|02 February 2006|
Bourges guard Celine Dumerc was unable to hide her relief after the club managed to beat Wisla Can-Pack 77-69 in the first match of their EuroLeague Women eighth-final play-off.
The French side, who will travel to Poland on Friday for the second game in a bid to secure qualification to the quarter-finals, struggled to overcome their opponents on Tuesday night.
"This Polish side made the match very difficult," Dumerc declared on the club's website, www.bourgesbasket.com.
"But we were expecting it. In that sort of match you never win without fighting hard. The Poles were very relaxed whereas we were the favourites."
After winning the first quarter, they suffered a 0-12 deficit in the second before reaching half-time with only a seven-point advantage.
But Bourges' talent and experience prevailed in the end as Elodie Godin, the French international center who is expected to play at the FIBA World Championship for Women later this year in Brazil, had 17 points and 16 rebounds to give Bourges the lead.
Dumerc scored 15 points and made all three of her shots from the arc as Bourges did just enough to see off a determined Wisla.
"Wisla Can-Pack played with no pressure, they are well organised and have great individual players like Anna De Forge or their point guard (Jelena Skerovic), who disturbed us a lot," Dumerc added.
Of the other French teams participating at this stage of the competition, Valenciennes also won their first match by defeating Italian side Famila Schio 95-69 whereas Mondeville stumbled 62-44 at the hands of Czech outfit Brno.
Both teams will face their rivals again on Friday but Valenciennes boss Laurent Buffard has warned his side against the dangers of complacency.
"Our objective is to win our ticket to the quarter-finals in two matches, but we should be careful because the Italians are proud," Buffard said.