Kalinic is left alone

Valencia lacked energy against ASVEL to achieve a victory that would have put them in the playoff zone. Howard was the best of the game.


Valencia Basket squandered a golden opportunity to get back into the top eight in the Euroleague. The Astroballe, although the taronjas have never won there, is a track where you can scratch this season. But for that, you have to do things much better than Valencia did during much of the game. The 18 losses is a symptom of the bad game taronja.

Only Kalinic (18 points and a PIR of 19) lived up to a duel that would have needed more energy to defeat a very physical but much more just-talented rival than other teams that Valencia have beaten brilliantly this year. The gasoline reached the taronjas until the middle of the third quarter. At that moment, it seemed that with an arreón, those of Ponsarnau could take the party. But it was the opposite. The French went up to +18 which was an insurmountable mountain despite the final attempt.

The goal is still at hand, with many games still to be played, but the team needs a change in the Euroleague, just now that the Endesa League has straightened its course. Marinkovic returned, with a still testimonial presence, although Valencia are missing a lot Prepelic and especially Dubljevic. Williams, Labeyrie and Tobey get by in the ACB but in the Euroleague the presence of the captain seems essential. At ASVEL, Howard (17 points and a PIR of 24) was the one who executed but was very well escorted by Yabusele, Walton and even Hayes.

Kalinic brought together the first attacks of Valencia Basket scoring 8 of the first 10 taronjas points. ASVEL had a hard time starting although a triple by Yabusele began to warm him up with a triple. The French adjusted with Kalinic and Valencia began to struggle. With hardly any shots of three, an unsportsmanlike one gave life to Valencia with four points in a row. The second Taronja unit castled even though it reached the end of the first even quarter, despite having committed six losses in the first act.

By then, Valencia had already realized that the game was going to be in the mud. Hermannsson and Sastre punished from the start. But two triples from Diot and Walton put the initiative on the part of the French despite the fact that Labeyrie had also started from 6.75. Two absences in defense truffled with some taronja loss were pure fuel for ASVEL. Thus, Ligthy put the maximum (38-30, min. 18) until then. A good final minute and a half reduced the income with Kalinic and Williams but a final basket by Walton left the advantage for the locals at +6.

Valencia Basket came out of the locker room plugged with three triples in a row from Van Rossom (2) and Williams. And also short-circuiting the French attacks. The part went to 0-11, getting 42-45 (min. 24). But just when things began to smile for Valencia, a technique for Kalinic (another) reversed the trend. The taronjas deconcentrated and again in the last minutes of the third quarter, the French gave a pull, with a triple final from Kahudi that put the +7.

And that's where Valencia came, totally losing it in the last quarter. Two triples by Howard and Strazel ended up sinking Valencia, which also added a couple of childish and frustrating losses. With the match lost, he took the bullfighting shame but only gave him the local advantage to iron out something.

Photos from as.com
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