And yet there was room…

Traveling to Cholet as part of the 4th day of Betclic ELITE, the SIG Strasbourg had to compose without one of its best assets, Matt Mitchell sick. Finally, in a match that was within reach, coach Tuovi’s team lost 84 to 79.


After two away defeats to launch the championship, the SIGmen were able to bounce back by winning successively against Nancy and Szombathely at Rhenus. Back on the road, coach Tuovi’s team faced Cholet in his room. A difficult match on paper and still a little because of the absence of Matt Mitchell. Impossible mission ? …

Quarter #1: A clean, smudge-free copy

In Matt’s absence, coach Tuovi threw Maxim Ilvoskiy into the deep end. The youngster who had not played a single minute until then saw himself empowered and it was he who unlocked the Strasbourg counter. Our players were diligent and were fighting in the paint, so after 5′ the two teams were still tied: 8-8. In search of confidence, Jamarr Sanders found the target at 3pts, but opposite Perry Ellis solutions to answer him and, along the way, the balance did not start to lean more to one side than the other: 15 -15, 7’30. The bench having opened, DeAndre Lansdowne made his entrance and thanks to him, SIG Strasbourg completed this first quarter with a 7-2 and thus took control by sailing on a nice 71% success rate: 18-22, 10′ (season: 19-29)

Quarter #2: Okoye’s awakening?…

By dominating the rebound battle 9 to 3, and by being very aggressive, the SIGmen had just launched their meeting perfectly. Coach Villa then asked his team to raise the aggressiveness slider and the consequence was final. Very quickly a 12-3 in favor of Cholet hurt us a lot and, on the 15thth minute, the locals regained the advantage in this meeting; 30-27. The SIG Strasbourg staff took time out to stop the bleeding. Stan Okoye and Jamarr Sanders seemed to us to be uninhibited in this meeting and the two men came out of the woods to respond to the Run de Cholet. The Cholet defense was withering before the Strasbourg game and the 2-14 in 3 ‘on the Alsatians placed in complete relaxation was good (32-39, 18’30). And as we were also witnessing a real butchery in the war of rebounds with an incredible 23 to 7 in favor of the SIGmen, the score at the break seemed altogether logical. Do you realize that Bodian Massa had just taken more rebounds (8) than the entire Cholet team?! Crazy… : 38-43, 20′ (years: 45-53)

Quarter #3: as long as the rebound goes…

Marcus Keene gave rhythm to the team after the break and with 13pts to his credit, he allowed the SIGmen to take a 7pt lead (40-47, 31’30). But opposite the chief gunner Dominic Artis did not intend to be a spectator of the meeting. He gave a nice echo to Marcus. And, even if it was clearly more complicated to score, Cholet took advantage of the time to rebalance the debates in favor of a 7-0: 47-47, 25 ‘. The game was getting a little more muscular, the public was pushing his team, coach Villa was warming up and his players were feeling a little better. But if the Choletais really wanted to take over they would have to find a way to exist on the rebound. Indeed, Bodian Massa stuffed himself excessively into painting and at the 28th minute he still and always alone had as many rebounds as the entire Cholet team combined: 11-11. A 14 to 34 after three quarters which bordered on the irrational, but which allowed Coach Tuovi’s team to stay the course (51-51, 28′). The end of the period nevertheless showed that the band at Artis were not going to give up and, with 10 ‘from the end, it was impossible to guess who was going to win: 60-59 (year: 68-68).

Cholet put enormous pressure on SIG Strasbourg and Enzo Goudou-Sinha was all fire, all flame. He chose the start of this last quarter to take the game on his own. Two banderillas at 3pts, a 2-+1 and an alley-oop pass to Justin Patton and hop, the former SLUC Nancy single-handedly allowed Cholet to take a 9pts lead: 75-66, 35′. The Alsatians were in trouble and it was becoming very difficult to find the right solution against a Cholet defense on the lookout. Nine, then eleven points behind for SIG Strasbourg, which owed its survival only to the flashes of genius of its captain (79-71, 36′). The whole team took over from him by throwing their last weapons in this fight and we began to believe it when Leo Cavalière tore himself away to come and blow in the neck of Cholet 50 seconds from the buzzer (82-79, 39 ’10). But the end left us with a bitter taste. Catching a defensive rebound following a failure by Boris Dallo, Marcu Keene literally forgot his teammates by drawing 8m while there were still 15 seconds left on the clock to fail and on the comeback of the Cholet ball the referees let a violation of the eight-second rule, leaving Cholet to conclude to snatch the victory: 84-79 (year: 96-89).

So close, so far for the SIGmen who knew how to show a conquering face despite the absence of Matt Mitchell. The 20 lost balls hurt and the starving address at 3pts also (7/24), but despite that there was room to take this match. It’s up to SIGmen to continue working in order to offer us more and more of a coherent game in attack and we are certain that the consequences will only be positive. Next meeting Wednesday at Rhenus with the reception of Tofas Bursa.

The match in speed

Cholet – SIG STRASBOURG 84-79. The Bestie. 5,000 spectators. Referees: Messrs. Deman, Vansteene and Bayot.
Periods: 18-22, 20-21 (halftime: 38-43), 22-16 (60-59), 24-20.



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