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Basketball: Paris wins the Eurocup and qualifies for the next Euroleague

Two victories to zero: Paris Basketball won the Eurocup, the second European competition, even before the third decisive support match, after its victory in Bourg-en-Bresse on Friday (89-81), a title which also offers it a ticket for the next Euroleague.

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Basketball: Paris wins the Eurocup and qualifies for the next Euroleague

Two victories to zero: Paris Basketball won the Eurocup, the second European competition, even before the third decisive support match, after its victory in Bourg-en-Bresse on Friday (89-81), a title which also offers it a ticket for the next Euroleague.

It is precisely under the eyes of the two highest leaders of the most prestigious continental competition, the former Serbian legend Dejan Bodiroga (president) and the Lithuanian Paulius Motiejunas (CEO), that the Parisians let their joy at joining the great world and to bring a second trophy, two months after the first (the Leaders Cup), to their young and ambitious club.

All this, at the end of only their second European campaign, and without having yet played in the play-offs of the French championship. Created from scratch in 2018, transfigured last summer with the arrival of a coach (Finnish Tuomas Iisalo), two assistants and six players from Bonn, Paris Basketball joins the list of winners in Monaco, winner of this C2 in 2021, now hoping to imitate the Roca Team which made its mark in the Euroleague.

His final victory - also ahead of François Hollande - marks a perfect continental season, where he only fell once (for 22 successes), in the pools, and crushed the play-offs, beating Badalone (1-0) and the London Lions ( 2-0), before Bressans.

Even if they resisted much better than during the first match on Tuesday in Paris (77-64 defeat), and despite the unfailing and noisy support of their Ekinox audience (3,500 seats), Frédéric Fauthoux's players ended up bowing to an irresistible team since the end of January (streak of 19 victories in progress).

A formation which imposes pressure and a frantic pace on both sides of the field, the result of extremely intense training and numerous rotations, thanks to the depth of the bench, which squeeze out the opponent.

Resources illustrated by these two arrows behind the arc fired consecutively by the Finn Mikael Jantunen (15 pts) in the last quarter, the second giving his team an eight-length lead (75-67, 34th).

A squad enhanced by TJ Shorts, best player in the last Champions League with Bonn and this Eurocup season. The American pocket leader (1.75 m) with dyed red hair honored his very recent title, finishing top scorer with 22 points including 13 in the first period, during which he kept Paris in contact (43-46) facing the skillful long-distance “Game” (7/13) and which started with a bang (16-9).

But, despite Bodian Massa (12 pts) and Isiaha Mike (16), she did not manage to maintain this skill and was handicapped by the four fouls before the quarter of an hour of play from Jeremy Morgan. The return of the American winger energized Bourg-en-Bresse in the last quarter, coming back to four lengths three minutes from the end. A gap nevertheless annihilated by a winning shot from Nadir Hifi (83-76, 38th).

Long contained, the new French international leader (first selection in February) then delivered an assist for a dunk from Justin Simon folding the game one minute from the buzzer (87-76). When it sounded, the Parisians formed a happy pile on the floor, in front of the two leaders of the Euroleague, this big world which opens up to them.

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