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on 06.24.2021 at 11:11 p.m.

3 min read

The final of the French Basketball Championship will pit defending champion Villeurbanne, the biggest French team, against a neophyte at this level, Dijon, on Saturday in Rouen, where the season ends in the unusual form of a Final Four.

But the duel will not necessarily be as unbalanced as one might think because Asvel is greatly reduced by the absence of its internationals, while the Dijonnais, who are “lucky” in this context not to have any, smell the unique opportunity to win their first title after finishing first in the regular season.

In the semifinals, Asvel dominated Strasbourg, 83 to 67, without Thomas Heurtel, Moustapha Fall, Guerschon Yabusele and William Howard, who have already left with the Blues to prepare for the Tokyo Games , and also veteran Charles Kahudi, injured.

Previously, Dijon had eliminated Monaco, in the interior sector weakened by the absences of two Olympians, the French Mathias Lessort and the Senegalese Ibrahima Fall Faye, on the score of 79 to 68.

The Dijonnais made the difference in the first quarter (15) and resisted the return (-3) of the Roca Team in the last period thanks to their leader Axel Julien, still on fire (22 points).

In the evening, the Villeurbanne also took the lead from start to finish. Coach TJ Parker, brother of President Tony Parker, has despite everything good weapons with players like Amine Noua (12 points) and the Belgian Ismaël Bako (18 points) inside or Antoine Diot (16 points) and his experience leads. In advance of 11 points at the break, Asvel put down a beginning of rebellion of the SIG in the third quarter (-4) and flew at the end of the match by controlling the MVP of the season, the American Bonzie Colson (13 points).

This 2021 title may not have the usual prestige because the traditional play-offs have been truncated and replaced by a Final Four. The latter also almost did not take place since the players threatened until a few days before the kickoff to go on strike to protest against the infernal rates imposed at the end of this season strongly disrupted by the Covid epidemic. .

Seen from Dijon, it would nonetheless be a culmination for a club that has joined the big leagues, in the wake of coach Laurent Legname and American miniature leader David Holston (1.73 m), both at the club since 2015, a rarity in a league where squads are changing at a breakneck pace.

For Villeurbanne, defending champion (awarded in 2019, the 2020 season having been interrupted by the pandemic), a 20th trophy would ideally conclude a pivotal season. The club has indeed obtained the essential, its final ticket for the Euroleague, after an honorable journey (13 victories in 34 days) on the continental scene.

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