Cantu returns to the Euroleague

Hosts Mapooro Cantu defeated Le Mans 80-66 in-front of a sellout crowd in Desio, Italy to book the additional spot in Group A of the Euroleague.

Maarten Leunen led the victors with 15 points as Cantu won the first quarter 23-12 and never looked back from there. Le Mans will have to settle for Eurocup basketball this season but will fancy their chances after a decent showing over the last four days, but ultimately, falling at the last hurdle.

Fan favourite Pietro Aradori added 12 points and four assists for Cantu as they now prepare for their second straight Euroleague appearance.

After leading by 11 after one and extending the lead further to 34-19 thanks to a bucket from Marco Cusin, Cantu were in dreamland, playing a confident Le Mans team, who knocked out favourites Unics Kazan in the last round, it looked like the confidence had been drained out of the French side.

It only got worse for Le Mans, they lost the third quarter 21-16 to fall 65-44 behind after three and even though Cantu slipped in the fourth, the game was won.

For Cantu, their strong start to the game was the key to victory, and as a reward, they will welcome Real Madrid, Panathinaikos, Fenerbahce and Union Olimpija to the Pala Desio this season.

Brazilian Joao Paulo Batista led Le Mans in vain with 15 points and six rebounds.