Three years after their defeat against Dijon, ASVEL won the Leaders Cup for the first time in its history thanks to a success in the final against Bourg-en-Bresse (74-83).
The second attempt will remain the good one for ASVEL. Beaten by Dijon in the final of the Leaders Cup during the 2020 edition, the Villeurbannais club went for the title in the competition which succeeded the Semaine des As at the expense of Bourg-en-Bresse. On the floor of the Arena Saint-Etienne Métropole, in Saint-Chamond, TJ Parker’s players took the game by the right end. Indeed, the first quarter saw ASVEL race in the lead but, eye-catching, the players from Bourg-en-Bresse never let themselves be left behind. The Rhodaniens were never able to take more than seven lengths in advance and concluded the first ten minutes of this final with a mattress limited to five units.
However, the Burgian resistance reached its limits in a second quarter very clearly dominated by the Villeurbannais. Under the impetus of the MVP of the competition Nando de Colo (20 points), ASVEL inflicted on JL Bourg an 8-0 then a 10-0 in an 18-2 to fly away on the scoreboard. At the break, the gap reached 20 units, giving a clue as to the identity of the team that would lift the trophy at the end of the match. In the privacy of the locker room, Frédéric Fauthoux has found the words to remobilize a diminished workforce and who played two close matches to reach this final.
✨ ETERNAL @LDLCASVEL 🏆
— LNB (@LNBofficiel) February 19, 2023
ASVEL widened the gap before managing
Upon returning to the floor, Bourg-en-Bresse was able to drop below the 20-point mark. James Palmer Jr (20 points, 5 rebounds) and Isiaha Mike (7 points, 10 rebounds) allowed their team to gradually approach ASVEL to clock in at just eleven lengths heading into the conclusion of the third quarter. The Rhodanians then put on their overalls to get some air and reach the last ten minutes of this final with a margin of 17 units. Retin Obasohan (16 points, 7 rebounds) and Dee Bost (12 points) did what was necessary to allow their team to start the last quarter on a high.
A 9-0 ended almost all suspense, although JL Bourg responded with an 11-0 to try to instill doubt in their opponent’s mind. However, with a 20-point lead two and a half minutes from the buzzer, the Rhone club was able to finish the game in freewheel. In the end, ASVEL won by nine points (74-83) and added the Leaders Cup to its list for the first time. A trophy that comes on top of the Semaine des As won in 2010 but above all the three titles of champion of France which have concluded the last three seasons.