Arras, Ramla Battle For Supremacy

24.03.2011

EuroCup Women - Live Online

4. Shay Doron (Elitzur Ramla)
Shay Doron and Elitzur Ramla travel to France to take on Arras in the decisive second Final

Late Thursday night, either Arras or Elitzur Ramla will be celebrating the finest moment in their history (watch live on FIBA Europe TV).

One of the sides will be crowned champions of the EuroCup Women.

Judging from the first leg last week in Israel and the previous games in this season's competition, anything can happen in France.

For Arras, just making it to the Finals has been an amazing accomplishment.

They were in quite a predicament on February 24, when they hosted the first leg of their Semi-Final tie against Chevakata.

Behind 50-29 late in the third quarter, the French team, roared on by their home fans, battled back and ended up winning, 67-66.

In the second leg in Russia, France international Johanne Gomis buried a jump shot in the waning seconds to leave the game level at 67-67, a result that gave Arras a one-point win on aggregate.

Bruno Blier's team then showed their performance on the road had not been a fluke because they travelled to Israel for the opening leg of the Finals last week and led by 12 points in the fourth quarter.

However, Ramla had a great finish to the game and knotted the contest at 61-61 by the end to leave all to play for in France on Thursday night.

"It will be a great challenge to play in front of Arras' amazing crowd and home-court advantage," Ramla coach Adan Inbar said to Basketball World News.

"Also now, both teams know each other better and it will be a great battle between two great teams."

If Ramla can lift the trophy, they will be worthy winners.

The Israeli club had to knock off defending champions Sony Athinaikos in the Semi-Finals and then came from behind last week.

"I am confident in my team," Inbar said.

"May the best team take the cup!"

Coming Out Of Nowhere

Arras certainly are not among the most famous of clubs in France.

They are minnows in every sense of the word.

Arras have only been in the top flight for four years.

Anyone that ventures into the tiny French town on Thursday will walk into one that is bathed in pink because that is the club color.

The run in the EuroCup Women has fueled a lot of interest in the team, and not just in Arras.

No French team has won a European trophy since Valenciennes captured the 2004 EuroLeague Women.

France international Marielle Amant said: "The club has grown gradually.

"Four years ago, people did not know there was basketball at Arras.

"Our fans are growing like crazy.

"But you have to calm down.

"We have not won anything yet."


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