|Nantes were relying heavily this year on Belarus international Tatyana Troina, who was coming off her best season at both club (with BC Horizont) and national team level |
Nantes Reze have not had the ideal build-up to the 2012-13 EuroCup Women.
The French outfit won its first three games in the LFB domestic competition, but before the fourth they lost Belarus international Tatyana Troina for the rest of the season to a serious knee injury.
Troina tore her anterior cruciate ligament in training.
"I lost more than a player," Nantes coach Emmanuel Coeuret said.
"I lost a remarkable leader in a human sense.
"Despite this, I want us to keep our heads high, and to continue to work and play with enthusiasm."
There was plenty of gusto on display Saturday when Nantes Reze hosted Lyon and won, 74-61.
Viktoria Mircheva had 16 points, Caroline Aubert 14 and France international Marielle Amant 12.
Bernadette Ngoyisa was also terrific for Nantes Reze with 13 points and seven rebounds.
COEURET BRINGS IN BASKO-MELNBARDE
Nantes Reze have replaced Troina by signing former Latvia national team captain Gunta Basko-Melnbarde.
What was Coeuret looking for in a replacement for Troina?
"Don't expect her to be the Messiah," Coeuret said.
"The most important thing is the group.
"I know that I lost a leader (in Troina), so the replacement must have this capacity.
"What's ideal is that she has already experienced the LFB (French league)."
Basko-Melnbarde has played for Tarbes (2004-06) and Montpellier (2006-08).
She was an important member of the Latvia national team that finished fourth at EuroBasket Women 2007 and then reached the Beijing Games via the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women.
She decided after last year's EuroBasket Women to retire from the national team.
Nantes Reze will play in Group D of the EuroCup Women with Dynamo - GUVD Novosibirsk, TSV 1880 Wasserburg and BBC Sint-Katelijne-Waver.
Their first game is at Wasserburg on 25 October.