On a night full of first and seconds for Nanterre 92, the team significantly boosted its chances to reach the Top 16 with a double-overtime road victory over Dolomiti Energia Trento.
Nanterre improved to 2-0 all-time in double-overtime games and registered three players with at least 20 points for the first time in competition history. Chris Warren led the way with a career-high 29 points, Isaia Cordinier had 24 and Alpha Kaba 21. Nanterre's only previous double-OT game was an 88-84 victory over another Italian club, Cantu, at home in the opening game of the 2013-14 Last 32 phase. Sergii Gladyr set the club record for scoring that night with 30 points, which Warren came within a whisker of breaking on Wednesday.
Tyler Stone (46:57) set a club record for most minutes played in a game, Cordinier (46:39) is now second and Warren (44:21) third. Kaba and Cordinier each posted performance index ratings of 30, which tied for the third-best by a Nanterre player. Trent Meachem set that record with 33, also in January 2014.
Despite those numbers and the fact that it was the first time Nanterre had ever given up more than 100 points in a EuroCup game, it was the team's defensive effort that made the difference. So said assistant coach Filipe da Silva, who coached the team in place of head coach Pascal Donnadieu, who did not travel with the club to Italy due to illness.
"Before we came here, I told my players that if we want to win this game, we need to control them under 75 points. We did it before the overtime," da Silva said in the post-game press conference. "The key moment was defense in the last minutes. We stopped them in one-on-one situations and they didn't score. They have a talented team - Sanders, Martin, Browne, good players. They wanted one on one and I think we contained them more in these moments. I think the key of the game was this time."
Indeed, Trento had shots to win the game at the end of regulation, the first overtime period and the second. Each time, Nanterre contested the shots well to either keep the game tied or preserve the lead.
The complete picture showed how Nanterre was able to lean on the individual talent of its stars and the collective work of the team to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Nanterre now controls its destiny with two of its remaining three games at home and all three against the two teams below it in the standings: Promitheas Patras and Frutti Extra Bursaspor. There will still be obstacles to reaching the Top 16, but if Nanterre does indeed get there, it may look back at this double-overtime victory as the turning point.