Roche Vendée going top of the NF1 basketball league
The NF1 basketball league is only in its fourth round and already has a unique leader in Roche Vendée Basket. This is the only club in the league with a 100% record.
Matthieu Chauvet, the head coach, explained that he expects the NF1 championships to be much closer this season with six or seven clubs chasing the play-off places.
He also said the gap between the teams at the top of the table and those at bottom would not be much.
He went on to explain that we would have to wait until the end of November or early December to determine the play-off contenders.
Roche Vendée ran out winners (96-85) in a match that came to live in the third period and exploded in the final quarter.
The home side was ice cold from the free-throw line during money-time with 10-for-10. For Pleyber-Christ the elimination of 3 players for 5 fouls at crucial points in the game was to cost them dear in the end.
You will be able to listen to the NF1 basketball match comments in French by the winning coach after the full NF1 match report.
NF1 basketball match report
Laura Désert opened her account on the very first attack of the match for Pleyber-Christ with less then 10 seconds on the game clock.
The hosts did not waste much time either to score as Lucia Laskova scored soon with a lay-up. The following action was again by Roche with Liva Libicova picking up an offensive rebound to then put the ball in the basket.
This was the spark the hosts needed to get going and Jennifer Galand stepped up. She went to work all over the court. She was conducting the plays as Roche Vendée pushed ahead (14-8) with five minutes in the first quarter.
Pleyber-Christ alternated their play and scored back to back baskets to stay within striking range until Sylvaine Grelier hit a bomb from down-town.
A late flourish of shots from beyond the arc enabled the host to go 10 points clear at one stage. They went ahead (27-18) going into the next period.
Pleyber-Christ lost their way at the start of the second period. That allowed Maite Fouquez to take over the conducting duties from Galend. Grelier fired in a couple more treys and the hosts appeared to have had the game won (41-26) with only 13 minutes played.
Pleyber-Christ are height wise one of the smallest teams in the league but they have some of the toughest defenders in the league. For the next four minutes they played some suffocating defense while reducing their deficit slightly (37-45).
Then the guests from Brittany suddenly stepped up the turbo with Désert wining crucial rebounds at both ends of the court. However the one player they struggled to contain was Libicova.
While she caused mayhem in the paint her team mates were left open to score. On one such occasion Mylène Balat was given all the time in the world to shoot a trey from top of the key. Libicova then went on to score herself to restore the advantage (52-43).
Désert has an extraordinary vertical lift which enabled her to pick up rebounds over players much taller than her. She used this to her advantage as she beat the Roche defense to claim an offensive rebound. But she decided to shoot while coming down to successfully score.
She then contested a defensive rebound with Libicova, which she won before being fouled. She hit her free-throws and the hosts went into the locker room with a reduced advantage (52-48).
The live stats went down for the first 6:30 of the third period while Pleyber-Christ dominated the game. They hit their hosts 11-0 with Aude Kernevez concluding from the land of many (59-54).
Balat ended the barren spell as she got the ball off Céline Lix-Boubala as she slipped to go coast to coast. Lix-Boubala made amends to score on the next play.
Both sides stepped up even more and the game started to become more physical. The teams started to take risks. Once again Libicova was the pillar for Roche Vendée.
Yet it was Fouquez who gave her side the lead again (65-63) after hitting 4-of-4 from the charity stripes.
The two teams traded basket for basket for the rest of the quarter with Roche Vendée leading (69-67) thanks to the last score from Libicova.
After the fireworks of the end of the third period the first three minutes of the final period were calm with neither team scoring any points.
Malgorzata Puc finally ended the deadlock for Pleyber-Christ to level the score again (69-69). She was to score 6 points in a row as the game heated up.
Both sides threw all caution to the wind and the crowd witnessed three-pointer after three-pointer. Pleyber-Christ were to loose Mélanie Venier and Désert for 5 fouls.
Roche were still leading (81-80) with about 3:30 to play when Fouquez and Kernevez collided in mid air. Kernevez came off second best and had to leave the court to clear her head.
Lix-Boubala scored to give Pleyber-Christ the lead. Yet Puc was called for reaching on Libicova and had to leave the court for her 5th personal foul.
Then Libicova scored from the free-throw line and with 2:04 to play she scored again (85-82).
Pleyber-Christ rushed a couple of plays and failed to score. With time running out they had no option but to foul their opponents to stop the game clock. However their opponents hit free-throw after free-throw and hence the game was lost for the guests.
With this victory Roche Vendée are the only team with a perfect record and are now top of the NF1 basketball league table.
LA ROCHE: Vignola 1, Galand 14, Laskova 9, Grelier S 16, Balat 16, Demortier 0, Guillot 2, Fouquez 12, Grelier P 0, Libicova 22.
PLEYBER-CHRIST: Chiemeka 0, Kernevez 9, Chemineau M 0, Boulala 20, Le Fe 5, Venier 9, Thos 2, Desert 27, Chemineau A DNP, Puc 13.
NF1 basketball: After-match comment
The Roche head coach, Matthieu Chauvet, was not happy with the way the game was won. He believed this was the worst performance of the season and that the spectators deserved more. He concluded that his players underestimated their opponents and maybe thought because of their current position that the match would be easy. He praised Pleyber-Christ for taking the game to them.
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