Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne, last in the Euroleague, won a magnificent victory (88-68) at the expense of the leader, FC Barcelona, on Friday in their hall at the Astroballe in Villeurbanne, during the 11th day.
It was only the second success in the competition for the Villeurbanne team which ended a series of four straight losses.
The last three very disappointing against Red Star Belgrade, Zenit Saint Petersburg and Alba Berlin, opponents yet within reach.
The Rhone club, which has lost a total of six times, had so far only beaten the Spanish club Baskonia Vitoria (88-86) but this victory allows it to give up last place in Khimki Moscow.
Conversely, Barça lost for the second time in the Euroleague this season (8 wins).
President Tony Parker's speech, given last Sunday to the players he confronted with their responsibilities, clearly bore fruit and his team, supposed to be the best in French basketball for twenty years, has proven that real capabilities.
The expected reaction has lived up to his expectations, also pushing aside doubts about Asvel coach, his brother TJ Parker.
Asvel, less good attack in the Euroleague, opposed to the most airtight defense, delivered its best match of the season in C1 under the leadership of the Americans David Lighty, top scorer of the match (17 pts, +23 d evaluation), Norris Cole (14 pts) who made his comeback after an injury, and Allerik Freeman (12 pts).
Mentally strong, the Villeurbanne did not crack, especially after leading by +16 in the 28th minute (65-49) and +12 at the end of the 3rd quarter (65-53).
The score was already 45-36 at halftime.
Villeurbanne has built his success on his three-point efficiency (13/21, 61.9%) and free throws (17/17).
Defensively, Asvel also managed to contain Barça's master player, the Hispanic-Montenegrin Nikola Mirotic who scored only 14 points (+24 evaluation).
© 2020 AFP