LNB: Nanterre to square off against Strasbourg


ASVEL’s Amara Sy (10) pulls up for a jumper against Strasbourg’s Richard Greer (14) and Louis Campbell (13).

The France LNB finals have been set with Nanterre to meet Strasbourg starting on May 29, with Game 2 to be played on May 31st and Game 3 in the best-of-five series on Jun 4th.

When the LNB regular season ended after 30 games, Nanterre finished in a four-way tie with Dijon, Orleans, and Cholet with 15-15 records. Due to tie-breakers Dijon finished in the No. 7 spot and Nanterre earned the final playoff position in No. 8. Strasbourg, 18-12, ended the season three games behind the No. 1 club, Gravelines-Dunkerque, 21-9. In the quarterfinals, Nanterre pulled off the upset of the series, beating GD in two games, the first an overtime contest that Nanterre won 95:101 on Gravelines’ home court, and in Game 2, they pounded the league leaders, 88:68 to advance to the semis. For Strasbourg, they matched-up with No. 7 Dijon and got up big after the first game at home, 75:57, and were able to follow-up with a win on the road, 66:75.

In the semifinals, Nanterre traveled in Game 1 to face No. 4 Chalon/Saone, the LNB defending champions, and pulled off yet another road upset with an 81:84 victory. When they returned home for Game 2 it took an extra frame, but the result was the same, a 103:91 victory to give them another 2-0 win to advance to the finals. In the other bracket, Strasbourg, as the higher seed, hosted No. 3 Lyon-Villeurbanne and earned a Game 1 win 74:66.

The second game was played Thursday at the Astroballe in Villeurbanne and Strasbourg more than doubled their margin of victory with a 52:73 win to wrap up their spot in the finals against Nanterre.

The clubs battled to an 18-all tie at the end of the first frame, but SIG took control in the second to build a seven-point margin, 31:38 heading into the halftime break. Aymeric Jeanneau came in off the bench for Strasbourg and tallied 10 to lead the visitors’ scorers.

Strasbourg added six to their advantage in the third frame. Alexis Ajinça dropped in 10 in the second block of 20 on his way to being one of three members of the SIG squad that contributed 14 points to the win. The guests took a 13-point lead, 43:56, into the final 10.

Wrapping up the contest with an eight-point margin put ASVEL on the short end of a 52:73 result and locked Strasbourg into the LNB finals.

The visitors not only dominated the scoreboard, they also led on the stat sheets in just about every category. From the floor SIG shot 29 of 41 (61.7%), while ASVEL only managed to connect on 21 of 54 (38.9%). Beyond the arc the visitors shot 11 of 20 (55.0%), compared to 4 of 22 (18.2%) for the home club.

Jeanneau, Alexi and Louis Campbell all tallied 14 for Strasbourg. Michael Thompson led the way for Lyon-Villeurbanne with 14 points.

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