|18 October 2011|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Ronny Turiaf missed the EuroBasket through injury, but stayed with is team-mates through the entire tournament, cheering them on all the way to the final|
ASVEL Villeurbanne have scooped up another French national team star thanks to the NBA lockout.
After signing point guard Tony Parker at the beginning of the month, ASVEL have added Ronny Turiaf to their squad.
"I'll do what is necessary to be in uniform as soon as possible because I really want to play and wear the jersey of ASVEL," he said.
"ASVEL is a great club which dominated France with Pau-Orthez in my younger years (at) INSEP.
"The current team has great potential."
Turiaf believes he can help the team with his defense and rebounding but can also score if necessary.
"I've always said I'm a chameleon," Turiaf said.
"For France, when I am asked to score, I score, when I am asked to defend, I defend.
"I adapt to situations.
"And if I am asked to score more points with ASVEL, it will not bother me at all!"
Turiaf had to withdraw from the national team after fracturing his left hand less than two weeks before the start of the EuroBasket in Lithuania.
The veteran center remained with the team for the rest of their preparations and the entire EuroBasket, cheering them on as they captured a silver medal.
He is excited to return to the court, and eager to wear the ASVEL colours.
Parker, 29, an ASVEL vice-president and shareholder since 2009, made his debut for the club on Friday and led the team to a 75-73 victory over Paris-Levallois, pouring in 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.
"As a competitor, I wanted to take responsibility because I wanted to win my first game and also the first game of (new coach) Pierre Vincent at home," he said.
Vincent, the long-time coach of Bourges in the EuroLeague Women, accepted an offer to coach ASVEL after the 2010-11 campaign.
He is also the coach of the French women's national team.
ASVEL will compete not just in the French top flight but also the Eurocup.
They played well but failed to clinch a spot in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague via the Qualifying Round.
Parker and Turiaf will play for ASVEL only until the end of the NBA lockout.
Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw, other key players in the French national side, are competing in the country as well during the NBA labor dispute.
Batum is on the books of Nancy and he is averaging 12 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest.
In the club's season-opening game at Dijon, Batum played all 40 minutes and poured in 17 points while also grabbing five rebounds in a 76-70 victory.
Then in Nancy's 67-62 win over Strasbourg, a team coached by France national team boss Vincent Collet, Batum struggled, making just two of his 12 shots from the floor and finishing with six points.
Diaw has signed for Bordeaux in France's Pro B and he had nine points and seven boards in the club's 79-78 win over Denain on September 30.
After missing the second week, Diaw returned for the home game against Evreux and scored eight points in a 76-56 rout.