Gries-Oberhoffen – SLUC Nancy
Appearances can be deceiving. If the Nancéiens imposed themselves very widely in Alsace on Tuesday (86-65), the gap does not say how much François Peronnet’s men had to whip to get out of the Alsatian trap and qualify for the quarterfinals of the Leaders Cup.
Because after a very well controlled first quarter during which the SLUC had a 16 point lead (24-8, 7th) in the wake of a Ron Lewis attack (10 points in the first five minutes), Nancy had seen his lead melt, melt, inexorably as the address crumbled.
Imagine that the Nancy had started with a 9/13 shoots before going on with a… 3/23 straddling the second and third quarters. Gries, without being brilliant, had rushed into the breach to nibble point by point his delay and pick up at first (33-33, 20th) then pass in front for the first time in the match (38-36, 23rd).
Vincent Vent released for five fouls
Fortunately, the Nancy defense held on to prevent this Alsatian team from dropping the horses as it likes to do (it had the second attack in the Leaders Cup with more than 87 points average). This at least allowed the Nancyians not to let their opponent fly away.
Still, at the start of the last quarter, the meager audience of Espace La Forêt de Gries probably thought that the play would fall on the local side. Nancy was not only out of skill but had to do without Vincent Vent, out for five fouls in the 29th minute.
Already deprived of Charles Nkaloulou (knee), the Nancy club found itself seriously weakened in the racket even if Bastien Vautier was present (11 rebounds) and that Tyran De Lattibeaudière was once again playing Swiss Army knives (18 evaluation).
37 points in the last quarter!
But while the turn signals were not really green, Nancy found her address at the best time. At 49 everywhere (31st), the Nancéiens started a festival as unexpected as it was spectacular. Meredis Houmounou planted a first banderilla at 3 points, and Ron Lewis followed suit, then Antony Labanca and Yannick Franke. In two stages, three movements, the SLUC passed a 23-5 to the Alsatians to put their heads under water (72-54, 35th).
Ringing, Gries no longer responded and while the victory was gained, François Peronnet could throw the young Sidibé and Ugolin into the arena to take part in the offensive feast.
Nancy will score 37 pts in this last unreal quarter to open the doors of the quarter-finals. It will be October 27 with a single game to be played at the top ranked. Nancy will have to wait before knowing her opponent since postponed matches are scheduled until the end of the month.
But leaving the hens, the Nancy club has already fulfilled the first mission of its season …