Roanne Tops Group L


Mouloukou Diabate sunk two free-throws with three seconds remaining to give Roanne Basket a thrilling 68-66 home victory against Antwerp Giants in the battle for top spot in Group L.

Diabate had been fouled by Timothy Black, and he hit both foul shots to defeat a battling Giants side.

The visitors trailed for almost all the game, but outscored Roanne 16-8 in the final seven minutes to set up the thrilling climax.

Victory for Banvit BC in the earlier Group L game ensured that both teams would progress to the quarter-finals, but the game still had plenty of meaning as the winner would have home court advantage in their last eight tie.

With Dylan Page opening the scoring, hosts Roanne rushed into a 12-2 lead inside the first four and quarter minutes, but a Brandon Gay trey halted the run and Roanne's lead was only 20-17 at the first break.

Another Gay trey followed by Graham Brown's lay-up for Antwerp tied the score at 22, and the teams exchanged baskets until a David Noel trey put Roanne back in the driving seat, and the closed out the half strongly to lead 35-28 going into the locker room.

The visitors opened the second half with a 7-0 run capped by Roel Moors' trey to tie the game, and it took until the 5:31 mark for Roanne to break their duck when Mims drained a three-pointer.

The game remained tight, but a Noel jumper set the home team into the final break with a 51-44 lead, and they looked on their way to victory before Giants scored 11 unanswered points capped by Gay's trey to set up the thrilling finish.

Uchenna Nsonwu led all scores with 22 for the hosts, with Gay topping Giants on 20.

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