First place, neither an “end in itself” nor an “obsession” for metropolitans 92

After his first loss at Le Mans (65-83), Boulogne-Levallois embarked on a crazy streak of twelve straight victories that qualified him to command the championship. With brilliant victories: +27 against Monaco, +21 against Villeurbanne. Repeated successes in the return phase, albeit in a less revealing form (overtime in the Principality, +2 against ASVEL). But 4/4 against the two big hands of the championship, which allows Metropolitans 92 to believe in their chances of continuing the fighting in France.

“You can see the results,” says Will Cummings. “You don’t accidentally get 20 points against anyone, especially when there are big names ahead… We are as tired as Monaco or ASVEL from European matches, and we are leading the championship for a reason. Even if we take second or third place, we have been the best team in Betclic ELITE so far. The title has always been our goal, in any case, this is what we strive for every season. »

“Keep one of the first two places”

Less sovereign lately with four consecutive defeats away ahead of this Saturday’s trip to Bourg-en-Bresse (80-73) or tough nights at home against relegated Champagne Basket and Fos-Provence , the Île-de-France team is still clinging to their positions. first place (20x-7h), even if Monaco (19x-7h) are seriously close, taking advantage of three straight fouls in February from the Metropolitans 92. Decider yesterday in Ain (12 points at 4/7, 4 rebounds and 3 assists), Lachau Konate downplayed the first place.

“We know very well that in this championship everyone follows Monaco and Villeurbanne a little. We managed to impose ourselves day after day and we try to keep our cool because in Betclic ELITE anyone can beat anyone. This week we almost lost Fos-sur-Mer. We are glad to be leaders, but this is not an end in itself. The most important thing is to finish first not in the regular season, but in the playoffs. You won’t get anything by finishing first. This is good, but it is not an end in itself. »


Winner of the 2016 Coupe de France at Le Mans, Konate is now aiming for his first league title.
(photo: Jacques Cormares)

With his 20 years of experience, Vincent Collet can also soften the challenge of first place. Seasons completed at the head of the regular stage without the top trophy at the end, he knew (2004, 2005, 2014 and 2015). And French titles without first place too: in 2006, MSB finished fifth before rejoicing in Bercy. Only the 2008/09 season cemented the pecking order: leader after 30 days, ASVEL won its 17th national title. So warning that AS Monaco are now big favorites to top the regular season, the Mets brain hopes first and foremost that his team can secure a top 2 spot and manage to avoid injury before the playoffs. to be able to come there with a certain freshness. Hence the hiring of a freelance medic for David Mishino…

“The arrival of Jerome Randle is in response to the critical need to release Will Cummings. We are not just focused on the next game, we would like to use our chances in the playoffs. If we burn there, it won’t happen. If the first place is the goal? No. Well, I won’t tell you otherwise, but it’s not an obsession. It is expected that Monaco will be able to regain pole position, given the level they have shown recently. We still have a lot of difficult matches, with trips to Strasbourg, Pau, Cholet, Gravelines… We will try to push back the deadlines, but no matter what happens, the playoffs will be. Except that after our victory in Bourg en Bresse we are already very well prepared to finish in the top four and therefore secure an advantage on the pitch (in the quarter-finals). I would still like to keep one of the top two places no matter what, but that too will be tough now that Villeurbanne is out of the Euroleague. We are waiting for responsible matches, like the reception of Venice in the Eurocup. We are very motivated to do this, but we know that it pollutes the concentration a little. We are going to sublimate ourselves for this Eurocup match, so we know very well that this can affect the meetings before and after … Especially since we do not have many players. I hope we can make the playoffs in good shape to protect our chances. »

In Bourg en Bresse

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