Valencia wins game comfortably in Venice
Valencia Basket finally won a comfortable game this season as the four-time 7DAYS EuroCup champions eased past Umana Reyer Venice 67-81 on the road. Valencia jumped ahead 4-20 and never let Reyer closer than 9 points the rest of the way in winning its third straight game for a 4-2 record in Group B. The Spanish powerhouse had won its three games this season by 10 points, 1 point and 3 points. Klemen Prepelic led the way with 17 points with Mike Tobey posting 16 points and 8 rebounds in his first game this season. In addition, Louis Labeyrie tallied 12 points, Bojan Dubljevic scored 11 points and Martin Hermannsson dished out 6 assists with 5 points. The hosts, who dropped to 2-4, were paced by Martynas Echodas with 16 points and Jeff Brooks connected for 11 points.
After not playing all season, Tobey tried to make up for all his lost time with the first 7 points of the game. Xabi Lopez-Arostegui added the next 5 and Valencia was up 0-12. Reyer missed its first 8 shots until Michael Bramos finally scored after more than 3 minutes. Tobey added a second three-pointer and Hermannsson also hit from deep to help Valencia extend its lead to 4-20. Reyer cut the gap to 10 points after three-pointers from Julyan Stone and Bramos and a three-point play from Echodas and triple from Brooks made it 16-25. The guests led 16-27 after 10 minutes.
Labeyrie scored first in the second quarter for Valencia with Victor Sanders hitting twice at the other end. Prepelic drained a triple and the lead was back to 16. Reyer did a good job defensively the rest of the first half, holding the visitors to just 2 free throws over the final 5:21 minutes and using an 8-2 spurt to pull within 32-42 at the break. Reyer was off-target on 6 free throws in that span to miss a chance to get closer.
Tobey started the second half strong with a dunk, two put-back scores and a fast-break layup as Valencia remained comfortably ahead, 36-50. After a Prepelic three-pointer, Dubljevic took over in the post to make it 38-55 for the biggest lead. Echodas converted a three-point play to get the deficit down to 45-57. Dubljevic responded with 4 points and the visitors led 47-62 after 30 minutes.
Tarik Phillip started the final frame with a three-point play, but Bramos was called for an unsportsmanlike foul which resulted in Lopez-Arostegui free throws and a Prepelic triple for a 50-67 cushion. Prepelic added another three-pointer and the gap was 20. Reyer managed the next 4 points only to see Labeyrie collect an and-one and the advantage grew to 54-75. Reyer managed to make the final result a little more acceptable with a 10-2 run to make it 64-77 inside the final 2 minutes.
Labeyrie has first strong game since Round 1
Louis Labeyrie will be one player very happy with both the team’s performance and his own showing. The French big man scored 12 points in hitting 5 of 6 shots and 2 of 4 free throws. He also grabbed 6 rebounds and contributed 1 assist and 1 block. All that gave him an index rating of 20. It was Labeyrie’s best game since he went for 23 points, 8 rebounds and a PIR of 25 in Valencia’s first game of the season.
Echodas shines for first time
One of the few bright spots for Reyer was the performance of Martynas Echodas. He collected 16 points on 5-of-5 shooting and 6-of-8 free throws to go along with 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block for a performance index rating of 23. It was a true breakout game for the former EuroCup Rising Star, who is playing outside of his native Lithuania for the first time this season. He came into the game have collected 10 points, 8 rebounds and a PIR of 10 in about 31 combined minutes of three games.
By the numbers: Reyer has nightmare from downtown, foul line
Reyer did a solid job controlling the ball, committing only 8 turnovers. But the hosts had a nightmare performance from the three-point line, making just 3 of 28 attempts (10.7%). That was the team’s second-worst shooting night in the EuroCup - only worse was its 4.8% on 1-of-21 shooting in the Top 16 against Promitheas Patras on January 28, 2020; also in a home game. Reyer also converted just 14 of 24 free throws (58.3%).
Tuesday, December 7, 2021