Unplayable in Bourg, Cholet continues his frantic run towards the playoffs

“It’s like a dream,” director Thierry Chevrier slipped into the ear of president Jérôme Mérignac at the end of the first part. In fact, it’s hard to find a better word to describe Cholet’s first period, which ended with a staggering 26-point lead (57-31). “It was our best half of the season,” confirmed Boris Dallo. “We played wonderfully well,” added Laurent Vila. “Our defense was very consistent, we got the rebounds, our attacking game was exceptional. It was the first time we played like this. Like in a dream, really.

“What we produced in the first half was a lack of respect”

While this matchup was all about the swinging game with an eye toward qualifying for the playoffs, only Cholet got to play basketball. The first half was almost embarrassing to watch as the Bressans were trampled, thus suffering what they inflicted on Tuesday at Gravelines (92-55). On the ropes from the end of the first quarter (17-35), pierced by the direction of the Choletaise (6/9 in three points) and completely dominated inside (14 rebounds in 3), the JL remained apathetic, familiar with -30 (29-57, minute 20), before leaving under whistles from his supporters, a rarity in Ékinox with an audience often considered very forgiving. “What we produced in the first half was horrible, a lack of respect towards the people in the room, the members and the whole club”, agreed Laurent Legname. “I thought there would be a minimum of commitment, aggressiveness, desire to do things together, all these foundations laid for a month. It is clear that we forgot everything in the first quarter. »

Efficient and spectacular: Makoundou embodied the perfect evening of Cholet Basket
(photo: Jacques Cormarèche)

Then there was only the solution of pride to try not to look ridiculous. “In the locker room, we don’t talk about basketball anymore, just about pride,” breathed Maxime Roos. He went through the pressure zone and an interesting sequence by Alexandre Chassang to slightly rekindle the flame (54-69, minute 27), quickly extinguished by the excellent Dominic Artis (23 points in 6/13, 6 rebounds and 3 decisive assists). He also went through a huge anger from JaCorey Williams, out of it for more than a minute after the third quarter (56-81). “He is upright, he says what he thinks,” he downplayed his coach. “It wasn’t against the players or the staff, he just exploded in frustration and couldn’t control his emotions. The pride also passed, finally, by the talent of Norris Cole, at the height of his reputation (30 points in 8/12 and 6 assists) to soften the note (86-94, minute 40 and then 86-100, final score). Too little and too late…

“Momentum” with Cholet for the playoffs

It is true that in extreme proportions, from +37 at the Sportica to -26 at the break at home, these four days perfectly sum up JL Bourg’s inconstancy throughout the season. Without viable supporting evidence… “It can’t be explained, I don’t have the answer,” Maxime Roos muttered. “We were really better, in a good line, and there is no rational explanation,” he clung to Laurent Legname, almost fatalistically. “I am not stunned, but I did not expect this magnitude. I’m not getting angry, that’s the reality of this team. »

From one end to the other, an incomprehensible week for JL Bourg
(photo: Jacques Cormarèche)

The Cholet Basket thing is very different… In fact, the Mauges team is about to sign one of the most beautiful stories of the season. A bit like what Evreux is doing in Pro B, CB have traded their relegation status for the in-form team suit at the moment, with their 10 wins from 12 matches. “We have to take advantage of what we are experiencing at the moment”, savored Boris Dallo. “Going from the red zone to the playoffs, it can only happen once in a career. Already tenth, JL Bourg practically knocked out, Yoan Makoundou’s teammates (17 points in 5/8, 6 rebounds and 2 steals for a PIR of 23 in 20 minutes) knock more and more insistently on the door of the Top 8. “We have the momentum with us”, launched Boris Dallo. “We all trust, we have fun and it shows on the pitch. “In view of the recital given in the first half, a question now arises that would have seemed completely incongruous this winter: who should Cholet Basket stop? Le Portel will surely have problems on Tuesday, but Laurent Vila’s group will end up crossing swords with the top four of Betclic ELITE: Pau-Lacq-Orthez, Boulogne-Levallois, ASVEL and Monaco. What to gauge your true potential. “You have to keep yourself mentally stable,” he was already trying to calm Boris Dallo. But until then, with the Top 8 in sight instead of the pangs of Pro B purgatory, everything is truly going like a dream for Cholet Basket…

In Bourg-en-Bresse,

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