Le Mans, Lyon-Villeurbanne and Dijon won this Saturday. Only leaders, the ASM players too.
Monaco took the lead in the French Elite Basketball Championship by winning against the red lantern Boulazac (77-71), while Dijon smothered the runner-up Bourg-en-Bresse (80-71) on Saturday, in shock at the top of Boxing day. In a ranking to be put into perspective due to the disturbances linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, Monaco took the lead in inflicting a fifth consecutive setback of the season on the Dordognots, while Dijon swept Bourg-en-Bresse, who could, however, take the lead of the Championship on his own if successful. The Burgundians took the opportunity to climb on the podium at the break (3rd), just ahead of Bourg-en-Bresse and behind Boulogne-Levallois, former leader, who lost in the opening against Le Mans (95-88).
Far from its bases, Monaco gradually broke away after a first quarter dominated by Boulazac. The Dordognots, imprecise on shooting (16/38), saw the Monegasques widen the gap at the break (45-39), well led by the leader Demarquis Bost (16 pts). In the lead at halftime with 14 points ahead, Dijon created a surprise on his floor and Bourg-en-Bresse failed to return in the second half to disrupt the Burgundians very solid defensively. Laurent Legname’s men recorded their seventh Championship success this season. With insolent efficiency in attack, like winger Hans Vanwijn (21 points and 4/6 at 3 pts), the Dijonnais never loosened the grip and had 23 points ahead before the fourth quarter -time.
At the opening, Le Mans, the best defense in the Championship, offered itself the former Boulogne-Levallois leader, well helped by the performances of Valentin Bigote and Ovie Soko, both authors of 22 points. This is the second defeat recorded by the Metropolitans 92 de Boulogne-Levallois this season. Asvel strolled against Gravelines-Dunkerque (96-68) to come back to the top quartet before a trip to the Euroleague in Fenerbahçe (Turkey) on Wednesday. They did not give gifts to the northerners after an unbalanced meeting where the strong winger Guerschon Yabusele, untenable with 16 points on the clock, was particularly illustrated. With 25 points ahead at half-time (57-32), Asvel still reduced the wing after returning from the locker room, losing in the 3rd quarter without being worried about the score. This is the fourth consecutive success of Tony Parker’s club in the Championship.