The sudden collapse of Monaco against Olympiakos (62-76) Friday at the Euroleague Final Four spared a surreal scenario in French basketball: launching its play-offs on the same day as the first European final since 1993 of one of its representatives. But the Monegasques’ match for third place will find itself in competition with the start of the final phase.
Because the League had to advance the play-off schedule by three days to avoid another inconsistency. Candidates for the NBA draft, Victor Wembanyama and Bilal Coulibaly (Boulogne-Levallois) should have skipped game 5 of a possible final to attend the ceremony on June 22.
“I realized that as soon as I got the schedule at the start of the season. It was always a problem to imagine that I could miss a game of the final because there was the draft. It was not fair, ”recalled the young interior (2.21 m, 19 years old) who challenges Cholet this Sunday afternoon (5 p.m.). With an epilogue now scheduled for June 20, “Wemby” will be able to defend the Metropolitans 92 jersey to the end if they reach the final.
Monaco-Strasbourg from Wednesday
Asvel launches its quest for a fourth title in a row this Sunday against Le Mans (5 p.m.) while Monaco, big favorite, will engage in a race against the clock on its return from Kaunas (Lithuania). The Roca Team series against Strasbourg will not start until Wednesday. “We had identified the problem upstreamdefends Alain Béral, the president of the LNB. But everything has been put together for the season to lengthen with the good performances of the clubs in the European Cup. We didn’t have enough dates to finish earlier. »
Like last season (June 25), the Betclic Elite should end after its European counterparts, some of which (Italy, Germany) have already started the play-offs. “Advancing the dates is a step in the right direction. We have to keep that regardless of the presence of a player in the draft. Finishing on June 25 should not be a goal, you have to think about all the issues like the national team.notes Vincent Collet, coach of the Metropolitans 92 and coach of the Blues on a mission from the end of July to prepare for the World Cup (August 25 – September 10).
The following season will start and end a week earlier in view of the Olympic Games and the increase to 16 clubs in 2024-2025 will free up other dates, “especially since we are going to go to the quarter-finals to the best of five matches (instead of three) », says Béral. In the meantime, the terms of the equation are fixed: it will be necessary to win eight times in one month to succeed Asvel.