|19-year-old Romane Bernies has stepped up for Bourges in the EuroLeague Women play-offs and during the Final Eight|
By Paul Nilsen
Reigning FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year Celine Dumerc has claimed rising star Romane Bernies can develop into an ‘amazing' player if she continues working hard to improve her game.
The French backcourt duo combined to help Bourges Basket climb onto the podium at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight in Ekaterinburg, with Dumerc dishing out the praise for her teenage team-mate, who grabbed a super ten points in the third place game against Good Angels Kosice.
"We really needed her since she was the second best scorer on the team for us against Kosice and that is just great for both us and also for her," said Dumerc.
"I want to congratulate her and I think if she really wants it, she can become a great point guard and I don't think this will be the last Final Eight of EuroLeague Women for her.
"Seriously, I think if she keeps working hard, she can be amazing," insisted the Olympic silver medallist.
Bernies is thriving in her situation at Bourges and has made great strides during recent months, including an impressive and vital performance against Wisla Can-Pack in the play-offs - although Dumerc isn't shocked by the level the 19-year-old has reached of late.
She said, "I am not surprised by her progress, because I see her every day and she practices really well.
"We talk together all the time and she goes against me in practice and it's not easy for me, so I can definitely say she has improved.
"She is willing to take the shot if she needs to and she really plays for the team.
"I feel that between this season and last season, she has taken a huge step in the way she plays the game.
"It's also maybe true that because she has been playing with the national (youth) teams, she has also been able to improve a lot," continued Dumerc.
"But, I think the most important thing is that she is a great girl who has her feet on the ground."
Bernies played at the U20 European Championship Women last year in Debrecen and will step out for France again in Samsun this summer, hoping she can help her team to improve on their fifth place finish.
And, not only can France rely on Bernies pulling the strings in the backcourt, they can also look to another rising star at Bourges to excel in the paint.
For 1.90m center, Christelle Diallo has also made progress, averaging over ten minutes per game across a lengthy 19 game season in EuroLeague Women and taking advantage of the club's injury woes.
In fact, Diallo played 19 minutes against runaway champions UMMC Ekaterinburg at the Final Eight and scored seven points as well as adding three rebounds and three assists.
And, the invaluable experience of going up against such a glittering array of frontcourt stars all season long, should mean she fears nobody under the basket when France take to the floor in Turkey against Hungary, Italy and Russia in Group C.