BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Dwight Buycks top scored for Gravelines with 28 points |
EuroChallenge semi-finalists BCM Gravelines Dunkerque came on Tuesday night a step closer towards clinching first place in the French Pro A Regular Season.
BCM played their gameday 28 fixture ahead of the other two teams that are also vying for top spot on the table, Elan Chalon and Strasbourg, and managed to put further pressure on their pursuers with a 68-65 win over Dijon at home.
The league leaders have now improved to 20-8 in the standings while Chalon are at 18-9 and Strasbourg at 17-10; both these teams have a game in hand over BCM and will be in action on Saturday, but Gravelines will already play their 29th game of the season on Friday.
On Tuesday meanwhile, BCM reminded onlookers of the old cliché which states that a team can aspire to titles only if they can win games even when they play bad.
While the hosts started off really strong and took an eight-point lead at the end of the first quarter and then further widened the gap to 10 points in the third, they allowed their opponents to balance proceedings and turn the encounter into a thriller.
Dijon tied the scores at 63 one minute before the final buzzer, when BCM finally decided to re-establish order.
Point guard Dwight Buycks hit a clutch three-pointer and winger Kennedy Winston sunk two free throws on the next possession to seal the win for the hosts, although Dijon's Jérémy Leloup missed a three at the buzzer that could have sent the game into overtime.
Buycks delivered an outstanding performance for the winners and finished with a season-high (in the Pro A) 28 points on 10-for-23 shooting from the floor, five rebounds and one assist.
No other BCM player scored in double digits but Winston contributed nine points, power forward Ludovic Vaty had 10 rebounds to go with his five points and guard Yannick Bokolo finished with six points and five assists.
"This season every team in the league has something to play for, something unheard of [in other years]," said BCM head coach Christian Monschau.
"Our weakness today [Tuesday] was that we did not maintain our defensive intensity.
"We struggled to finish the game, while Dijon never gave up, as they are chasing the play-offs.
"This year we see good games with good teams [in the Pro A]; we see things of a great level."