French Trio Advance To Quarters

23 January 2014

There were celebrations across France as Nantes Reze, Villeneuve d'Ascq and Basket Landes punched the last three remaining tickets for the quarter-finals of EuroCup Women.

The most dramatic of the three games involved Basket Landes who produced the goods down the stretch, as a late surge helped them take a 72-63 win against Tarsus Belediye.

With the visitors holding a two point lead from the first-leg, a spot in the last eight of the competition was still very much open with five minutes to go and Basket Landes

11. Valeriane Ayayi (France)
Valeriane Ayayi produced an all-around performance to help Basket Landes reach the last eight

63-59 in front.

The home side had Danielle Page to thank for sending them through, after she scored seven consecutive points in the last couple of minutes to seal the deal. And she was certainly the hero, finishing with a magnificent 24 points and 12 rebounds.

But there were several other impressive performers, including FIBA  Europe Young Women's Player of the Year nominee Valeriane Ayayi. The teenager had an all-action 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Natasha Lacy did her best to inspire Tarsus with an excellent 25 points and seven assists.

Villeneuve d'Ascq are chasing the title in the French League and they showed their quality by building on their modest four point lead from game one with a comprehensive 86-40 rout of Horizont Minsk in the second leg.

The home side were on top from tip to buzzer and never looked back after storming into a 28-11 lead during a first quarter which gave them the perfect foundation for victory.

And, they were just as rampant in the second half as they turned the defensive screw on a woeful shooting night for the visiting team.  Belarus national team player Natalia Anufryienka also fouled out in the third quarter to extinguish any genuine chance of shock comeback.

Villeneuve also had too much in the paint with Emma Meesseman and Laetitia Kamba both excelling. The former had 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists, whilst Kamba produced a double-double of 14 points and ten boards.

Johanne Gomis top scored for the winning team with 17 points and Tatyana Troina replied with 11 points in defeat.

Tarbes Gespe Bigorre restored some pride on home soil with an improved display helping to achieve a rare draw against Nantes Reze.

However, the 57-57 result wasn't enough to prevent the visitors advancing, having cruised to a crushing 18 point win in the first meeting.

Sylvie Gruszczynski helped Tarbes avoid defeat after draining a three-pointer with 11 seconds left on the game clock.

Ukrainian forward Viktoria Mircheva had 12 points and the same number of rebounds, whilst Cayla Francis finished with 14 points and nine boards for Nantes.


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