Basketball – Champions League: JDA Dijon
“Mandatory victory”, a good old cliché of sports vocabulary. Only this time it’s true. JDA Dijon has no choice: if they want to continue their journey in Europe this season, they must win on Wednesday 18 January 2023, on their parquet, against the Greek team of Peristeri. In first step
the JDA won (89-80), before losing in the return match in Greece (92-88, after extra time). With the court advantage for this decisive third game, Jeanne can believe in her chances of reaching the “Top 16” – the next round in this Champions League. The details of the stakes with the coach, Nenad Markovic, and the strong winger, Abdoulaye Loum.
The flavor of great evenings
In a basketball season, at the end of the day, there are few cutthroat games. It’s the luxury of the Champions League, when you have to play the play-offs, the French Cup and the play-offs. Powerful winger Abdoulaye Loum, now familiar with European matches, is already appreciating : “We play basketball for these kinds of games, he pushes us, we’re prepared for that, we work all year for that, we’ll be ready.” Good news: Jeanne has clutch players, decisive in hot moments, like Holston or McDuffie.
On the side of the coach, Nenad Markovic, let’s try to temper. “I really try not to stress the players too much about the importance of the game, they already know that. They all want to continue playing in the European Cup”, he says. He wants to put his experience as a former player at the service of his team. “When I was a player, I loved games with a lot of stress, those for great players who have mentalities, details Nenad Markovic. As a player I never knew how to play “small” matches, but I was often present in the big matches. I try to give all my trust to the players.”.
Another close encounter?
The first two games of the series were fiercely contested and indecisive, with the second even ending after overtime. Should we expect a very tight new poster? “I can’t predict whether it will be a close game or not, replies Nenad Markovic, on the other I expect a very physical game. Peristeri players have gained confidence in recent games. They’ve been playing really tough lately, I almost expect a street fight, very violent, very physical. We have to be ready”.
“They have more point guards to pressure the ball. They’re good offensive rebounders, they have energy to pressure all over the court and throughout the game, develops the trainer of the Jeanne. We will try to make different plans and see if it works. We have our weapons, we have a good structure and good team chemistry. I hope we will fight and win!”
Without Rousselle, the management of David Holston
The JDA will once again have to do without its leader, Jonathan Rousselle, back in training but not yet fit. Nenad Markovic must therefore double his wits to make the best use of David Holston (who will turn 37 at the end of January), incumbent.
“The problem is that when David is tired and Jonathan isn’t around, we don’t have a pure leaderexplains the coach. Evann Gauthier (19) is still too young to take on many responsibilities, although we will probably have to use him, because David can’t play 40 minutes – and three days later we play against Nanterre. David is human too, sometimes it doesn’t seem like it, but he is human, he too needs rest and time to recover”.
Abdoulaye Loum is returning from injury and is expected to enter the rotation on Wednesday night. “It’s complicated, I arrive at a different pace, since I haven’t played for a monthregrets. There has also been a drop in confidence, without playing, but I’m working to get back in shape. I’m a little cooler, but off the beat. When you don’t play for a month, you can’t go back to 100% right away.
- JDA Dijon – Peristeri, match to follow in full on Wednesday 18 January from 8 pm on France Bleu Bourgogne, live from the Palais des sports, with Adrien Beria and Gilles Viard. Special pre-match broadcast to get you in the mood from 7pm on France Bleu Bourgogne!