Perpignan Basket 66 booked their place in the LF2 championship game after seeing off Roche Vendée (55-53) in a dramatic fashion with 4 points from Maire-Frédérique Ayissi in the last five seconds of the game.
It was a bitter end for Roche Vendée who led by 10 points with just under three minutes to play. They were five seconds away from winning their first final four semi-final.
Elodie Bertal's clutch three-pointer with 2:30 to play was a dagger blow for Roche Vendée who failed to find the target themselves after that shot.
Bertal hit another shot from the land of many with 64 seconds to play that set the game alight with Perpignan's deficit reduced to 2 points (51-53).
Bertal finished the game as leading scorer and rebounder with 23 points and 11 rebounds respectively while game hero Marie-Frédérique Ayissi finished with 15 points.
In 2012 when Perpignan had won the championship they had been taken to overtime by Toulouse in the final. This time around they were five seconds away from elimination.
When Maire-Frédérique Ayissi (in picture) was left free under the basket, she took the opportunity to score and brought the teams level (53-53) while she also picked up a foul. Although she missed the free throw, after a scramble, the ball went out of bounds and returned to Perpignan.
There were two seconds left on the game clock. Once again Ayissi was left free under the basket and she scored as the buzzer went off to win the game.
Roche Vendée were punished for not attacking the basket in money-time as they had decided to run down the clock each time they had the ball while forgetting to score.
The first quarter was a strange affair with Bertal scoring her team's first 7 points while Gabriela Kubatova knocked in a couple of three-pointers for her team.
It was Perpignan's steady shooting from the free-throw line (6-of-8) that allowed them to edge the first quarter (15-12).
Roche Vendée pushed up the tempo during the second quarter. Johanna Tayeau started to find her way to the basket and shared 11 points with captain Kubatova as they took the lead going into the break (29-26).
The third quarter was all about defense with just 20 points scored between the two teams. Perpignan regained the advantage but were unable to control the game.
An aggresive drive by Sabrina Bouzenna put Roche back in front (39-38).
For the first seven minutes of the final quarter Roche Vendée did everything right and led by as many as 10 points. But like in 2010 and 2011 they missed out of qualifying for the LF2 championship game.
Gabriela Kubatova was her team's leading scorer with 13 points while Johanna Tayeau - playing on one leg - helped herself to 12 points and 4 assists. Cora Duval was the the only other player to reach double digits with 10 points.
The other key factor in this match was the defense of Fabienne Constant from Perpignan on Aminata Diop-Nar who consequently only managed 5 points.
Perpignan Basket 66
Fabienne Constant 7 points
Roche Vendée Basket Club
Chloé Pavageau DNP
Roche Vendée fait une erreur dans leur tactique à la fin de la rencontre, menant de 10 points à trois minutes de la fin. Au lieu de mettre plus de paniers, les joueuses de La Roche tiennent le ballon au profit des Perpignanaises qui marquent dans le money-time pour renverser leurs adversaires.
Le début de ce duel entre les deux équiped de LF2, Perpignan et Roche Vendée est marqué par les deux tirs primés de Gabriela Kubatova pour Roche Vendée et par l'adresse au shoot à l'intérieur de Elodie Bertal (dans l'image) avec 7 points pour Perpignan. Après le premier quart, les Perpignanaises ont l'avantage (15-12).
L'aggressivité dans la défense et le jeu rapide permettent aux Vendéennes d'intercepter des ballons et mettre des paniers faciles pour enchainer un 8-0 pour prendre une avance de 3 points à la mi-temps (29-26).
Les deux équipes continuent leur chassé-croisé. Mais c'est Perpignan qui prend le dessus sur 2 lancers francs de Bertal (34-32). Les Vendéennes renversent le résultat, poussées par Sabrine Bouzenna, et repassent devant (38-37) à la fin du troisième quart-temps.
Pendant les quatre premières minutes du quatrième quart, La Roche conserve son avantage en raison de la maladresse et de nombreuses balles perdues de son adversaire (44-40). Mais avec un tir primé de Fatou Dieng et deux d'Elodie Bertal, les Perpignanaises s'approchent du score (51-53) à moins de deux minutes de la fin.
Dans le money-time, c'est
Marie-Frédérique Ayissi qui égalise sous le panier. Quand La Roche perd la possession du ballon, c'est à nouveau Ayissi - au buzzer - qui signe la défaite de La Roche (55-53) et devient le héro de ce match.
Date created: 18 May 2014
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LF2 basketball season articles
21 April 2014: Season almost over with one round to go
28 March 2014: Dunkerque Malo hit Roche Vendée
20 March 2014: Perpignan strive
09 March 2014: No luck for Reims BF
03 March 2014: First defeat for COB Calais
24 February 2014: Reims in trouble
09 February 2014: Charnay is suffering another defeat
03 February 2014: Who can challenge COB Calais?
26 January 2014: Perpignan are closing down
19 January 2014: CFBB win at last this season
13 January 2014: Aix-en-Provence at the bottom, COB Calais at the top
05 January 2014: Roche Vendée or COB Calais?
22 December 2013: COB Calais, only team left unbeaten
15 December 2013: Reims at the wrong end of the table
08 December 2013: Mourenx dislodge Roche Vendée
1 December 2013: Illkirch Graffenstaden bring down Pau Lacq-Orthez
24 November 2013: Limoges in trouble
17 November 2013: Higher and higher for Calais and Roche
11 November 2013: Perpignan or not Perpignan, that is not the question
2 November 2013: Finally a victory for Charnay Basket
27 October 2013: 40 points and more from Dace Pierre-Joseph
21 October 2013: COB Calais dominated north coast derby
13 October 2013: Reims BF get off to a flying start
28 September 2013: One on one with Taelor Karr
27 September 2013: One on one with Sébastien Devos