ball – N1: “We weren’t a real team”, asserts Romain Duport after the elimination of the STB in the play-offs

The pivot of Saint-Thomas draws up an uncompromising balance sheet the day after the pitiful elimination of the STB in the quarter-finals of the play-offs. For him, ego problems and the very constitution of the workforce ended up sounding the death knell for Le Havre ambitions.

Joined this Saturday, May 14, 2022, the day after the collective bankruptcy experienced by Saint-Thomas against Mulhouse (85-111), in match 2 of the quarter-finals of the play-offs, Romain Duport had no “not slept much at night, only a few hours. »
“Normal after a failure like that. » A painful epilogue but ” logic “ and almost predictable according to the pivot (35 years old).

How to explain the rout against Mulhouse?

“There are a lot of things, a lot of explanations, details throughout the season that make it logical for me that we left. We didn’t deserve to go all the way. We weren’t a real team, in the end, there wasn’t enough cohesion, unlike a team like Mulhouse, which may have less brute force, but players in tune. They made the efforts together, were one in both attack and defense, and they rolled us. »

“When you’re not used to putting in the effort every game…”

In the first half, nothing and no one in Saint-Thomas seemed able to stop this Berezina…

“It’s complicated in those times. We tried, on dead time, or at times we said to ourselves: “Come on, come on, let’s go! » We each tried our turn, but we never managed to pick up the thread. We were overwhelmed everywhere. There was nothing, clearly not enough aggression, too many open shooters, no one was stepping on their shooters. Yes, they were skilful, but we helped them very well. We let them do what they wanted with us. »

How did the STB get here?

“There have been, I think, too many ego issues in the team, not enough dirty work actually. We haven’t put our ass on the ground enough over the whole season. That’s it… When you’re not used to making the effort in each game, the day you come across a team with a real collective, you get dominated the whole game. And widely. We simply did not have the collective weapons to respond to such a well-oiled team collectively. »

“Perhaps we had too many attacking players”

What do you mean, ego issues?

“It means that everyone may consider themselves a strong player, a team leader. But that’s not what a team is. There must be leaders, lieutenants, “role players”, as they say. That’s what Mulhouse had. Their leaders, we knew them: Durand and Diehl. The others around played their part, without overplaying, something we have never been able to do this season. »

Didn’t the problem simply come from the constitution of the group?

“It comes from a lot of things. But if we have to draw a balance sheet, yes, no doubt that this team was not sufficiently “matched”, if I may say so. We may have had too many offensive players, too many players who would have been leaders in other teams, and not enough “role players”. As seen in other sports, especially football, putting together a lot of big players does not always result in a big team. »

“Personally, it’s a very big failure”

And as often in this kind of situation, it is towards the coach that the criticism is directed. What do you think is Hervé Coudray’s share of responsibility in this disappointment?

“In these cases, it’s everyone’s fault, there’s no need to put someone above or below in terms of responsibility. Inevitably, it is first towards him that we will look because he is the one who holds the boat, he is the captain. There will have been ups and downs throughout the season, disagreements, we have dealt with it. Each with its qualities and its faults, both the players and the coach. »

As a player, does your pride take a hit, when Saint-Thomas was announced as the big favorite for these play-offs?

“Personally, it’s a very big failure. This club is close to my heart, I am ending my ninth season here. Because of my relationship with Rudy (Sevi), the failure is even more important because I wanted to return the favor to him, compared to everything he does throughout the year. It was the first time in my career that I had the opportunity to experience a climb. We realize how difficult it is to get out of a championship like the N1. Personally, I never saw myself in Pro B before the hour. From the beginning, there were signs that let me think that we were going to live a season made up of ups and downs. It didn’t miss. I have been playing basketball for a long time and these things, with experience, you feel them. We tried to fight them, but on arrival, the result is logical. It wouldn’t have been a robbery if we had snatched the climb, because our team was very strong, but collectively, we never knew how to be up to it. »

“The desire is still there, overflowing”

The STB will try their luck a fifth time next season. With you ?

“Yes, it will be with me. The desire is still there, overflowing, even if there are days that are a little more complicated, the mind is still just as strong. I tried to give everything in these play-offs, with mistakes, of course, but I think I can look at myself in the mirror and tell myself that I gave it my all. Without a doubt. »

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