Basketball: Facing the Lions, Olympic now has the answer to everything

PostedMay 13, 2022, 9:38 p.m.

The Fribourgeois recovered the advantage of the parquet floor, at Pommier (41-65), and lead 2-1 in the semi-final of the SB League play-off.

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Jeremy Santallo

(Geneva)

Milos Jankovic’s 17 points were good for Petar Aleksic’s Friborg Olympic.

Pascal Muller/freshfocus

The weather was nice outside, it was Friday evening, the start of the weekend, the entrance was five francs so the Geneva “ultras”, who were pining to see if their Lions were going to be able to hold their own against the Olympic champion, white-hot the Salle du Pommier, with a lot of singing in the megaphones and beating on the drums. But concretely, the enclosure saw a semblance of suspense for, come on, seven minutes.

Le show Jankovic

To even hope to compete with Fribourg, you must already rise to its level of intensity – which is not a given. For the first few minutes, the Lions did. We saw a high and aggressive defense – you had to see Scott Suggs, who stuck a monstrous counter to Natan Jurkovitz – and Olympic only scored his first points after 3’40”. Angry with the refereeing, Friborg coach Petar Aleksic even suffered a technical foul after 4 minutes. The proof also, that Freiburg was not quite serene.

But as soon as Suggs (2 faults) and the Geneva starters had to regain their strength on the bench, the level of intensity dropped considerably. Coach Andrej Stimac might have stayed with an individual defense but the fouls started to rain down, so he had to bring out that 1-3-1 zone, the one that had created the surprise during Act I in Saint-Leonard. But on this one, the pivot Milos Jankovic, uncomfortable since the start of the series, enjoyed himself. And after an award-winning shot from Boris Mbala, it was already 20-9.

Lions sans solution

Stimac went back to individual defense, where the Genevans had to change vis-à-vis behind the screens. But there, Robert Zinn (logically) overtook Dragan Zekovic. In a few words? It was even worse. Suddenly, the Lions coach relaunched his zone defense but Olympic cut him out and Slobodan Miljanic and Natan Jurkovitz found address from afar. After half-time (19-42), it was clear that Aleksic and his bloated squad now had the answer to everything in this semi-final.

Deprived of Davonta Jordan (calf) until the end of the play-off – it is rumored that a replacement will arrive – Olympic trembled when Kwamain Mitchell started limping back from the locker room. But the depositary of the Friborg game then reassured. The gap was abysmal between the two teams but the Pommier faithful shouted, relentlessly, until the end. This should still be the case on Tuesday, for Act IV. It would take a miracle for this not to be the last meeting at the Pommier under the era of the presidency of Imad Fattal.

Apple tree room (Grand-Saconnex). 1425 spectators. Referees: Messrs. Stojcev, Vitalini and Mazzoni.

Quarter Score: 9-20, 10-22, 8-10, 14-13.

Geneva Lions: Nottage (3), T. Jurkovitz (4), Suggs (9), Kuba (2), Adams (2); puis Zekovic (7), Seylan (10), Milenkovic (3), Monteiro (1), Solioz. Coach: Andrej Stimac.

Freiburg Olympic: Mitchell (4), Zinn (7), Miljanic (8), N. Jurkovitz (6), Cotture (11); puis Jankovic (17), Mbala (7), Gravet (5), Solca (0), Maquiesse (0), Sangwa (0), Crudo (0). Coach: Petar Aleksic.

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