Villeurbanne (AFP)

The president of Asvel Lyon-Villeurbanne, Tony Parker, says he is "ready to play" matches behind closed doors in the French league at home but "just this month" of confinement, on the sidelines of the defeat of his team on Thursday against Kaunas in the Euroleague.

Q: Tony Parker, how do you feel about this Villeurbanne match which gave way at the end?

A: "Physically we were fair. The guys haven't played for three weeks. Almost our whole team was affected by the Covid and in the second half it was clearly felt that they had no juice "They struggled to follow against an opponent who did not have a stop. We must remember the first half during which we played very well with good collective phases of play. I congratulate them. The players fought until the end but the most important thing for us is to find the rhythm and the physicality, to chain a few matches, which we have not been able to do since the start of the season. , it's very hard to find a rhythm like that especially against an opponent who has been playing from the start, without stopping ".

Q: Are you confident for the future though?

A: "Yes of course. In the first half, there were some very good phases of the game as long as the players weren't too much of a physical strain. There was a good game and you have to focus on that. Defensively, we have a lot of progress to make but it will come with the physical. To defend strong, you have to be in good physical condition. Unfortunately, for the moment, we are not ready ".

Q: So it's a good thing not to have a match for a week?

A: "It would have been dangerous to even have a match in stride, when we don't play for three weeks. We have players who haven't had training for three weeks. We haven't had any training. preparation. Some have only had one training. It's good to have a week's break before resuming. After that, we will do a lot of matches. We will continue in the Euroleague and, in the French league, we are going to make arrangements with the teams that want to play, in order to squeeze in a few matches during the month of confinement. We will see. The idea is to regain physical form and to move on. "

Q: Does that mean that you are ready to play behind closed doors in the French league?

A: "Yes, just for this month of confinement, we would be ready to play. After that depends on the teams".

Q: The president of the LNB had nevertheless declared that he did not want a closed session ...

A: "I agree with him overall but just in this month we would be ready to do it, and in the Euroleague and in the league. If it lasts longer, it will be a little difficult but for now, I won't prefer not to speculate. We would like to do it because afterwards it will be hard to squeeze the matches. At some point, if we postpone too many matches, it will become too difficult to finish the championship. And I think that for the sake of basketball too well in the Euroleague than in the league, it would be good to finish the league this season. It is also because we are the only (French) club in the Euroleague. And there are a lot of matches. I think for the general interest basketball, like everyone. This situation affects everyone. We too have become more fragile. In the economic model of basketball, it is very difficult to play without an audience ".

Interview at a press conference.

© 2020 AFP