FC Porto beats Sporting to open the play-off semi-finals

Rashard Odomes was the best player of the match, with 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

FC Porto beat Sporting by 87-68, in the first game of the semi-finals of the Portuguese Basketball League, a consolidated triumph with several prominent figures, against the national champions who made too many mistakes.

Rashard Odomes was the best player of the match, with 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists, also backed by solid displays from Jonathan Arledge (15 points), Michael Morrison (14 points, seven rebounds), propelling the “dragons” to the championship that runs away since the 2015/16 season.

In Lisbon, Travante Williams added 12 points, eight assists and four rebounds, and Shakir Smith “jumped” off the bench for a solid display (11 points), but these numbers were insufficient for a team that committed 19 ball losses, allowed 44 points in the “bottle” and only got 12.

In the rematch of the previous season’s final, the “lions” started better, with Diogo Ventura and Travante Williams in good shape, the Portuguese added six points and four assists in the first period, while the American with 10 points and three assists took over the efficient attack expenses, illustrated by the 28 points scored in the first period.

On the “home” side, Jonathan Arledge was the most dissatisfied, with seven points, in an offensive that sought to attack and finish close to the basket and that, at the end of the first quarter, lost Brad Tinsley with a left knee injury.

However, the “dragons” returned to the charge in the following period, driven by Arledge, Miguel Queiroz and Mike Morrison, and also by the defense that only allowed four points in the first seven minutes, returning to the advantage (30-28) and holding it until close to the break.

For their part, the “lions” made several mistakes, between losing the ball (11 at rest) and wasted easy finishes, but they ended up leaving for the break with a minimal advantage (38-39), with four points from João Fernandes and a triple by Diogo Araújo consecutively.

On their return from the dressing room, Vladyslav Voytso and Charlie Kloof came with “all the ropes” unlike the “Leonine” offensive that again revealed difficulties and the “Dragons” added a partial 13-0, returning to the advantage in a comfortable way (51 -39).

In a kind of stop and answer, Sporting responded again and was four points away with João Fernandes, António Monteiro and Shakir Smith who came off the bench for a very positive performance, sharing the offensive and creative charge with Travante Williams, who showed wear and tear over time.

However, it would be FC Porto who would end up increasing the advantage, with triples from Miguel Correia and Francisco Amarante, entering the decisive stage with an advantage of 12 points (65-53).

In the final stretch, the “dragons” knew how to have the experience and coolness of playing with the clock and penalizing the spaces granted, taking advantage of the precipitation of the “lions” who ran after the result and made mistakes in a cascade.

Game held at the Dragão Caixa Pavilion, in Porto.

FC Porto – Sporting: 87-68.

At half-time: 38-39.

Under the arbitration of the duo Luís Lopes, Pedro Rodrigues and Pedro Maia, the teams lined up:

FC Porto (87): Rashard Odomes (16), Brad Tinsley, Jonathan Arledge (15), Michael Morrison (14) and Charlon Kloof (11). Also playing: João Torrié, Miguel Queiroz (08), Vladyslav Voytso (07), Francisco Amarante (10), João Maia Tiago Almeida and Miguel Correia (06).

Coach: Moncho Lopez.

Sporting (68): Travante Williams (12), Justin Tuoyo (07), Seydougou Fofana, Diogo Ventura (06) and João Fernandes (09). Also playing: Diogo Araújo (11), Miguel Cardoso (08), Daniel Relvão (01), António Monteiro (03), Shakir Smith (11), Joshua Patton and Daniel Machado.

Coach: Luís Magalhães.

Marker gait: 22-28 (10); 38-39 (range); 65-53 (30); 87-68 (end).

Attendance: about 1,000 spectators.

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