France: Bouyant Bourges Travel To Hungary

21 March 2005
From Isabelle Rondeau, PA International

The trophy cabinet at French giants Bourges is full because of all of their successes over the years.

Winners of the competition in 1997, '98 and 2001, Bourges did not enter this year's tournament as favourites but a team with this kind of tradition is always going to be in the reckoning.

Our ambitions have never been low in this competition
Pierre Vincent

"Our ambitions have never been low in this competition," Bourges coach Pierre Vincent said to PA International.

To add more European silverware in 2005, Bourges must win in Hungary on Thursday at MiZo Pecsi, when the two sides battle in a Game Three quarter-final decider.

Vincent says he and his players are ready.

"I have recovered from our victory," Vincent said. "It now belongs to the past.

"The girls have rested since, they had time to savour the victory and enjoy the sun this weekend.

"We restart training tonight. They are ready, and I can't wait to be in Pecs."

Who would bet against Bourges after the last contest, when they built an 18-point first-half lead and cruised to a 61-48 triumph over the Hungarians.

There is plenty of incentive for Bourges, too.

The sides met at the same stage of the competition last year, and Pecs won 2-0, although they needed overtime to win the second contest.

Pecs, hoping to reach the EuroLeague Women's Final Four for the third time, won the first game this year against Bourges in Pecs 70-61.

One of the keys in Bourges' Game Two turnaround was the play of young French international Elodie Godin.

She was just one of nine in the opening game of the tie, but scored eight points and pulled down 15 rebounds in the next contest.

"We performed really well defensively in three halves of the first two matches, and there is no reason why we should not reproduce the same performance on Thursday," said Vincent.

"The victory will depend on our capacity to attack well. But a match is a match and we will see what happens."

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