Basketball: Deadly shots for Elan Béarnais in Monaco

At 77 everywhere at the start of the final minute, when Vitalis Chikoko stepped to the free-throw line, he was gone…

At the beginning of the last minute, everywhere at 77, when Vitalis Chikoko appeared on the free-throw line, there was no longer any question for the Roca Team to compare the budget of the two teams, which were almost five times higher, but it is good to understand. Palois, perfectly recovering from the 13-0 that could have brought them down from the bottom of the first quarter, dreamed of creating an original courage on the floor of the co-leader of the championship, and especially to the Euroleague!

Unfortunately, Vitalis Chikoko’s left wrist, but very reliable for the previous 39 minutes, twisted at the worst of times. Two-to-nil (78-77) at the line, where Michael Stockton, who had over 80% success in the same drill, could hold it with 9 seconds left before the final buzzer, trailing by one point. Again the curse came, the first shot slipped over the rim, the second followed the same path, and suddenly Bernaz’s eyes darkened, he sat on the bench, as if hoping to make a big shot and tie the knot. the fourth victory, suddenly gone.

“In basketball, we see completely impossible endings to matches, this was one of Pau’s missed shots at the end, but it’s something that happens to all teams,” said Sasa Obradovic, who relieved the winning coach of the controversial outcome. The real start of the crisis after last Thursday’s soapy second half in Guerrilla.

No last shot

In short, it is not enough to console Béarnais, who left Gaston-Médecin with a painful defeat, but the dynamics in the game are still intact. “My feelings are mixed between great disappointment and satisfaction,” said Landing Sane.

But hot, continued the internal author of a wonderful project before the break (10 points), “Winning is more of a disappointment, because we gave ourselves every chance to win. Missing shots are common occurrences against an outdated team. You have to be more accurate when you are in a position to win, and outside of shots, you also lack clarity. The players were running today, unfortunately for us, but here we are behind, we could have done something and we lost the last ball, which is the most frustrating thing, we didn’t have the chance to make the last shot. »

The same tone in the warm words of Eric Bartechki, whose zone defense, which began in late December, continues to spread very good mood. Monaco, despite the talent that abounds throughout their ranks, have lost 16 possessions and are not too happy on three-pointers (7 of 25), five players operating as a man to explode such a viscous collective defense at will.

“In general, we bother them defensively, which is very good. But not everything is perfect, we lose the ball, we let James go too much, they get 16 offensive rebounds from us… We can’t stop everything, “the Elan coach fatally admits. And despite the pain left by four terminal failures at the line of scrimmage, “they have been so long “It’s satisfying not to worry about the duration, to stay in touch throughout the match. We came there without pressure, it was either bravery or defeat, but we were so close to the end before we realized it… So, let’s remember the positive and continue”, positive, to buy getting ready for a long night on the bus back to the bus for sure a very long sleep.

The last four were lost

The rest takes the form of a trip to Blois next Sunday, the last of the first leg, which won’t count as a bonus this time around, but is to gain a little height in the second half of a classification that is always difficult to decant. A major clash like the announcement doesn’t rate them as well as the damaging setbacks at home against Paris and Le Portel or at Fos in early December.

Bearnais, 14there isnevertheless, the four teams that follow them in the classification must appreciate the four losses of the weekend (Nancy, Le Portel, Blois, Fos).

At Blois, Erik Bartechek’s army, surely reinforced from the rear until then, would finally have the opportunity to exorcise the demons that had haunted it against its direct rivals.

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