01 September, 2016
30 April, 2017
1 Joe Ragland (ITA)
to read

Die-hard Avellino fight back to deny Strasbourg

AVELLINO (Basketball Champions League) – Sidigas Avellino trailed SIG Strasbourg by 15 points, 48-33, midway through the third quarter of their Wednesday but climbed their way back to snatch a 72-69 win and remain tied with Iberostar Tenerife and Juventus Utena in first place in Group D.

Levi Randolph top-scored for Avellino with 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the floor while Gameday 2 MVP Joe Ragland conjured a double-double of 16 points and 10 assists, also adding six rebounds and three steals, to register an efficiency rating of 29.

"For us it very important when we play in Europe to understand the technical aspects of every situation on the floor," said Avellino head coach Stefano Sacripanti. "So I am very happy first of all that we won, but also because my team is very young and we gained experience with what happened today and we managed to react and turn the game around."

"Our defence was consistent, even though we conceded 40 points quite fast it was because of mistakes we made on offence. Every one of our guys made an excellent effort not only in terms of aggressiveness, but also in terms of tactical awareness. But defence in basketball starts from offence and our wrong choices on offence what made things difficult behind."

The hosts held Strasbourg scoreless for almost four minutes and went on a 14-0 run late in the third frame to reduce the gap to just one point and then pushed for a 68-60 lead halfway trough the fourth frame, but the game still went down to the wire.

With Avellino leading 70-67 and just over five seconds left on the clock, AJ Slaughter drew a foul and went to the line. The Strasbourg guard, who was the best for his team on the night, made the first free-throw and tried to miss the second for the French side to try and get the offensive rebound, but the ball went in. Avellino's Maarten Leunen wrote the final score from the stripe as he got fouled once the Italian side inbounded the ball.