Bourges Basket take the home court advantage against MiZo Pécsi VSK in what promises to be the tightest series in the Quarter-Final Play-Offs 2004. Bourges finished second in Group A with a 11/3 record and although Pécs finished 3rd over in Group B with a 9-5 win/loss, the Hungarians could still hold the edge…
Despite a surprise loss at home to perennial rivals Euroleasing-Orsi Sopron recently, Pecs sit at the top of the Hungarian national league table and look comfortable as the domestic competition heads towards its play-offs. Bourges currently lies behind leaders USVO in the French Ligue Féminine but can’t afford to relax as both Pays d’Aix Basket 13 and FIBA Europe Cup participants USO Mondeville are hot on their heels.
Previously in the EuroLeague…
This week’s games will be a repeat line-up of last year’s Quarter-Final clash between the two clubs, however, Pecs will be looking for a different outcome. In 2003 Bourges won after 3 games and went on to host the EuroLeague Final Four. Pecs, this year, is out for revenge.
As two of the six clubs to play every year in the EuroLeague from its creation in 1997, both Bourges and Pecs have as much experience as is possible. Nevertheless, Bourges does hold the upper hand in the success stakes: where Pecs has reached the Play-Offs in the past 4 seasons, and took 3rd place at the Final Four in 2001, Bourges has dominated the EuroLeague, already reaching the Final Four a record five times and taking the title on 3 occasions (’97, ’98 and 2001).
Look out for…
Dalma Ivanyi – possibly the hottest hands in the EuroLeague Women. The Hungarian national team point guards leads the league in steals and is a close second in assists. She has had a couple of enormous games for Pécs this season, most notably against Ros Casares at the end of January, for which she also picked up Player of the Week honours.
Albena Branzova – the Bulgarian center battled against injury during the latter stages of the regular season, but looks to have now recovered. The responsibility for Pécs’ inside game is firmly on her shoulders after fellow center Chantelle Anderson’s season game to a premature end following a knee injury. Branzova has come good regularly for Pécs, putting up big numbers when they needed it most.
Elodie Godin – Bourges’ rising star. At the tender age of 18 Godin is already a fixture in the French national team and has made a big impact on the French league this season.
EuroLeague Women Player of the Week at the beginning of February, Godin was also top scorer for Team West at the French All Star Game. Despite her youth, Godin has adapted very well to the pressures of the European game and appears hungry for more.