01 September, 2016
30 April, 2017
24 Ryan Pearson (FRA), 3 Melvin Obinna Ejim (ITA), MSB vs REYER
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Le Mans hope to turn a corner after putting on defensive clinic

LE MANS (Basketball Champions League) – All 40 participating teams gave it their all this week in a bid to kick off their Regular Season campaign on the right foot, but in a certain way Le Mans Sarthe went the extra mile in their Basketball Champions League premiere against Reyer Venezia at home on Wednesday, hoping that this will be a pivotal moment in the season.

"If we win our next home game too there will be less pressure on us during the rest of the competition." - Erman Kunter

The French team were coming off two consecutive defeats in the French Pro A and prior to the Group B clash head coach Erman Kunter underlined the importance of snapping this losing streak. His players took in the message and reacted by delivering a defensive master-class in the second half, where they held Venezia to only 22 points and a 29% field goal percentage to celebrate a 68-49 victory.

"This win can help us to regain confidence after two losses, we did not make the mistake of allowing ourselves to lose a third game in a row," commented coach Kunter. "Our defence made all the difference, we forced them to miss a lot of shots and it would be very difficult for any team to win under these conditions."

"In a European cup competition, the home games are very important. If we also win the next home game (against Khimik on Tuesday), there will be less pressure on us for the rest of the competition. We must keep this up now while our players are recovering fully from injury. Mouph Yarou still lacks game pace but the little time he plays, he contributes with his aggressive game."

"We have had bad games defensively in the French league and we knew that coming into a new competition gave us a chance to start anew." - Ryan Pearson

The ability of Le Mans to use their superb display against Venezia as a turning point will be put to the test really soon as on Saturday they play host to AS Monaco in French Pro A action. In addition to leading the French league on a perfect 4-0 record, Monaco were the only team to put in an even better defensive effort than Le Mans in the Basketball Champions League, stifling Fraport Skyliners 65-47 on Tuesday.

"We have had bad games defensively in the French league and we knew that coming into a new competition on Wednesday gave us a chance to start anew, and we had to take this opportunity," said Ryan Pearson who had 20 points and five rebounds. "We should now regain confidence in each other. This game is now behind us and we must be focus on the games that are ahead."