Several role players stepped up to help the French side win in Round 9.
Paris leaned on next-man-up mentality at Cedevita
Paris Basketball has not gone through much adversity so far this season in the BKT EuroCup, but the French team rose to the challenge against Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana with a next-man-up mentality, which helped it come away with an important 77-93 road victory in Round 9.
Paris was without team captain Michael Kessens and assistant captain Sebastian Herrera for the game, yet the visitors managed to nevertheless bounce back from their first loss of the season last week against Besiktas Emlakjet Istanbul.
“What I am very impressed [with] about this group is that they find a way to win. And they have the next-guy-up mentality,” said Paris head coach Tuomas Iisalo.
“That’s what you have to have if you want to be a good team and beat other good teams like Cedevita, who are way better than their record [0-9] suggests and have a lot of talent on their roster.”
Sticking together and making an impact
Kessens had been averaging 4.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 14 minutes per game, while combo guard Herrera had been totaling 4.9 points on 35.5% three-point shooting, 1.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 20 minutes of action.
“It was super difficult. We’re down a couple of guys right now,” said TJ Shorts, who tallied 17 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals and his first block of the season.
“When you’re down you have to have the next-man-up mentality, and I think everybody in the locker room had that mentality. For 40 minutes we competed, we stuck to our identity and it resulted in a win.”
Gauthier Denis stepped up with 3 important three-pointers for 9 points off the Paris bench. And 20-year-old big man Enzo Shahrvin picked up 4 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in just 8 minutes before injuring his knee and not being able to return for the second half.
Coach Iisalo’s team was unable to pull away in the first 28 minutes, before finally putting together a big run to open some space.
“What helped us is that we have been turning these games into wins and that has created this collective confidence,” he added. “Whatever obstacles are thrown our way, we will find a way [to win].”