Basketball-Bertin thrives on 3-point shooting




Bertin uses Hall's screen to get in a shot

His scoring ability brings a lot of excitement to the game as opposing teams' coaches are constantly on their feet to get their best defenders to stay with him, especially when he is hot.
With his feet set behind the arc after having got himself freed with the help of a screen by a teammate, Bertin very rarely misses the target.

The shooting guard, who has always worn the number 8 shirt, is not known to be an aggressive player and does not even play with a lot of intensity.
But, with his shooting skill, he stands out as a good player. If there were scoring titles to be won, Bertin would have easily netted some.

In Heat's 70-89 loss to Premium Cobras last Saturday at the Palais des Sports, Bertin came up just short of finishing with 10 3-pointers. The 29-year-old, who did not attempt a shot from long range in the fourth quarter, scored nine 3-pointers as he led all scores with 29 points.

This performance has put him in a league of his own after he had shared the lead for most 3-pointers in a single game – six – with Cobras' Benjamin Adayehi.
The Nigerian playmaker achieved the feat against Baya on May 15 at Victoria Gymnasium.

In seven matches so far, Bertin has scored 32 3-pointers, thus averaging 5 3-pointers a match.
His total could have been higher had the Heat not lost their match against PLS Dynamics by walk-over.

"I train a lot, especially on my own in the morning when I work night shift. I try to make my training interesting by setting myself targets and if I can't reach those targets, I do self-imposed punishment like running and doing ladder. I saw this kind of training in a film and it helps you work on both your fitness and shooting skill. I still work on my shooting and I hope to continue improving," said the clutch 3-point shooter.

Despite Bertin's scoring ability, the Heat have been finding it hard to rival with the best in the league and the player puts it down to his teammates not being able to choose to whom to give the ball to when the game is on the line.
"You have to put the ball in the hands of the player who is on fire and most of the time it is not the case. Everyone wants to make the winning shot and most of the time, it just does not drop and we end up losing," said Bertin, who added that he was more into volleyball when he was younger as he wanted to be good like his cousin Jourdan Lepathy, a former Seychelles spiker.

"The basketball court was much closer to my home than the volleyball's and my friends Valli Ismaël and Guy Hall pushed me into playing basketball. Without my teammates I would not have been the player I am today and it is for this reason that I won't leave the Heat for any team," he explained.

Called to the country's selection under coach Keven Furneau but never getting playing time even if he had to accept a pay cut from his employer as he had to attend training while on duty, Bertin said that he likes a lot of NBA (American National Basketball Association) players and watches a lot of games.

"There are so many good players in this league. The legendary player for me is Michael Jordan and I stay up until 2 a.m. at times to watch films about the former Chicago Bulls and Dream Team shooting guard. Scottie Pippen, also a former member of both the Chicago Bulls and the Dream Team, is also a good player. Among the active players, I will go for Sacramento Kings' point-guard Mike Bibby," he concluded.

G. G.

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