ESB Lille On The Mend

28 November 2007

ESB Lille Metropole coach Abdou N'Diaye is confident his players will have recovered mentally from last week's drubbing at the hands of CSKA Moscow by the time they take on Phard Napoli in the EuroLeague Women on Thursday.
The French side were taught a lesson by the Russian giants, who won 99-48 to stay unbeaten in Group A.

ESB, in their first season back in the EuroLeague, are still finding their feet at this level and N'Diaye was not too discouraged by the result.

He even feels it will do his side some good in the long run.

"Their size, their physique, their rhythm and skill - they won all those battles," N'Diaye said of CSKA, one of the favourites for the title this season.

"In the dressing room afterwards, I couldn't reproach my girls. We saw the difference between a great team who play at an international level and one in the process of being constructed.

"There is always going to be a gap between the sky and the ground! When you want to grow, you have to accept that you are going to go through difficult times.

"Despite the margin of defeat, the girls continued to play. I don't think we will suffer from it mentally."

The defeat put the Lille side on a 1-2 record, a point ahead of winless Phard.

ESB's only victory so far came in their opener against MKB Euroleasing, but they did beat fellow EuroLeague participants USO Mondeville 74-65 in France's Ligue Feminine at the weekend.

Phard have lost three on the trot and already face a tough task if they are to make the top four in the group.

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