It was on Monday February 22 that the leaders of the Elite and Pro B clubs decided by a majority vote (90% and more) that their respective season would go to the end.
At the time, this assumed a schedule of two weekly games from April to end mid-June, between 18 and 23 games for the 36 teams involved (18 for each division).
For Kemper’s Rams in Pro B, this augured for 21 games to be played in 70 days between April 2 and June 11.
For the elite teams entered in the European Cup, this already sustained schedule quickly became a puzzle. In particular, for Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne engaged in the Euroleague and for Monaco which will play, this Friday, the return final in the EuroCoupe.
For these two teams, there are between six and seven dates to set in June, knowing that in Elite, it is planned to organize a Final 8 to determine the title of champion of France, potentially at least three additional matches.
And to complicate matters a little more, let’s not forget that the first internship of the French team, qualified for the Olympic Games, starts on June 25 in Pau with the traditional medical examinations scheduled for Paris on 23 and 24!
In an ideal world, this already well-timed schedule was tenable, but several teams have already had to postpone games since April due to cases of covid in their squad. The current leader of Pro B, Nancy, thus finds himself with ten games to play in May including four in six days, then again four in eight days in June. Kemper’s Rams, for their part, will finish beyond June 11, because the match originally scheduled for Fos on June 8 has been postponed to Saturday June 19.
In Men’s National 1, Cep Lorient also finds itself in an untenable situation. On April 3, due to late games, he had eight games scheduled in 24 days. “Dementiel, an NBA rhythm”, had blown at the time the coach Philippe Maucourant.
New cases of covid-19 have again upset its end of the season with three games to play between May 6 and 11 and a last meeting initially scheduled for May 4 against Toulouse to be rescheduled, while in its pool, some teams have already closed since April 13!
While players generally prefer to play rather than train, coaches complain that they have less time to work their team. “It’s like playing in the play-offs, except that it is for two and a half months and that our division is not adapted to that,” notes the coach of the Rams, Laurent Foirest. That said, you also have to understand the decision of the clubs. They are the ones who pay the players. And even at two games a week, it’s nowhere near as painful as other trades. The risk can be the injury, which can quickly become detrimental in relation to a sporting objective when the matches are linked. “
For Nantes coach Jean-Baptiste Lecrosnier, the key word is recovery. “You have to quickly switch to the next match with a mental effort which should allow you to recover the necessary energy after a positive or negative emotion. There is no question of complaining, but we are not football with private jet trips and a post-match return at half past midnight. “
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