A well-equipped “rookie” and a champion of France now subscribed. Two French clubs in the second best championship in the world after the NBA? It hadn’t happened for six years. Monaco and Asvel take over Thursday, October 30 in Limoges and Strasbourg, eliminated from the group stage in 2015 and who had not left an unforgettable memory.
The presence of the “Roca Team”, titled last season in the Eurocup (C2), contracted to that of Asvel, the reigning double French champion, promises a much less dull outcome. The two teams, very active on the transfer market, provide reasons for hope, so much so that the qualification of one of the two for the quarter-finals does not seem unthinkable. Even if no French team has reached C1 since … Asvel in 2001, at the time of the said Suproligue.
Monaco, which will make its baptism in the competition Thursday (7 pm) by receiving the Panathinaikos, wants to settle there permanently. The Principality’s club has given itself the means with a doubled budget, brought to 14 million euros, a careful recruitment of twelve players, including the former NBA playmaker Mike James – top scorer in the ‘Euroligue 2019 – as well as a renovated and enlarged hall (4,000 seats) in two stages three movements.
– Monaco Hebdo (@Monaco_Hebdo) September 29, 2021
The Monegasque team is used to going fast since it was taken over by the Ukrainian businessman Sergey Dyadechko in 2013. So in the third division, it climbed the ranks with great strides to invite itself in the French elite two years later. If it has not yet got its hands on the title of champion of France, after two failures in the final in 2018 and 2019, the “Roca Team” offered the Eurocup, little sister of the Euroleague, at the end of April , a first for a French club since 1988.
For its part, Asvel, acquired by Tony Parker, has become the point of French in C1 since his return two years ago, obtaining the status of permanent member last June. Fifteen in the standings in 2019-20, at the time of the interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Rhone team set off with a sound last season. Still far from places for the play-offs, but the reinforcements of the offseason give it an even more attractive allure.
With the Franco-Senegalese Youssoupha Fall (2.21 m) and the nugget Victor Wembanyama (2.19 m), announced as a potential No. 1 Draft choice in the NBA for 2023, Asvel has two control towers in racket. And the recent arrival of American interior James Gist (34 years old and 269 Euroleague games) adds a dose of experience before challenging Zalgiris Kaunas on Friday (8 p.m.) at the Astroballe.
❗ Staff 2021-2022 James GIST in reinforcement!
The American interior at the 269 EuroLeague matches will bolster the LDLC ASVEL squad until the end of 2021, and thus alleviate the concerns of injury at the start of the season.
– LDLC ASVEL (@LDLCASVEL) September 24, 2021
In the camp of the Lithuanian monument is the French globetrotter Joffrey Lauvergne, who has sailed in Europe and in the NBA. In total, twenty-six French will be on the starting grid Thursday and Friday, including a small colony at Real Madrid (Causeur, Heurtel, Yabusele and Poirier), one of the big cars. Nando de Colo, after winning the Olympic silver medal with the Blues in Tokyo, is once again aiming for the European Grail with Fenerbahçe, who has already won it twice but with another cador, CSKA Moscow (2016, 2019). Rodrigue Beaubois and Adrien Moerman are preparing Efes Istanbul, crowned for the first time last season at the expense of FC Barcelona in the final, to try to keep his title.