Paul Lacombe (Strasbourg) qualified for the Coupe de France final: “We showed a lot of character”

Paul Lacombe (Strasbourg) qualified for the Coupe de France final: “We showed a lot of character”

Paul Lacombe, Strasbourg winger, qualified for the final of the Coupe de France at the expense of Monaco on Sunday in the semi-final (93-89): – We showed good qualities. They were attacked, they left the fight. We knew they were coming back, whether it was 10, 15 or 25 points difference. We knew they were going to react. We showed a lot of character like our previous defense. Maybe we don’t fall for it because we don’t want it anymore? I do not know. Personally, I wanted it very much, I came back to Strasbourg for it, to win a few trophies if possible. Being a French champion is complicated. The cup is open and it would be a great story for the club. I wanted to bring my children back to Bercy, it’s a wonderful meeting. I hope this story will give us confidence for the end of the season. »

Massimo Cancelliera, Strasbourg coach: “It’s going to be difficult to play Monaco again next Sunday! We didn’t panic, we knew we were going to have a hard time at the end of the game. We won’t win Monaco with a 25 point lead! If Mike James takes his last shot, the game is over. It’s basketball. The crowd pushed Monaco and then to help us. Monaco have incredible players. James and Okobo did everything to win. I don’t think there was more nervousness than that in the game, we showed aggression, we played hard. »

Mirko Ocokoljic, assistant to Sasa Obradovic, coach of Monaco: “We didn’t start the game well, because we didn’t want to. Strasbourg were very strong, were ready to play. We do not want to talk again about the number of games we have played this season. The energy was not good, our reaction was too late. We didn’t dominate inside, we didn’t make outside shots. We used a lot of energy. Disqualifications are part of the game, as are yesterday’s techniques. Trainers sometimes try to provoke reactions. The players tried to react. I saw Dijon-Vichy. It will be a great final no matter what happens, it will be great for French basketball. »

“For the club, the Final Four is a bigger goal, but the Coupe de France was also important for others. »

Matthew Strazel, head of Monaco

Matthew Strazel, head of Monaco: “Strasbourg played a complete game, from start to finish. They put in the shots they needed. We can blame it on our start to the game, we lacked aggression. We shot a lot of players, there was a lot of playing time, but we are used to these sequences, we have to be able to perform, to kill games quickly. There is no doubt that we have a good pace in the Euroleague. We take a hit. We failed to win the Leaders Cup and the Cup, two titles on the national stage that eluded us. Looking at the end of the season, I don’t know if we can call it a flop, but we have to be able to beat them. We managed to make a “click” last year during the Betclic playoffs, I hope we will do the same this year. We have to keep working, questioning ourselves. For foreign players, the Euroleague Final Four is a dream. For French players, the final at Bercy is also a dream. For the club, the Final Four is a bigger goal, but the Coupe de France was also important for others. »

Laurent Legname, coach of Dijon, winner of Vichy (73-68) and qualified for the final: – We had to take this match seriously, we did. The register was different, with a greater athletic challenge than the day before, and we were able to meet that. We were more or less in control after the break. Well done to the players. I experience this qualification in the best possible way, we see that the lives of coaches are uncertain, around ten coaches have been fired this season. I thank the club that called me. We are experiencing a season where nothing has spared us. I hope we have a great finals weekend. Three years ago (Dijon lost in the final against Asvel) the room was empty due to covid. I hope there will be no pandemic by April 27th (he’s laughing). It will be full, I want as many people from Dijon as possible to go to Paris. »

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