Nanterre continue magical week; hold off Elan Chalon in title-decider
NANTERRE (FIBA Europe Cup) – Nanterre 92 continued possibly the best week-long stretch in the club's history by outlasting fellow French side Elan Chalon for the FIBA Europe Cup title just three days after winning the French Cup.
Turning Point: Elan Chalon had made it a one-possession game with 5:11 left in the fourth quarter after a Lance Harris basket, but Mathias Lessort answered with a thunderous dunk on the other end and Chris Warren knocked down a three-pointer in transition to make it 82-75 with just under four minutes remaining.
In spite of not scoring the rest of the way themselves, Nanterre held Elan Chalon to just four points in the remaining time, with the visitors not taking advantage on three opportunities to tie the game.
Game Hero: After a performance to forget in the first game against Elan Chalon, Nanterre point guard Chris Warren more than redeemed himself with a double-double of 24 points and 10 assists. The 28-year-old American playmaker set the tone early and had already racked up a double-double by the halftime interval and continued his excellent play after the break.
Stats Don't Lie: You live with the three; you die with the three. Except there was no dying for Nanterre. After knocking down 12-of-15 shots from beyond the three-point arc in the first half of play, the hosts did fade, connecting on just 2-of-12 of their outside attempts the rest of the way. In a repeat of the first-leg scenario, Elan Chalon mounted a double-digit comeback in the third and fourth quarters, but couldn't make up for the lost time this time around.
Bottom Line: The champions of the inaugural edition of the FIBA Europe Cup in 2016, Fraport Skyliners, transferred the trophy to Nanterre, who triumphed in Europe for the second time in the past three seasons after capturing the EuroChallenge crown in 2015.
They Said: "It feels incredible to win two titles in four days; no words can describe how I feel right now. It’s unbelievable and couldn’t happen with a better team. I’m proud to be part of this team. It was three important games in one week and it could have ended really bad or really good." - Spencer Butterfield, Nanterre 92."