It’s a real feat, a rare performance. ASVEL, distanced by nearly 20 points in the 23rd minute (56-37), managed a formidable comeback to triumph, in its room of the Astroballe, of the Turkish club of Efes Istanbul, reigning European champion ( 75-73). The Villeurbanese team remains undefeated this season after three successes in the French championship and as many in the European competition for which it has temporarily taken the lead in the standings. Conversely, the Istanbulites have lost their first three European matches and are at the bottom of the table of which they are last.
” It’s incredible. This is the first time that I have experienced this as a coach. We are at -19 against the best team in Europe. The players have not let go. I did not recognize my team in the first half, but then we made fabulous efforts to turn the game around, ”enthused Villeurbanne coach TJ Parker.
Asvel, deprived in particular of David Lighty and Antoine Diot, two major assets, was however jostled for a long time in this meeting, disputed in front of Jordi Bertomeu, boss of the Euroleague, during which it was led 49-35 in mid -time. TJ Parker’s men even showed a handicap of 19 points (56-37) at the start of the third quarter before finally winning it (18-13), which allowed them to return to 9 points ten minutes from the end.
In the lead 120 seconds from the siren
“We had to make stops. We let them into the game and when we face players like Larkin or Micic, the evening can be long. Then we put more intensity and that tired our opponents and the shots are not the same, ”Parker analyzed. Worn by Chris Jones (16 pts), William Howard (13), Paul Lacombe (11 pts) and Dylan Osetkowski (10), Villeurbanne, superior on outside shots and free throws, also won the fourth quarter (22- 11).
The Rhone thus managed to equalize in the 35th minute (67-67) before taking the advantage 120 seconds from the siren for the first time (71-70) since the French champions opened the scoring (2- 0). “This type of match, like the one in Alba Berlin on Friday, we lost them last season. It is a sign of good things. Now, we must continue despite a complicated schedule, ”TJ Parker said, already planning on the reception of Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday.
“You have to savor it because it is a benchmark victory that you can be proud of,” said Asvel’s deputy chairman Gaëtan Müller.