda barrage continued with a Djokovic triple and two more Vudragovic three-pointers for an 18-5 lead. ASVEL was able to punish Zvezda’s miscues, getting 9 points off 5 turnovers and getting within 22-18. Vudragovic wasn’t done with 2 more three-pointers as Zvezda went ahead up 28-20. Felix De Almeida and Malwaya connected from long range at the other end and the score was 30-26 after 10 minutes. The frantic pace settled in the second quarter with Noam hitting a three-pointer and Malwaya converting a three-point play to give ASVEL its first lead 30-32. Zvezda needed nearly 4 minutes to finally get on the scoreboard in the second quarter through Matovic. Another basket by Matovic had Zvezda up 37-34 as the scoring game to a screeching halt and the misses started to mount on both sides. Zvezda avoided the turnovers and was able to convert; Vladimir Pavlovic made a three-pointer and three-point play as the lead grew to 48-39 at the break.
ASVEL was the team hot from the outside to start the second half with Parmentelot hitting two three-pointers and his layup put the French side back ahead 50-52. It remained tight the rest of the quarter with 4 points being the biggest lead after Filip Radakovic’s triple to make it 64-60. Zvezda held a 67-65 lead after 30 minutes. The gravity of every possession grew and Wibaut scored twice to even the game, 71-71. Nikola Topic put Zvezda ahead 73-71, but the ASVEL defense shined the rest of the way, stopping the host team on the final 12 possessions, including 7 turnovers, and Wibaut scored 4 points before Houinsou’s big fastbreak dunk for a 73-79 lead with 31 seconds to play.