Pro B: JA Vichy visits a transformed Châlons-Reims team

Pro B: JA Vichy visits a transformed Châlons-Reims team
Pro B: JA Vichy visits a transformed Châlons-Reims team

JAV is traveling this evening to an opponent that it has tormented a lot this season. But Champagne Basket has since recovered and is planning to finally take its revenge.

The prospect of JA Vichy coming to the Reims Arena this Friday evening must have awakened a lot of bad memories among Champagne Basket supporters. This season, JAV has taken on the executioner’s outfit against the Champagne club.
First there was this stunning victory after extra time at Pierre-Coulon, during the 12th day of the championship (94-92), while Châlons-Reims led by 11 points 5 minutes from the end of regulation time.

Even more painful, Thomas Andrieux’s players lost a Leaders Cup trophy which was reaching out to them. Once again, Joan of Arc snatched extra time on a ball stolen by Sébastien Cape. Then, the Vichy captain, MVP of the final, took care of everything to offer his club the famous cup synonymous with the play-off (97-90).

14 victories over the last 17 days
for Châlons-Reims

And as if it was not yet full enough, the JAV eliminated the Champagne Basket, on its floor, the following week (80-83), stealing the last ticket for the Top 8 of the Coupe de France, in Trélazé . That’s a lot for the unfortunate finalist of the previous year and one of the favorites announced at the start of the season to move up to Betclic Elite.

Pro B: JA Vichy missed the mark on the Boulazac floor

But, since these setbacks, the club has regained its health. With 14 victories over the last 17 days, Châlons-Reims maintains the same pace as La Rochelle, and does better than Vichy (12/5). Thanks to its big victory at home against Angers (95-65), the Champagne team, for its 8th success in a row, even validated its ticket for the play-offs. It is therefore with a lot of certainty and a nice dose of confidence that she receives the JAV.
A great second part of the season which does not surprise Guillaume Vizade. “It’s a top team that has regained a lot of confidence. At the start of the championship, he was missing a few details. No doubt, she will want to wash away this little curse against us,” anticipates the Vichyssois coach, who will find his friend Thomas Andrieux on the bench opposite, with whom he shared the adventure of the Bleuets title at the U20 Euro, this summer, in Crete.

Another challenge to take up on the JAV side

Faced with an opponent who aims to finish as high as possible in the rankings with a view to the play-offs, JAV, assured of second place, has a small challenge to take up: avoid conceding for the first time this season a second consecutive defeat, after his setback suffered on Tuesday evening at Boulazac (74-70), during the late match of the 24th day. JAV is the only Pro B team, with the solid leader, La Rochelle, to have achieved this feat.

Olivier Rezel

The keys to the match
The player to follow. Marquis Jackson (Châlons-Reims). Over the last 6 days, Marquis Jackson has increased his production on the field with nearly 14 points scored on average. A regular shooter and top scorer for his team (12.1 points), the American does not only shine in attack. The back is also involved in defensive tasks. The proof is that he is the best interceptor in the championship with 2.7 stolen balls per match.
The reasons for a rebound. For Guillaume Vizade, the successful second half of the season at Châlons-Reims owes a lot to a squad that knew how to raise its score on the floor. “The players are back on track. The fact of having recovered Baptiste Tchouaffé (injured in the knee then hampered in his thigh, he missed 14 days) did them good. Rudy Demahis-Ballou (extended despite the return of Tchouaffé for whom he was the medical freelancer) gave them bench depth,” observes the JAV coach.
Noah Penda uncertain. Injured one foot in contact with Hugo Robineau on Tuesday during the match at Boulazac, Noah Penda had to undergo an examination yesterday to find out the seriousness of his injury.

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