French side USVO secured third place in the 2006 EuroLeague Women Final Four on Sunday with a 77-62 win over Lietuvos Telekomas. It was the first Final Four appearance for the 3-time champions since 2004 when they were last crowned champions of Europe.
USVO took a beating in the semi-final against Gambrinus Brno, who held the French to a season low 54 points. However, against Lietuovs, USVO rediscovered their offensive touch, led by an outstanding display from Australian point guard Kristi Harrower who had a team high 21 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Sparked by runs to open the first and fourth quarters, Gambrinus Brno defeated USVO 61-54 to advance to the EuroLeague Women championship game for the second consecutive year.
USVO was held to five points in the first quarter and nine points in the fourth as the young and inexperienced French club came up short in their comeback bid.
On paper, Gambrinus Brno appears to have the clear advantage against US Valenciennes Olympic in the two teams’ EuroLeague Women semi-final match-up this evening.
Gambrinus is playing at home in Brno and has experience on their side after falling just short in the championship game in last year’s Final Four.
Talk about luxury. Or should that be talk about picking your poison.
US Valenciennes Olympic coach Laurent Buffard has six players averaging nearly in double figures.
US Valenciennes Olympic
LES JARDINS DE FLORE
Salle du Hainaut
Rue des Glacis, 59305 Valenciennes Cedex, FRA
+33 (3) 27 29 21 80
+33 (3) 27 29 23 01
President: Christian Lecoq
General Manager: Hervé Coudray