Hosts Hammer Latvia

Sandrine Gruda (France)
Sandrine Gruda and France gave the home fans exactly what they had expected

By Joe Hewison

Turning Point: This result was never in doubt but France's 11-0 run at the end of the first and beginning of the second quarter really crushed any remaining Latvian resistance as it came when many of France's starters were on the bench.

Stats Don't Lie: Celine Dumerc only scored one point, highlighting the fact that this is far from a one-woman show.

Game Hero: Most of France's players were operating on a different level to their opponents but Isabelle Yacoubou typified this, dominating the paint, showing great touch under the basket and getting the fans off their feet with some big blocks.

France may have pleased a capacity home crowd with a 62-39 win over Latvia in their EuroBasket Women opener in Trelaze - but coach Pierre Vincent was not quite so happy.

France dominated from start to finish, never trailing and controlling all areas of the court behind the terrific post play of Isabelle Yacoubou.

A frenetic French crowd were brought to their feet on a number of occasions by terrific play by their hosts as they lived up to all expectations.

However, despite being satisfied to have finally started their campaign, and with a victory, coach Vincent could still see room for improvement.

He said: "We are really happy to start after a long day. It was difficult to wait.

"We have made one step but we have a long way to travel, lots of games and big expectations, but we have to forget that and to play game-by-game respecting the game on defence and offence.

"I was not too happy with the way we played the game on offence. We were under a bit of pressure and we have to balance it more with outside shots and our tough inside game."

France were in front early and never looked like relinquishing their advantage. Ominously for any upcoming opposition, the defining run in this game came with the majority of France's starters actually on the bench.

After that sequence took them to 26-9, at the start of the second quarter, it was never that close again. Yacoubou was particularly impressive scoring 17 points while also playing the role of fans' favourite with a couple of huge blocks late on.




15.06.2013 - EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013

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