|05 December 2012|
|Souleyman Diabate hit the game winner for SLUC Nancy against BCM Gravelines|
French sides SLUC Nancy and JDA Dijon were both playing on the road but went into diametrically opposite directions in the EuroChallenge on Tuesday night.
Nancy came from behind to edge out BCM Gravelines 71-69 in Group G action on a Souleyman Diabate jumper with two seconds left on the clock.
In addition to scoring the game winner, Diabate had 15 points and six assists for Dijon and -understandably- stole the spotlight.
Nancy head coach Jean-Luc Monschau however had words of praise for all his players, and especially new signing Claude Marquis who joined the team only on Friday and had an impressive debut against BCM, with 16 points and seven rebounds.
"Marquis made an effective entrance from many aspects, including his scoring presence," Monschau told French website catch-and-shoot.
"For a player who has just arrived, to lead the team in scoring is very good.
"After that he must work to solve the problem of turnovers and free throws that is a problem of the entire team."
Marquis turned the ball over four times and missed five of his seven shots from the charity stripe on Tuesday.
Thanks to this hard-fought victory, Nancy have a straightforward mission on the final day of the Regular Season.
If they defeat Tsmoki Minsk next week, by any margin, they will qualify to the Last 16 of the competition.
That ship sailed for Dijon, who were playing their last card in Yuzhne on the same day.
Dijon put up a fight and tied the scores at 71 with 1:53 on the clock but the Ukranians outscored them 8-3 in the last minute of the encounter and prevailed, 79-74.
Despite his disappointment, Dijon coach Jean-Louis Borg was proud of his players and the way they coped with fatigue.
"This elimination is hard to accept because it is still very close and every time the games were so tight," Borg told local newspaper Bien Public.
"[But] my players made every effort they could have done.
"We struggled [physically] to finish the game, let's not forget that we played on Saturday against Roanne and that it was a long journey (to Ukraine).
"We might have been eliminated, but we still have a game to play next week against Tartu and I hope we finish this competition on a high note."