Eurocup: Nanterre remains unbeaten

EurocupJSF Nanterre remained unblemished in the Eurocup Last 32 as the French club opened Round 3 with a home win over Ratiopharm Ulm. Indeed, it was an evening of home wins as each team found it easy in front of their own fans.

There were two other games on the night as Valencia Basket got back on track with a comfortable home court win over Stelmet Gora in Group O. CAI Zaragoza also had home advantage in Group P and defeated Lietuvos Rytas in a cruising victory.

Group I

JSF Nanterre vs. Ratiopharm Ulm, 95-77
French club Nanterre has impressed in Europe this season, first offering a decent if unspectacular showing in the Euroleague and now dropping down to success in the Eurocup. The team made it 3-0 in the Last 32 with this win over German club Ratiopharm Ulm to take sole possession of top spot in Group I after three weeks.

The teams went head to head in the first quarter and swapped the lead looking for an early advantage, Ulm managed to carve a 10-14 advantage but the home team responded to tie the game at 18 each after 10 minutes. The second quarter would ultimately prove the difference as Nanterre got consistent from beyond the arc, hitting seven three pointers to open a 48-34 lead at halftime. With 14 points the difference the German visitors had a big deficit to claw back and despite a solid effort in the third the margin was still big. Indeed in the remainder of the second half the lead was never less than nine points as Nanterre strolled to the win.

David Lighty was strong from the field and led Nanterre with 21 points, while Trent Meacham and DeShaun Thomas each scored 16 points.

Trent Plaisted offered a game high 23 points for Ulm and he completed a double-double performance by adding 10 rebounds.

Group O

Valencia B. vs. Stelmet Zielona Gora
Valencia bounced back from defeat last week to collect a routine home win over Stelmet Zielona Gora in Spain on Tuesday evening. The hosts now move into second place in Group O with a 2-1 record while Polish club Stelmet remains last at 0-3.

The game started tight as the teams could not be separated at 9-9, but the home team soon found a rhythm and put together a Justin Doellman inspired 10-2 run that helped them to a 21-13 first quarter lead. Valencia again went on a march at the start of the second, hitting 12 points and conceding just 2 at the hands of the visitors. The Gora players were finding the going tough and the Polish champs picked up just nine more points in the half to trail 43-24 at the midway buzzer. Valencia quickly made it a twenty point game after the intermission and soon after extended the lead to 62-36 nearing the end of the third. Valencia continued to dominate throughout the last stanza and widened the deficit consistently to close out a very comfortable win.

Valencia had six players scoring double figures. Juan Jose Triguero scored with 14 points, while Bojan Dubljevic and Justin Doellman grabbed 13 apiece. Romain Sato logged 12 points and 7 rebounds, Pau Ribas had 11 points plus 7 assists, and Sam Van Rossom also scored 11.

Vladimir Dragicevic collected 15 points for a disappointing Gora.

Group P

CAI Zaragoza vs. Lietuvos Rytas Vilinius, 94-60
CAI Zaragoza used home court advantage to get its Eurocup campaign back on track by completing an easy win over Lietuvos Rytas. The Spanish team now leapfrogs Rytas into third place, although both teams hold a 1-2 record.

The hosts never trailed in the game and went on a 12-2 streak that set the early tempo and helped towards a dominating 27-15 score line after 10 minutes. While Rytas pressed for a breakthrough it was Zaragoza that continued to impress in the second stanza, stretching the lead to 19 points as the teams headed into the locker room (50-31) on the back of another 12-4 run. Throughout the third the home team continued to press its advantage and consistently scored to make it a thirty point game heading into the last period (77-45). With the game won Zaragoza strolled to victory in the fourth as both teams already turned their attention to next week.

Michael Roll paced the winners with 23 points and was 100% from downtown (5 from 5). Joseph Jones had 12 points plus 8 rebounds, Damjan Rudez and Giorgi Shermadini scored 11 apiece.

Juan Palacio had a good game for the away team by logging 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

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