A week after Brescia's devastating home loss that set 7DAYS EuroCup records for futility, Germani Brescia Leonessa bounced back in emphatic fashion to beat Nanterre 92 on the road 65-73 on Tuesday.
A week earlier, Brescia had the worst performance in EuroCup history, scoring just 35 points against Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul. It also established an all-time EuroCup low for team performance index rating, with 0.
On that night, nothing went right as Brescia reached double digits only once in four quarters at home. On Tuesday near Paris, however, Brescia found the basket for 18, 17, 15 and 23 points by quarter, but more importantly played some excellent defense to seal a comeback victory.
As Brescia head coach Vicenzo Esposito said, "The key was defense," and he was right. His team hauled down 31 defensive rebounds in four quarters. They had loads of energy on the ensuring fastbreaks, too, as Brescia outscored Nanterre 13-2 in that area.
During that game against Darussafaka, Brescia's passers managed just 7 assists. On Tuesday night in Nanterre, they had 22, with Luca Vitali taking up the role of creator-in-chief to finish with a career-high 11. Kenny Horton, who had 14 points and 4 steals, admitted it had been a tough week, said his team had to put its historic loss where it belongs – in the past.
"We had a tough week. It was definitely good to come here and get a win," he said. "Our sights are really just on the next game and we just have to keep getting better."
In Paris, Brescia fell behind early and still trailed by 43-39 midway through the third quarter before digging in for a gritty but confident finish. Now, Brescia might look back at the trip to Nanterre as a turning point.
The win broke a 2-2 tie between the teams, both of whom play three road games in the second half of the regular season. The last of those is between them in Brescia for the 10th and final round. With winless Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana (0-5) at the bottom of their group, Brescia and Nanterre are currently part of a packed race for the Top 16.
It is quite possible that Nanterre, in order to surpass Brescia, will have the tall order of winning their rematch in Round 10 – and possibly even having to cover the eight-point difference from Tuesday's game. But if there is one lesson that Brescia has taught in Round 5, it's that bouncing back from even the lowest of lows is certainly possible.