BASKETBALL (Champions League): Dijon Peristeri takes the first step on the way to the qualification by defeating the Greeks.
With a reduced squad due to multiple injuries (Loum (calf), Rousselle (foot) and Simon (groin)), the JDA players managed to get their first win in 2023. Nenad Markovic’s men were able to count on infernal duo Holston / McDuffie to take the first step towards BCL qualification by defeating an attractive Peristeri team coached by legend Vassilis Spanulis (top scorer in Euroleague history).
The start of the game was balanced with both teams exploiting the opponent’s weaknesses. On the Greek side, the game is mainly concentrated in the interior sector. Indeed, the Croatian pivot Miro Bilan (18 points 7 rebounds 1 pass) puts the Burgundian defense in a painful position with his inside movements and height.
The former ASVEL player is perfectly complemented by teammate Marcus Denmon (21 pts. 2 rebs) from long range. JDA players on their side show disastrous 3pt address in these early minutes. That’s why locals rely on sharp holes in the racquet to ensure scoring.
The Dijon domestic sector will gradually increase its strength during the session. This was illustrated by a great start to the second quarter by Gavin Ware, who chained rebounds and points in the key to give his teammates a 6-point lead.
But America’s interior is in rough trouble, forcing Nenad Markovic to let the bench breathe. Missing the latter allows the visitors to change the course of the match. The Athenians chain baskets as well as defensive stops under the momentum of the contact leader (Francisco) / pivot (Bilan). Therefore, at the end of the first 20 minutes, the Greeks are in the lead (34-40).
That’s why Dijonnais is determined to reverse the trend so that he can return to the game after returning from the dressing room. The locals increase the pressure on the perimeter and close the defensive ranks, which allows them to break balls, causing turnovers. However, the pressure exerted by the Dukes City players is starting to increase the intensity and the tension on the ground.
The Palais des Sports is on the verge of igniting with the decibel level rising in mere minutes. This electric context is useful for locals surfing the euphoria around them to gradually get back into the game. Back-to-back baskets by Holston (15 points, 12 assists, 4 rebounds) and McDuffie (27 points, 7 rebounds) fueled the fire, which literally exploded when Robin Ducote’s side allowed a pass with 12 minutes left (58-57). However, the players of the legendary Spanulis are looking good and will be able to return to the game once again. The visitors got off to a big start in the fourth quarter, relying on the scoring qualities of winger Agravanis (22pts 5eb) and Denmon’s knack for scoring. It was indeed the Greeks who finally took control 6 minutes into the match.
However, you start to know the song, coach Markovic’s team can rely on the individual talent of their leaders to make the difference in hot moments. That’s why Markis McDuffie, who chained big shots at the money, as well as Gregor Hrovat (18 points, 3 rebounds, 8 assists) and 2/2/2 shooting, who will return the all-important long shot with 2 minutes to go, are called the rescuers on the Burgundy side. 2 at the free throw line in the final moments.
So it’s the Dijonnais who won the first round of the Play-In. The JDA players were able to rely on their captain’s individual talent to overcome a playful and eye-catching Greek team. However, Nenad Markovic will have to rack his brain next week to find solutions to contain the forward inner sector, where he literally walked in the Dijon defense throughout the match.
JDA wins 89 to 80 over Dijon Peristeri (17-16, 17-24, 30-20, 25-20)
JDA Dijon : Holston (15) / Brembly (4) / McDuffie (27) / Ducoté (4) / Horvath (15) / Ware (15) / Alingue (6)
Perister : Denmon (21) / Francisco (9) / Bilan (18) / Agravanis (22) / Kaselakis (2) / Radanov (2) / Juiston (6)
– JDA Dijon: Holston (12) / Hrovat (8) / Ducote (1)
– Peristeri: Francisco (8) / Kaselakis (5) / Moraitis (2)
– JDA Dijon: McDuffie (7) / Brembly (4) / McDuffie (5)
– Perister: Balance sheet (7) / Agravanis (5) / Francisco (5)