Vichy wins French NM1, promoted to ProB

VichyJean D’Arc Vichy will play ProB hoops in France again after conquering the NM1 to gain promotion to the second division (one below the ProA). The club downed Blois Basket 41 61-72 in the championship game, a contest that really went to form. During the Regular Season, Vichy came second (23-11) while Blois finished back in eighth (20-14), so there was certainly an underdog heading to this decider.

However, Vichy did not crumble under the pressure from the smaller team, despite a strong showing from Blois. The visitors set their stall early with a 16-24 run in the first quarter for a solid eight point cushion at the first break. In the second frame Vichy continued to pressure the home team, but Blois started to get into the contest, and an 18-14 winning period made it 34-38 during the midway rest. In the third stanza Vichy found more joy at the nets and used a 12-16 streak to open another eight point lead through thirty minutes (46-54). Blois tried to get back into the contest in the final act, but the travelling team had too much quality and saw out the game.

Jason Williams set the scoring tone for the champs with 17 points, while also adding 8 rebounds. Ryan Zamroz chipped in with 16 points for Vichy, while Rida El Armani scored 11 points and Steffon Bradford logged 10 points.

Hector Manzano matched Williams with 17 points for Blois, followed by Benjamin Monclar with 14 points and Florian Thibedore with 13 points.

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