Play-Offs Round of 16 report: ASVEL punch ticket to Quarter-Finals with victory over Aris
VILLEURBANNE (Basketball Champions League) - ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne booked their Quarter-Final spot in the Basketball Champions League with a comprehensive 81-67 second leg win over Aris on Tuesday evening, taking the tie 148-134 on aggregate.
ASVEL got out on the break, turning defense into offense with a 23-4 edge in fast break points and 28-9 advantage in points from turnovers.
Walter Hodge led the way for the French side with 19 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals and Nikola Dragovic was a perfect 3 of 3 from beyond the arc on his way to 16 points. Adrian Uter didn't miss a shot from the floor in a 11-point, 6-rebound performance off the bench.
Despite Aris getting the better of the early exchanges with a hot-shooting first quarter, a 24-3 run reeled off by ASVEL after a timeout toward the end of the frame saw them gain control. They turned an 8-point deficit into a 13-point lead with 4 minutes left in the half.
"After the timeout in the first quarter, we had a run that was crazy, 24-1 or something like this," ASVEL Head Coach JD Jackson said.
"Huge pressure, and also at the other end, offensively, we really had good ball movement, effective team play and that allowed us to score buckets, get good shots and put full-court pressure on them."
After the run, Aris struggled to get back into the game. They were unable to convert from close range as ASVEL hounded them defensively and got out running on the break to keep the cushion.
In the third period, ASVEL kept pouring it on, extending their lead to 25 points and cruising the rest of the way.
"We played a serious game," ASVEL forward Bandja Sy said. "We started slow, we were kind of watching them. After a timeout we were able to give our tone to the game and put a lot of pressure on them. We scored a lot of points off turnovers so I think it was a good win for us."
Thodoris Zaras led Aris with 19 points on 7 of 11 shooting and Will Cummings had 14, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Vlado Jankovic finished with 11 points.
"It's a tough loss obviously," Aris guard Michael Jenkins said. "I don't really have much to say. Our run in the Basketball Champions League is over.
"It's always tough to get knocked out in the play-offs, so overall it's just a tough loss for our team."