Villeurbanne, double reigning French champion, was surprised at home (74-70) by a stunning Cholet on Tuesday during the first meeting of the Elite championship play-offs. Asvel is already in great danger before a second meeting, perhaps decisive, at La Meilleraie on Friday.
In the other quarter-final of the evening, the 2021 finalist Dijon crushed Limoges 94-70 on the Beaublanc floor. The Choletais, thanks to a second period of high flight, beat the favorite for the title in his lair, but also stopped his series of 11 consecutive victories.
Led almost the entire game, D.J Hogg's teammates released a great second period to finally take the lead a few minutes from the end of the game. At halftime, Villeurbanne seemed to be in control, 43-32. Not enough, however, to totally bury Cholet's hopes.
It was in an undecided last quarter that the visitors took the lead for the first time thanks to the three-point address of D.J Hogg, author of 16 points in total. T.J Campbell then drew the success of his team (72-70) before Cholet scored two more points in the dying seconds. Opposite, Elie Okobo's 19 points were not enough.
For Villeurbanne and TJ Parker, first at the end of the regular season, it's a cold snap. At the same time, the meeting on the Beaublanc floor, in Limoges, offered less suspense since the CSP took on water against Dijon.
The finalists of last season, after an equal first quarter, largely took the upper hand to finally win 94-70 thanks in particular to 22 points from Khadeen Carrington and 18 from Gavin Ware.
After two seasons disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, this Elite season returns to a classic series format, with the best of three matches in the quarter-finals and the best of five matches in the semi-finals and final. On Wednesday, Monaco will challenge Strasbourg while Boulogne-Levallois will face Pau-Lacq-Orthez.