Strasbourg (France) won against Nizhny Novgorod (Russia) yesterday in the quarter finals of the Eurocup (85-94).
A trip of about 1550 milles, the absence of a key player, the center Matt Howard, injured, and a game against a team qualified for the Euroleague Top 16 last season. Strasbourg’s challenge was complicated yesterday, for the quarter finals of the Eurocup against Nizhny Novgorod, which plays in russian first division.
But the Frenchmen took the lead at the end of the first quarter (25-28), and kept their (short) advantage at the half (48-50). Then, they widened the gap at the end of the third quarter (67-75), and even obtained a +18 advantage during the last quarter (70-88).
Unforunately for them, they conceded a 13-0 in three minutes, which let the Russians to reduce the gap to only five points. Strasbourg finally won 85-94. As a consequence, the french coach Vincent Collet and his players have an advantage of nine points in order to qualify for the semi-finals.
A future historic achievement for french basket ?
Three men played a significant role in this success : Mardy Collins scored 24 points, Romain Duport 18 points and Jérémy Leloup 16 points. Thanks to his 3-point performance (4/4), the small forward increased the great 3-point percentage of this team (71%). Rodrigue Beaubois (11 points) and Louis Cambell (10 points) also scored in double figures.
The team hasn’t qualified for the semi-finals of an european cup in her history. In addition, no french team has taken part in the semi-finals of the second european cup since Chalon-sur-Saône in 2001.
If they qualify in their arena next Wednesday, they will face Trento or Milano on 29 March and 6 April, and try to write a new chapter in french basket’s history.