The last time it played in the EuroCup, Levallois Metropolitans was seconds away from reaching the semifinals and now club from the French capital is ready to make its return to the competition after two seasons away. Paris was a serious contender in the French league last season. Led by the veteran backcourt duo of Jason Rich and Louis Campbell, the team put together a run of seven wins in eight games to skyrocket up in the standings, but finished sixth in the regular season after dropping four of the last five games. In the playoff quarterfinals, however, Paris Levallois swept local rival Nanterre despite not having the home-court advantage in the best-of-three quarterfinals, before eventual champion Elan Chalon ousted Paris 3-1 in the best-of-five semifinals. Now, Coach Fred Fauthoux’s squad is poised to build on last season and make its presence felt in the EuroCup.
Levallois Metropolitans was formed in 2007 when Racing Paris and Levallois Sporting Club Basket merged. The former can trace its roots back to 1882, though 40 years passed before it opened its basketball section. Racing Paris was the dominant force in French basketball in the early 1950s, when it won three French league crowns, and also shined in the 1980s and the 1990s, becoming a regular in European competition. Another French League title was conquered in 1997, which led to its EuroLeague debut in the 1997-98 season. Levallois opened its doors in 1941 and played lower-level competitions until 1969, when it secured a spot in the second division. It soon reached the top level, but did not last. Its next try came in 1992, when the club won the second-division crown. Its best season was in 1996, when Levallois placed sixth and secured a berth in the 1996-97 Korac Cup. The two clubs' merger took some seasons to produce results, but in 2009, Paris Levallois was promoted to become a mainstay in the French first division. In the 2012-13 season, Paris reached the EuroChallenge quarterfinals and won the French Cup. In its EuroCup debut, the team did not get out of its regular season group after finishing its campaign with a 4-6 record. The club reached the Leaders Cup semifinals and the French League playoffs that season, too, before returning to make another EuroCup appearance. This time it made some serious noise. Led by Blake Schilb and rebounding ace Sharrod Ford, Paris Levallois was one of the clutch teams in the competition. The team ended the 2014-15 EuroCup Regular Season with a pair of wins to move on to the Last 32, where it won two must-win games again, including a do-or-die contest on the road at Besiktas Istanbul to get into the elimination rounds. Paris swept PGE Turow Zgorzelec in the eighthfinals before bowing out in a thrilling home-and-away quarterfinals series against Banvit Bandirma. However, the team was not as successful at home, missing the playoffs that season, and then in 2015-16 again. But Paris bounced back last season with a run to the French semifinals and now it looks to take another step forward this season.