Eurocup Last 32: Nanterre drops Cantu in OT
The Last 32 of the Eurocup is underway after one game was played on Tuesday night as JSF Nanterre welcomed Foxtown Cantu to Paris and claimed a thrilling double OT victory.
An exciting and nail biting game was the perfect way to kick off the next phase of the Eurocup tournament and hinted at the kind of Basketball we can expect over the coming weeks and months. The French hosts opened the Last 32 in fine fashion by securing an important first win over italian club Foxtown, and while there is plenty of action to come, Nanterre currently leads Group I with a 1-0 record.
Sergii Gladyr was amazing for Nanterre as he notched up 30 points (including 7 from 11 from beyond the arc) and also logged nine free throws to record a 30 point game without a single two point score. David Lighty was also on hand for the hosts with 12 points.
Despite losing, Cantu put in a good effort and can look at Adrian Uter with 25 points and Joe Ragland with 23 as standout performers. Marty Leunen claimed 12 rebounds in the losing effort but failed to register a single basket.
Both teams traded baskets in the early stages of the game with Nanterre starting the scoring with a three pointer from Will Daniels (203 cm, Rhode Island´08), but Cantu responded through Joe Ragland (182 cm, Wichita State´12). The teams remained on an equal footing in the early stages, with the hosts hitting 5 unanswered points and the visitors responding to tie the board at 10-10. The pattern continued until the score was 15-15 when Nanterre stole a first quarter initiative by ending the period with a 19-15 lead.
Ragland and Stefano Gentile clawed Cantu back into the game and helped the Italian club to a 0-8 run that gave them the lead for the first time in the contest with the score at 23-25. Johan Passave tied the score again at 25-25 for the hosts, but despite the game being tied another two times Cantu held on at the end of the 10 minutes to take a 29-31 lead into the locker room as the halftime buzzer sounded.
Nanterre snatched back the lead early in the third quarter thanks to free throws from David Lighty (195 cm, Ohio State´11) but again Cantu tied the game. Indeed it was becoming a clash that no team wanted to dominate and even in the third it looked as though this game would be going to the wire. However, out of nowhere Nanterre found another gear and began to stretch an advantage with a blockbuster 13-1 run. The French team now looked in control and after 30-minutes held a 7 point lead with the score at 53-46.
The game got real tight in Q4 as no score was posted for 4 full minutes. The drought at both ends was broken when Pietro Aradori stepped up with a fadeaway. The Italian team was buzzing again and began cutting into Nanterre´s advantage and even stole a one point lead at 58-59 before the scores stopped for another 2 minutes. When the baskets resumed the teams once again went blow for blow until there was a tie at the end of regulation time.
The fans inside the Halle Carpentier knew it would be a nail biting OT period as neither team had been able to stand out during regulation. It became a contest of wits as both teams stole a lead only for the opponent to come racing back into the game. After the first period of overtime the teams were tied at 71 apiece and the players prepared for another bout of action. Nanterre finally took control of the game late in the second overtime section with a 7-1 run courtesy of the metronome three point scoring from Sergii Gladyr that all but knocked the stuffing out of Cantu and ensured the French club won the first game of the Eurocup Last 32.
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