|Sean May admitted that pain au chocolat are his guilty pleasure whilst playing in France|
EuroChallenge sides Paris Levallois and BCM Gravelines Dunkerque are facing off on Friday night in the most exciting game in the French Pro A this week.
Both teams secured a place in the Last 16 of EuroChallenge on Tuesday and despite having less than 72 hours at their disposal to recover, they are at least entering the Friday clash with a morale-boosting sense of accomplishment.
Paris and BCM however went about clinching qualification in diametrically different ways.
Whereas BCM slumped to a 71-69 defeat to Nancy at home, which was nonetheless sufficient to ensure they hold a head-to-head advantage over their rivals, Paris earned a hard-fought 90-89 victory at Belfius Mons-Hainaut in overtime.
BCM's main preoccupation on Friday will be how to contain Paris center Sean May, who was the driving force behind his team's vital win in Belgium.
The 28-year-old American finished with a double-double of 31 points and 11 rebounds and added three blocks to earn EuroChallenge Regular Season Week 5 MVP honours.
May, who joined Paris in the summer, has produced strong performances, one-after-another, since the beginning of the season and leads the team in scoring and rebounds in both the EuroChallenge (21.0 ppg; 7.0 rpg) and the Pro A.
He is in fact the French League's leading scorer after the first nine rounds of games, with 20.6 points per contest.
The 2.06m center was asked on Thursday how he saw things after three months in Paris.
"I love it," he told the Pro A website.
"The team is very good, I get on well with the staff and Levallois is a very pleasant town.
"It's great to live next to my team-mates, a supermarket and... a nice bakery."
After letting the details about the most important landscapes in his neighbourhood slip, the American had no alternative but to reveal his little secret.
"My guilty pleasure is indeed the small 'pains au chocolat' (pastries with chocolate filling)," he admitted laughing.
Returning to the task at hand, May showed that three months in France were more than enough to acquire a good knowledge of opposing teams.
"BCM has a very good backcourt with [Dwight] Buycks and [Yannick] Bokolo, he said.
"I think they are very strong at these positions.
"It's also the team of David (Noel, May's team-mate at North Carolina in the NCAA)
"I think it will be a big game for him, very charged emotionally," May said tongue-in-cheek.
"But, Jawad [Williams] and myself will do everything we can to make it the worst night of his life.
"This way we can make fun of him all year-long!"
|Claude Marquis, seen here playing for Cholet Basket, will turn out for SLUC Nancy on a short-term contract|
MARQUIS RETURNS TO PRO A
SLUC Nancy center Shawn King, who has been sidelined with a herniated disc since his team's game against Pizza Express Apollon in EuroChallenge Week 4 action, underwent surgery on Wednesday.
A member of Nancy's medical staff told L'Est Républicain daily that it will take approximately three months for the Trinidad and Tobago-born player to return to action, with the first two months being dedicated to the rehabilitation process.
Nancy coach Jean-Luc Monschau can at least count - for now - on King's replacement, Claude Marquis.
The 32-year-old French center signed a short-term contract with the club last Friday and has been cleared by the LNB to play in the Pro A clash against Limoges, on Saturday.
Marquis made a very promising debut in the EuroChallenge on Tuesday, with 16 points and seven rebounds in Nancy's win over BCM.
His last game in the domestic league was with Pau-Lacq-Orthez in May.