Boulogne-Levallois v Nanterre, a Hauts-de-Seine derby spiced by Wembanyama

Boulogne-Levallois (3rd), carried by Victor Wembanyama, took on a different dimension when they faced their neighbors from JSF Nanterre (8th) on Sunday (7:00) in the 8th day of the Betclic Elite. A derby less heated than a few years ago, but revived by the duel between Vincent Collet and Pascal Donnadieu.

In a minor role-play preparation for the match, it was Nantes pivot Hamadi Ndiaye who filled in for Victor Wembanyama during Friday morning’s tactical session at the Maurice-Thorez gym. At 2m13, the Senegalese lacks 8 centimeters to match the Metros player. No big deal, he tries to copy the moves of the No. 1 threat identified by Pascal Donnadieu.

This Sunday from 19:00, “Wemby” will become a magnet for all the eyes of the public and all the attention of its competitors. A less electrifying derby than in the past, where the political opposition between Communist Nanterre and “Balkanist” Levallois revived the sporting aspect. None of this Wembanyama faced the club JSF Nanterre, where he made his debut: “I remind you that he is a child of the club, he trained in Nanterre. Boulogne takes advantage of that. I don’t want such a transition. He has been forgotten that he played in Nanterre. He is here experienced all the levels, the national title at U15, his first professional matches. I don’t want it to be minimized, “recalls JSF coach Pascal Donnadieu, who gave the giant his first. minutes in the big leagues.

“Victor’s presence gives us more attention,” Collet admits

Boulogne-Levallois is one game behind in the championship, while Wembanyama is third with a strong scoring average of 21.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. “Of course, there is a lot of attention on Wembanyama, adds Nanterre leader Benjamin Sène. It makes us want to win even more.” Metros earned a winning status from the team. Take them down, shut up a future NBA player, big challenges for a coach: “Maybe we’re the team to beat,” wonders Vincent Collet. Victor’s presence gives us more glimpses. Sustainability focuses on us. The tension will continue. if we are always on top.’

The Marseille-Jerdan gym will be full again this Sunday evening. The Wembanyama effect. The greens must feel warm with loads of fans used to this short 10 kilometer journey. The arrival of Vincent Collet on the subway calmed the hostility of the first hours. His closeness with his assistant in the French national team, Pascal Donnadie, calmed down before the match. When Nanterre were promoted in 2011. Levallois looked suspiciously at this funny bird from the depths of the departmental compartments: “I know from a reliable source that once upon a time Levallois won a double bonus when he beat Nanterre.” , withdraws an amused Pascal Donnadieu. Friend Vincent Collet replied: “If everything calms down, so much the better, the main thing is a good adjustment.”

According to Donnadieu, the attempt to unify is an injury

During the international windows, assistants Ruddy Nelhomme and Laurent Foirest politely take care of increasing the mayonnaise between Collet and Donnadieu. This Sunday will be a matter of deceiving one of the people who know you best. Stupid game, he’ll think I’m doing it, let’s do something else: “I think he knows me better than I do, it annoys Collet. I’m the head coach of France, he has more reason to know. what we’re doing.”

“Among the players, some Americans don’t even know that Nanterre is 10 kilometers away,” smiles Collet. Not much room. Former JSF Lahaou Konaté wrote to Nanterrien Keith Hornsby promising “a super cool match to play”. This peaceful relationship was marred by an attempted merger between Métros and Nanterre last year. Called to leave his room, Boulogne-Levallois tried approaches at JSF. Mayors got involved. Pascal Donnadeau has very bad memories of it. The emblematic coach did not want to erase the history of the “greens” by messing with his neighbor: “Something really hurt us. We were asked by Levallois when we didn’t ask. I had an exchange of ideas with Vincent Collet. We had difficult moments. When the mayor of Levallois offered us to take Paul Lacombe. We have to throw in the towel. This was an episode we didn’t appreciate at all.

After Tuesday’s win over Bosnia and Herzegovina (92-56), he broke down as he reunited with his estranged friends Vincent Collet and Victor Wembanyama.

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