"With these two, we give ourselves more chances of winning": hardly in the league as in Euroleague, Villeurbanne counts on the recruitment of Guerschon Yabusele and Davion Berry in view of the end of season deadlines.
"It is a way of demonstrating that we are not giving up at the national level as much as in the Euroleague," assures the deputy president of Asvel Gaëtan Müller.
Ex-NBA hope passed by China, the strong international French winger Yabusele and the American back Davion Berry thus come to consolidate the manpower villeurbannais, 3rd in Elite and 16th in Euroleague.
"We are more likely to win matches," said Müller, whose group now has fifteen players under contract.
"We must already assimilate two new recruits into a group that moves a lot and, consequently, trains little. In addition, our team, even if it has been worse lately, is showing good results. These contributions seem to me to be balanced" he said.
- "Solid" -
"At the start of the season, we wanted to build a solid team but we didn’t want to top up the squad. We were the last club in Elite not to have recruited. It’s the first time in five years that we have also recruited late in the season, "recalls Müller.
These new commitments were made in full agreement with Olympique Lyonnais, a minority but important shareholder in the champion club of France (31.67% share of the capital), according to the manager.
Guerschon Yabusele and Asvel have been looking for each other since the time when the French international revealed himself at the Roanne Choir in 2014 before spinning to Rouen and then trying his luck in the NBA at the Boston Celtics (74 matches).
While the Chinese championship marked a truce in January without being able to resume competition due to the epidemic of new coronavirus in China, Yabusele (24 years, 1.98m) was released by his club from Nanjing.
"We are more than delighted. It is still part of our culture to have French players," also insists Gaëtan Müller.
"It's a chance to be able to express myself in Euroleague. Coming back to France and getting involved with Asvel is really a good thing", rejoices for his part Guerschon Yabusele, successful in qualifying for Euro-2021 with the French team on Monday against Montenegro (85-66) and who can play in positions 4 and 5.
Are the Tokyo Games in the back of his mind when he signs for a large French club? "Yes, but it is not necessarily the immediate subject which is to end the season well with Villeurbanne with whom we have fairly high expectations. The Blues, we will see later", he replies.
- "Freshness, power, experience" -
If the French international comes in addition to the workforce in order to strengthen the internal positions "where we need freshness, power and experience", according to Müller, the arrival of Davion Berry (28 years, 1.95m ) "compensates for Edwin Jackson's departure on loan from Estudiantes Madrid".
"We needed a player in positions 2-3. We seized an opportunity. We were looking for someone who had already played in Europe and capable of scoring points. In Greece, last season, he was a top scorer," said Gaëtan Müller.
The latter also describes a player "experienced, evolving this year in Russia (Krasnoyarsk), able to create his shoot with a high percentage at three points".
"He wanted to play the Euroleague and potentially be in the race to be champion of France," added the manager, welcoming "a quick agreement".
The two players will be able to bring the added value hoped for on Sunday (4:00 p.m.) with the reception of the leader Monaco in the French championship, where the Asvel has fallen to 3rd place.
© 2020 AFP