Defending Eurocup champions got their title defence underway in style with a comfortable 77-46 victory over SLUC Nancy in a game that opened the Last 32 stage of the competition. Valencia won this competition last season and the reward was a berth in the elite Euroleague this campaign. However, the Regular Season in the continents top competition did not go well and the club has now dropped back to the Eurocup.
There is certainly a silver lining though as Valencia will now have the opportunity to hold onto its crown come May. There is a long way to go and a lot of good teams left in the Last 32 and beyond, but Valencia’s cruising defeat over Nancy is a great start.
The Spaniards controlled the game from the start, opening up a 13-0 at the start of game and through the first quarter holding the French guests to just six points through the frame. At the ten minute interval the hosts led comfortably with the scoreboard reading 19-6. SLUC Nancy improved a lot in the second stanza and edged a higher scoring period, although Valencia mostly kept pace (20-21) to lead 39-27 through halftime. The home team was cruising and in the third quarter killed the game with a 16-0 run that was enough to propel them to a 61-36 lead through thirty minutes. In the final act Valencia eased down the straight and opened the Last 32 with a big win.
The Spanish team went big in defence, outrebounding Nancy 42-27 on the night, cutting the French team to 2 from 12 successful buckets from downtown, and forcing 17 turnovers. Romain Sato led Valencia as the roster spread the point, he claimed 13 points. Luke Harongody and Bojan Dubljevic scored 10 points apiece, while Harongody doubled up with 10 boards.
Only one Nancy player registered in double figures in terms of points, with Keydren Clark nailing 12 points for the losing effort.