They aspired to bring the two trophies triumphantly back to the capital of Gaul. But the French Basketball Cup was refused, Saturday, April 22, to the women’s and men’s teams of Asvel (Sports Association of Villeurbanne Éveil Lyonnais). Beaten by the Furia Basket Landes (71-64) – which brought the Cup to the South West for the second time in a row – Sandrine Gruda’s teammates failed to win a second trophy in ten days, two weeks. after winning the Eurocup. A few hours later, the men’s team of Asvel did not do better than their female counterparts, losing in large widths against Monaco (90-70).
In a sports hall in Paris-Bercy which has become, for the weekend, the boiling heart of French basketball, the proteges of Tony Parker – the former NBA and Blues star is the president of Asvel – did not succeed to shine. At the beginning of the afternoon, the Lyonnaises suffered the law of Basket Landes, of the inexhaustible Céline Dumerc. At 40 – the same as the former leader of the San Antonio Spurs – the former captain of the France team, Olympic silver medalist in London in 2012, is extending his farewell tour. And adds pages to his caption.
Low budget in the French championship, far from the behemoths of female Asvel and Bourges, the Mont-de-Marsan-based team retained their title, and lifted a third trophy in three years – they postponed the championship title in 2021. In front of Landes supporters mounted in number in the capital – basketball being a religion in the south of the department -, the partners of the Swedish international Regan Magarity (16 points and 8 rebounds) took the best on those of Marine Johannès and Gabby Williams, spearhead of the tricolor attack.
The Landaises were the first to extricate themselves from the clumsiness which hit the two teams during a starving first quarter (8-3 after ten minutes of play), then widened the gap, before managing the awakening of the Lyonnaises at the end of the game. Despite their slew of French internationals (Gruda, Williams, Ciak, Johannès, Chartereau), the Lyonnaises were unable to get to the level of the final. “We lost against a team that had more soul, showed more aggression. We got on their level in the last quarter but it was too lateregretted David Gautier, the coach of Asvel. We will have to understand that hardness is important, despite all our internationals..
“Now is not the time to party” for Monaco
From the heart, their opponents did not lack it. “We have been on a final mission for a monthrecognized Céline Dumerc. We played with our hearts and this is what it gives. » After a complicated season to say the least, punctuated by “many, many, many meetings”according to the former international, the Landaises have found the resources to win. “We’ve been so scared all season that tonight we weren’t scared. Having suffered so much is ultimately a strength for us”concluded Julie Barennes, the coach of Basket Landes.
The Landes confetti barely swept away, Asvel had a new opportunity to lift the Coupe de France. Opposed to Monaco, in a duel between the two heavyweights of French basketball – and its representatives in the Euroleague – Nando de Colo’s partners failed to lift a second trophy this season, after the Leaders Cup in February.
Dominated by the “Roca Team” of an inspired Elie Okobo (20 points and 7 assists), and taken by the throat from the first quarter, the men of TJ Parker – coach and brother of Tony – never records of an introduction to the subject upside down. “To collect 33 points in the first quarter is not very funny. We lacked realism, address […] we weren’t at all in what we wanted to do”, exposed the captain of Lyon-Villeurbane, Charles Kahudi, acknowledging that Monaco, for his part, was ” on a cloud “.
Qualified for the Euroleague playoffs, where it will face Maccabi Tel Aviv in the quarter-finals, Monaco will not have time to celebrate this first Coupe de France on its record. “I won cups in Germany, Russia and today in France, but now is not the time to celebrate with the Euroleague playoffs looming”said coach Sasha Obradovic, welcoming the “great game” of his troops.
If ASVEL leaves empty-handed from a weekend where the Lyonnais had high hopes, and that the weekend was somewhat tarnished, on Friday, by a controversy around the training slots in the Accor Arena, reserved to the men’s teams in the running, the great celebration of French basketball has kept its promises. “This type of event deserves this kind of room”, concluded Sasha Obradovic.