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France: Bourges Win Sets Up Thriller For Wednesday

25.02.2006

GAME ON!

That's the best way to describe the EuroLeague Women quarter-final showdown between Bourges Basket and Gambrinus Sika Brno after the French giants' unexpected 75-65 win in the Czech Republic.

Catherine Melain, Bourges' outstanding French national team veteran, had one of her best games with a season-high 20 points.

The outcome levelled the series at 1-1 and set up a mouth-watering decider between two of the established forces in the women's game on Wednesday.

Bourges, with three crowns in the EuroLeague Women since 1997, will take on Gambrinus, the team that pushed Volgaburmash to the limit in last year's title game before a heart-breaking loss.

Gambrinus have made five appearances in the last six final fours and they are loaded with Czech players who won the EuroBasket Women in Turkey last year.

Hana Machová (Brno)
Hana Machová scored 18 points for Gambrinus in the second game
"We have to play much better on defence on Wednesday and we have to be more aggressive on offence, certainly," said Gambrinus guard Hana Machova.

"We have to battle."

Pierre Vincent, the Bourges boss, showed why he is at the helm of one of Europe's biggest clubs.

After a very close first game which Gambrinus won 62-59, he altered the team's approach.

"We changed our tactics after the first game and that worked well," he said.

"We played very well on defense when Brno's shooters did not have space to get good shots."

Gambrinus were just 24 of 58 (41.37%) from the floor, 15 of 38 (39.5%) inside the arc.

"Brno have an excellent team but they were very nervous," Vincent said.

"Nothing is decided right now. We just made up for our mistake from the home game."

Gambrinus boss Jan Bobrovsky was befuddled by his team's performance in the defeat.

"My players were under mental pressure and they did not handle it well at the beginning of the game," he said to www.basket.idnes.cz.

"I do not understand why we played like this.

"We played very poorly - mostly on defense and that helped our opponents a lot.

"We got nothing against their defense for the entire 40 minutes."

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