Basketball / Ilan Bernice: Eric Particci, loyal to the position

“Yes, without a doubt. On the field, we were able to perform in a context, with everything that was happening around us, which we could hardly imagine. I had never seen such an organization before. There were no negatives only in the sports field, on the other hand we lived with a lot A lot of questions all season without imagining that it would end like this, with such helplessness and everything that happened after that. To get such good results with everything that could be bothering us at the same time, it’s just so crazy! I feel all the fuss helped The team is focused on the game.”

If you had to keep only a good memory of this last season?

“Percy is different from qualifying, but he’s a little stronger in terms of venue, atmosphere and of course the title (Coupe de France, editor’s note). It’s a great event to experience. But the image of the Palace shaking, all behind us facing Monaco in the half, was really great.”

Why did you choose to extend two more seasons after the one that had just begun, when thick clouds still enveloped Elan’s horizon?

“The extension was already planned in the American context with CSG. With the change of direction, I didn’t know if it was still relevant or not. Finally, I am grateful, proud and happy to be able to do so. I appreciate the region and the club, and I am proud to wear Elan’s colors for the years to come. I am proud to see that the people have fought for the club to remain at the highest level in France.”

Is this three-year contract changing the way you approach the season, relieving a little pressure?

“No, it does not change anything and above all it should not change anything!” I’m a competitor, and I want to get the most out of the team, win the next game or win as many as possible, even if the end goal is different.”

It’s already hard to imagine springtime with Elan participating in the playoffs…

“Being realistic, the challenge presented to the team and staff is different from previous seasons. In light of everything that has happened, we must not be afraid to say that a maintenance guarantee will indeed be a very good thing that will allow the club to continue improving at all levels.”

As a technician, is the challenge exciting to set out to ensure maintenance and conquer the top five?

“Frankly yes. I obviously prefer to draw on more resources, like last year, to play leadership roles. On the other hand, we are obligated to set the record straight, show hindsight and adapt. This difficult context must motivate us with a spirit of triumph, and must To give us more anger, fighting spirit and solidarity. Of course, this is not enough, but it is the minimum for cultivation.”

At the end of the preparation month, do you feel the team is moved with such a state of mind?

“Yeah, he’s not in a good enough position at all because sometimes it happens at the start of the season with more talented players, with character, who can get out of the woodwork at any time. This year, that’s not all. The players are hardworking, engaged and contextually aware. Now “Only once in the bathroom will we discover the fragility of the group with regard to its own peculiarities, to the fact that there are only nine of us, including the two youngsters who turned pro this summer. The earth will quickly fix us.”

Has team building begun six weeks after all the other clubs added to the difficulty?

“Yeah right. There was a financial headache, reduced payroll, and the state of the market to consider. After the management change was announced, we were unable to act immediately. It took a good week before we figured out the most accurate position, the payroll we could count on. them, and strategize, before actually starting to hire.”

Announcing the first player, point guard Michael Stockton. Priority choice?

Absolutely. By keeping Vitalis (Chikoko), I knew Michael would give us guarantees to build a 1-5 hard axis (pivot leader). We can build around that axis. Stockton won’t score 30 points per game, but he brings a ball IQ A real basket, cleverness with a unified aspect at the group level.”

Is the idea of ​​bringing back Vitalis Shikoku to the heart of the project?

“Last year, he was surrounded by an ‘artist’ of outside players. There, we wanted to have someone to feed him a lot of balloons. That would be the case with Stockton cleverly passing the ball.”

Does the absence of the sporty winger and defender I wanted to sign to complete the team leave a real hole in the puzzle?

“When I was told it couldn’t be done at the moment, I wouldn’t say it made me happy. However, I understand the situation. Financially, he put in a lot of effort to keep the club going. We will do with this group reduced to the bare minimum; with nine Players including Enzo (Shahrvin) who becomes the first rotation of Vitalis and Fabio (Milanese) who enters at least five outside players used by all teams.The positive point is that you manage to get a little bit of integration with Ada (Sané) who is able to play in 4 (wings). Strong) and a little in 5 (axis), and Cummings, 4 who can help out in 3 (wing) to get rid of Jiofan (Onyang). We can reconcile like that. Time will tell if that’s enough.”

Shahrvin and Milanese able to give lucrative lectures despite the gigantic, and particularly sporting, career that exists between the hopeful tournament and the elite tournament?

“In the friendlies, they have shown that they can withstand the trauma physically. I depend on them, they have a real role to play. They have the energy needed. They also have the natural inconstancy and inexperience of the young players. It is up to them to move forward, to work towards progress in the intelligence of the game, and technical control that they do not have yet.”

Are you satisfied with the six preparatory matches that resulted in four victories (Tarbes, Zaragoza, Polazac, Voss) and two defeats (Limoges, Andorra)?

“I’ve seen some interesting things, unfortunately we can’t get an accurate assessment of our level because we didn’t play with big teams in the tournament. Basically we had to take part in the Vannes and Bourges tournaments, very difficult, which supports where it hurts, but because of the events and doubts in Summer, we’ve been replaced. We miss these kinds of matches. We’ll find out all this in real conditions, starting on Saturday against Strasbourg.”

Strasbourg, Boulogne, Levallois, Limoges, Bourg: The first four days where every victory will be an achievement …

“In our situation there was no easy opponent. But it is clear that we attack with teams that are used to top of the table. If he is average, it is important not to panic. Obviously we want to win all these matches, but we must also use them to assess our level, and try to solve different problems.” and camouflaging any problems we encounter by highlighting our qualities.”

Last year’s finalists, Asfel and Monaco seem to have taken a step forward this summer. How do you see these two huge stables?

“They were brutal last year, even more so this season! It’s good for French basketball, because they have strong players, and a lot of international players. Both teams have the ambition to play a real role in the Euroleague and that’s good. We, compared to them, know. That we won’t play in the same stadium. For others too, the title quest seems illusory. We, a priori, will be in another tournament, with Le Portel, Fos, Blois and Nancy. But we’ll never be safe from seeing a ‘small’ come He gets involved in the fight for the playoffs.We know the tournament, everyone can beat everyone.

“I am proud to wear Elan’s colors for the years to come, and proud to see the people who have fought for the club’s survival at the highest level in France.”

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