By beating SIG Strasbourg 88-76 on Saturday night, Élan Béarnais ensured their qualification for the playoffs. Despite the internal turmoil, the club still managed to win the Coupe de France and enter the Top 8 for its first season under the aegis of American investors CounterPoint Sport Group. After the victory, coach Éric Bartecheky could therefore be happy about it*:
“It’s a real satisfaction. We had the will to win and we knew that was synonymous with qualifying. Today, we know that we are in playoffs. Le result of the match against Roanne next Tuesday may or may not earn us a place in the standings. This (Saturday) evening, I can say it, we are happy. The playoffs and the Coupe de France is a success for the club. Tonight the team showed a face we want to see. We were well above the level of commitment, compared to the last matches. In the second half, there was fighting spirit under the basket, there were cons of Hamady and a lot of determination in this area. There were still a few mistakes, but we will have to work on that to improve these little details, in attack or in defense. The playoffsit’s another championship, where everything is necessarily different. You just have to to see where we’re going to end up and who we’re going to fall against.”
To finish the best ranked possible,‘Élan Béarnais will have to win in Roanne this Tuesday for the 34th and last day of the regular season. It remains to be seen whether Brandon Jefferson, hit in the ankle at the very end of the match, will be able to play. “It didn’t seem to be too bad but hey, we’ll have to see with the medical staff”, said Éric Bartecheky after the success of the evening.
*words transcribed on elan-bearnais.fr