The field for the Coupe de France is now complete as Paris Levallois ended the impressive run through the tournament by NM1 club Sorgues, 91:71, on Tuesday. Paris will now square off against Lyon-Villeurbanne in the semifinals, while Nanterre will face Pro B club Boulogne-sur-Mer in the other semifinal. The semifinals will be held on Tuesday, April 9 and the Finals will be held the weekend of May 3-5 in Bercy, France.
Coupe de France Quarterfinal, Tuesday, March 26
Paris-Levallois (Pro A) – Sorgues (NM1), 91:71
Ever since the Coupe de France was founded in 1953, no club from the NM1 division of French basketball has qualified for the quarterfinals; the 2013 edition of the competition broke that long drought when Sorgues qualified for the round of eight against Paris Levallois. It’s of little surprise that the Pro A club from Paris had an easy time with them and the final score was in no way indicative of the true outcome of the game as the margin was 31 at the end of the third quarter and only came down significantly in the final 5 minutes of the fourth quarter. What is surprising, if not downright amazing, is the fact that Sorgues was even on the court with Paris on Tuesday night.
Here’s what they’ve went through to get there and how they matched up with Paris:
The Coupe de France Journey: In the Round of 40 Sorgues defeated Pro B club Aix Maurienne, 85:76, on Oct., 23rd. Then they squared off against Pro B club Hyeres Toulon in the Round of 32 against Var on Jan. 15th and came out with a win, 93:84. On Feb. 26th then matched up with Bordeaux in the Round of 16 and took down their third Pro B club with a 98:93 score.
Differences between the two teams:
Budget: The Sorgues Basket has an annual budget of EUR 650,000, of which EUR 415,000 is subsidized by the local government. Paris’ budget is EUR 3.84M.
Arena: The Quarterfinal was played at Sorgues home arena, Gymnase de la Plaine Sportive, with a capacity of 1,200 spectators. The Paris Levallois club has two arenas they can play in, Stade Pierre-de-Coubertin (4,200 seats) and Palais des Sports Marcel Cerdan (3,051 seats).
Cities: Sorgues had roughly 20,000 inhabitants, Paris is the capital of France and has a municipal area with a population reported as of 2010 figures of 12,161,542.
Player Salaries: Reports say that the highest paid player receives EUR 3,000, all get team supplied housing and a few are given automobiles. The payroll of the Paris club is more than EUR 1.225M, with 10 players.
Interestingly, since Paris Levallois was founded in 2007, this was the first time the club has qualified for the quarterfinal. On the other side of the scorers table, this is the first time in the Coupe de France that an NM1 club has qualified for the quarterfinals.
The Game: Unfortunately, the game lived up to the NM1 vs. Pro A billing with Paris getting out front 4:16 in the first five minutes and ending the first quarter up 31:8. The Sorgues squad got things together in the second quarter and outscored Paris 25:23 to head into the dressing rooms with the scoreboard reading 33:54. By the end of the third the margin had reach 31 points, 49:80, but the hosts played hard to the final buzzer, picking off 11 from the deficit in the final 10 to finish with a 71:91 tally.
Jawad Williams was game-high for Paris with 20 points. John Cox added 14 points, and the duo of Jonathan Aka and Maleye Ndoye dropped in 12 apiece.
Amauld Thinon led Sourges with 18 points, Xavier Pasut added 17 points and 7 rebounds, and Ryan Zamroz dropped in 12 points while dishing off 7 assists.