Valencia downs Promitheas for season-opening win
Valencia Basket started its 2021-22 campaign in solid form with a 92-82 victory at home over Promitheas Patras in Group B. The four-time 7DAYS EuroCup winner used a 19-5 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to take control of the game - despite playing without some of its major leaders such as Bojan Dubjleivc, Klemen Prepelic, Victor Claver and Mike Tobey. Louis Labeyrie led the way for Valencia with 23 points while Martin Hermannsson scored 13 points, Jasiel Rivero and Josep Puerto both had 12 points, Jaime Pradilla added 10 points and Nenad Dimitrijevic chipped in 9 points and 11 assists. Six players scored in double figures for Promitheas, topped by Abdul Gaddy, Isaiah Miles and Nikos Rogkavopoulos all with 13 points with Dario Hunt scoring 12 and Kendrick Ray and Jerai Grant both tallying 10 points.
Grant’s lay-in represented the first points of the season for Promitheas and Dimitrijevic’s floater put Valencia on the board at 2-4. Both offenses were rolling early on with Pradilla scoring twice in the lane and Xabi Lopez-Arostegui and Hermannsson hitting three-pointers for a 16-12 lead as Valencia made its first six shots. Hunt and Ragkavopoulos combined for 15 points at the other end as the guests were within 28-24 after 10 minutes.
After Nikos Gkikas’s free throws opened the second quarter, Sam Van Rossom’s triple pushed the lead to 33-26. The hosts were finally able to get some stops and Hermannsson converted a three-point play and Labeyrie drained a three-pointer as the cushion grew to 43-34. Gaddy answered with 4 points at the other end and the margin was 47-43 at the intermission.
Miles started the second half with a triple for Promitheas and Gaddy put the visitors up 49-50. Six lead changes followed with Promitheas moving ahead 56-59. Labeyrie started taking over with 2 three-pointers among his 9 points in Valencia’s 13-4 finish to the third quarter for a 69-63 advantage.
Labeyrie continued his fantastic run with another triple to start the fourth quarter. Dimitrijevic’s three-point play gave Valencia its first double-digit lead at 75-64. Promitheas slowed the surge with Rogkavopoulos draining a three-pointer and Gaddy converting a three-point play as the margin got to 77-72. The hosts punched right back with triples from Van Rossom and Lopez-Arostegui and the gap was back to 11 at 85-74. A Miles three-pointer got Promitheas within 87-81 but the visitors would not get closer the rest of the game.
Pivotal performer: Valencia’s Labeyrie
Louis Labeyrie played a major role for Valencia Basket against Promitheas Patras as the big man collected 23 points in hitting 4 three-pointers. The French forward also snatched 8 rebounds to go along with 4 fouls drawn for an index rating of 24. The 29-year-old set career-highs in points and PIR; his previous bests were 17 and 18, respectively and he was just 1 rebound off his top EuroCup showing on the glass. Labeyrie played three seasons in the EuroCup coming into the season - in 2013-14 and 2014-15 with Paris Levallois and the 2018-19 campaign for Valencia.
Valencia wins again to start EuroCup season
Valencia Basket not only has claimed more EuroCup titles than any other club with crowns in 2003, 2010, 2014 and 2019, but the Spanish team has been all but a guarantee to win its EuroCup opener. The team has started 11 of its 12 EuroCup seasons with a victory, including the last five appearances - 2018-19, 2016-17, 2015-16, 2013-14 and 2012-13. The only time the Spanish club lost the season opener came in 2011-12 when it was defeated 87-78 at ASVEL Basket. Nando de Colo, Stefan Markovic, Serhiy Lishchuk and Nik Caner-Medley were some of Valencia’s leaders in that game while ASVEL had Tony Parker (34 points), Ronny Turiaf, Dijon Thompson, Edwin Jackson and Kim Tillie.
Telling numbers: More threes and fewer turnovers
Valencia Basket made 11 of 28 three-pointers (39.3%) while Promitheas Patras hit only 6 of 22 (27.3%). The hosts also committed only 8 turnovers compared to 11 for Promitheas. Valencia managed to collect 14 offensive rebounds to 8 for Promitheas. All that led to the Spanish club taking the second-chance points stat 14-9 - not to mention a total of 70 field-goal attempts to 63 for Promitheas. The visitors tried to get easy points - coming up with 15 fastbreak points to 4 for Valencia - but they did not help to get the win.
Tuesday, October 19, 2021