Valencia Basket Club play in the celebrated Spanish ACB but Dexia Mons-Hainaut weren't in awe when the two sides met in Belgium on Tuesday night in the first game of their Eurocup Qualifying Round showdown.
|Nando De Colo proved he can be a differnce maker in last year's EuroChallenge but had trouble taking care of the ball in the loss against the Belgium giants|
Kelvin Torbert drilled all five of his shots from long range and scored a game-high 25 points for Dexia, who won 78-63.
The triumph was the first for the club under new coach Arik Shivek, who recently replaced Chris Finch at the helm.
The Spanish team got 21 points from their France international Nando De Colo, but the point guard had nine of his team's 17 turnovers.
Trailing 24-19 early in the second quarter, Dexia got back-to-back three-pointers from Torbert and Craig Callahan to take the lead.
The home side went in front for good when Torbert buried another shot from behind the arc with just under six minutes to play in the first half to make it 31-28.
Dexia ended up taking a 42-35 lead to the break.
A flurry of points by the home side at the start of the third quarter made sure they kept the momentum.
Ben Ebong buried a jumper, Dominique Coleman dunked and Torbert made a three-point play the old fashioned way for a 49-35 lead.
|Kelvin Torbert lifted his team over a Valencia side that features several european stars|
Valencia reduced the arrears to 60-53 at the end of the third quarter on a De Colo three-ball, and Spain's EuroBasket gold-medal winner Victor Claver sank a jumper to start the fourth to cut the gap to just five points.
They got no closer.
The next basket came courtesy of Torbert, who made another three-pointer and Ben Ebong split a pair of free-throws to restore the nine-point lead.
Dexia ended up winning by 15 points, leaving Valencia with a mountain to climb when the second leg is played next week in Spain.
Valencia Coach Neven Spahija:
"First,I want to congratulate Dexia and Arik Shivek for a victory which is fully deserved. It was one of the best games I saw for a long time, but my players were very indolent during some moments, and I think it was impossible to come back at the score in playing like that.
"In front of us,we have found a team which was very agressive on defence, and fighting for all the balls. That explains our defeat in the way of if I have young players, the other ones, with more experience, were unable to fill up the defaults of their members of the team.
"It's sure I'm desappointed,but it was a very tough game,and we have a week to rectify all the mistakes of this tuesday..."
Valencia Player Florent Pietrus:
"Sincerely,I didn't expect such a game, but we made a lot of mistakes, especially in turnovers, and Dexia provided the opportunity to have self-assurance after a good first turn of us in the first quarter.
The second leg will be quite different, I'm sure..."
Dexia Mons Hainaut Coach Arik Shivek:
"Against a team which makes part of the top of the Spanish League,we have signed a big performance thanks to a very good defence, and despite the fact that two players were missing for such a game, the other ones proved the supporters they were able to make good a loss.
"In one week, the team had progressed, and now, we have again a lot of work to do for keeping the fifteen points in Valencia next tuesday, because I think that it will be difficult in front of a crowd reputated for encouraging it's team to reverse the result. Nevertheless,we have done a very good job tonight..."
Dexia Mons hainaut Player Dominique Coleman:
"I'm very happy of the issue of the game,because the coach had told us that the Spanish team was very strong, and also difficult to play. The team have had regard to the instructions, and it was very exciting to play in such an atmosphere. It's the first time I discovered Eurocup,and the level is very high..."