French success in Belgium, Euroleague Qualifying round up

French side ASVEL Lyon were 86-77 winners over Euroleague Qualifying Round hosts Telenet Ostend to get the new season underway.

ASVEL led after the first ten minutes but were pegged back to 43-43 at half-time as the hosts looked to take advantage of their strong second quarter showing.

It didn’t last though as the French side, led by Amara Sy’s game-high 23 points took charge in the third and Ostend never looked like mounting a serious challenge in the latter stages.

“We played a very good defensive game,” admitted ASVEL coach Pierre Vincent. “We focused well on their offensive game and their key players. We defended well on their pick-and-rolls. We knew they have a lot of offensive options, but we were able to stop that very good. We played with good energy and had some good offensive luck. It is very positive for French basketball to be certain of having one French team in the final.”

Mateusz Pontika led Ostend with 17 points as they will settle for a spot in the Eurocup.

Strasbourg made it two wins out of two for the French sides as they eased past Latvians VEF Riga 82-53.

The French side led from start-to-finish in this routine win as a 13-2 run to start the second quarter saw them build a double-digit lead and end the challenge of VEF Riga who go to the Eurocup.

“We played a good defensive game,” Strasbourg coach Vincent Collet said. “We knew they had good shooters. If you allow them to play, they are very dangerous. We prepared well to counter this and the steals we were able to make defensively were very important in this game.”

Antoine Diot and Ali Traore each led the winners with 15 points. Gerald Robinson led Riga with 14.