Other than hailing from France, what do Frederic Bourdillon, Teddy Riner, Tony Parker and Clint Capela all have in common? They all attended INSEP, the National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance (Institut national du sport, de l’expertise et de la performance), which is a French training institute and center for excellence in sports that trains elite athletes.
How about that? And we have one of those top level sportsmen plying their trade right here in Israel in Bourdillon who never ceases to amaze and comes through in those moments when the chips are down.
The Grasse, France native had been oh so quiet throughout the majority of Hapoel Holon’s 85-79 double overtime win against Hapoel Holon after playing barely five minutes in Turkey in game two versus Besiktas. It looked as if Bourdillon was going to have yet another quiet night on the hardwood until he entered the game with 6:36 left In the fourth quarter and Holon in a 55-52 hole.
What did Bourdillon immediately do? How about sink a triple to tie the ball game up at 55-55 that helped send the contest into overtime knotted up at 64.
With 1:37 remaining in the first OT, Guy Goodes’s squad was once again down 73-70 and Bourdillon once again was inserted to work some magic.
And work some magic he did with yet another triple to pull Holon even again as the squads headed to a second extra session tied at 73-73.
Not enough for you? No problem. How about another 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to salt away the victory and send Holon into the State Cup Final Four.
When Bourdillon is on, he is on.
“I’m the image of the team, one game good and one not. We have to find the balance and consistency and when we find that we will be fine. We have one good quarter and then we have one that’s not. We have to fix this,” Bourdillon said following the game.
That has kind of been the MO of Holon all season long and it creeped up its ugly head against Haifa. After a fabulous 19-11 first quarter, Holon made just one field goal in the second where they were blown out of the water 30-8. But Goodes’s guys were able to dig out of the 14 point halftime hole to send the game to overtime and then finally take the win thanks to Bourdillon’s heroics.
“It was the change of the game but after that it was the energy we put in the last quarter and overtime. We need that to win each game and we have to be more aggressive and control the rebound. When the 3-pointers go in then everything is just much easier,” he said.”
Would have or could have Holon won the past two do or die, backs against the wall games with their former coach Maurizio Buscaglia in charge? It’s hard to believe that would be the case both from a sense as to how the team had been playing under the Italian bench boss but also in terms of better defending. It was clear as day to the naked eye that Goodes has already been able to put his fingerprints on the team.
“He hasn’t changed everything,” Bourdillon said about Goodes impact on the team. “But he put in some rules and the team is listening more. Everyone wants to show that he is a good player and he put more rules in on defense and offense.”
The former French Maccabiah player featured under Goodes back in 2019/20 when he scored 7.2 points and dished out 2.8 assists in 25 minutes per game. “It was kind of amazing at Rishon. I’m sad when we change a coach (in Holon) which means we didn’t do a good job, but I’m happy to have Guy who knows what I can do and to have to be more consistent. I’m finding the happiness again to play and I have to focus.”
The bottom line is that Holon has one more immediate goal on their plate this coming Wednesday in a decisive game 3 against pesky Besiktas in order to punch their ticket to the Basketball Champions League and Bourdillon is well aware of that challenge, “We need one more or we win nothing. We had an amazing season last year but the fans expect more and Wednesday is the game of the season to qualify for the Champions League Round of 16.”