Bourges Confirm Melain, Dumerc Extensions

By Steve Douglas, PA Sport

Bourges Basket have confirmed key duo Cathy Melain and Celine Dumerc have signed fresh deals with the club.

Melain, the former France forward, will stay at the club for the next two seasons, while current Les Bleues guard Dumerc has penned another one-year contract.

Asked about the club's progress in tying up other players for next season, a spokeswoman told PA Sport: "There have been no other contract extensions yet. We will see over the next few weeks."

It appears Melain, who returned in 2005 for a second spell at Bourges after two seasons at Italian side Venise, will see out her distinguished career at the French giants.

The 32-year-old, a gold-medal winner at the 2001 EuroBasket Women, is the among the most successful French players of all time.

Celine Dumerc (Bourges Basket)
Celine Dumerc will be back with Bourges Basket next season.
She announced her international retirement last year after 12 years of service for her country, during which time she accumulated 227 caps.

The news will provide some relief for coach Pierre Vincent, who saw his side struggle to keep pace with Europe's big guns when it really mattered.

In her time at Bourges, she earned a host of domestic honours, as well as three EuroLeague Women titles.

In her time at Bourges, she earned a host of domestic honours, as well as three EuroLeague Women titles.

"Cathy is a great and historic player and she is really important for us," he said.

"She is so smart and she helps us to control the game."

Dumerc is still only 24 and coach Pierre Vincent will be delighted to have retained the services of his team's beat-keeper.

The former Tarbes star averaged 10.3 points in Bourges' EuroLeague Women campaign, which ground to a halt in the semi-final of last weekend's Final Four.

Dumerc and Melain were two key players in the side's run to the Final Four. 

In the semis, Bourges were on a par with Ros Casares for the first three quarters, but their shooting was off in the last 10 minutes, allowing the Spanish giants to ease clear and qualify for their first Final Four final.

CSKA also proved too strong in the play-off, although Greece star Evanthia Maltsi did her burgeoning reputation no harm with a season- high 24 points in a stand-out personal performance.

Vincent believes his team are still on a learning curve and is tipping them to bounce back even stronger in the next few years.

"We are progressing every day against these opponents to make our game more refined, to improve," he said.

"We have a good dynamic, with a committed, coherent gameplan, and there is no reason why we can't continue like this."

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