by Leslie Anderson
After failing to advance past the quarters from 2004-2006, Bourges eliminated TEO Vilnius on Friday to return to the Final Four.
The berth to the semis has special meaning for veteran Celine Dumerc.
The 169-cm point guard is one of only two players remaining from last year's squad.
"It is true that it is appears to be exceptional but at the same time you must remember that the club has worked hard for the past four years to get where we are today," she said.
|Bourges defeated TEO Vilnius 60-54 on Friday to clinch a berth in the Final Four.|
"It has been three seasons in a row that we have been stopped in the quarterfinal and even if the team members have changed, we deserve our position among the top four clubs in Europe this season".
This is the seventh time in the club's history that they have qualified for the final four.
Dumerc, who is now in her fourth year with the French giants, will be making her first Final Four experience.
"This will be my first Final Four and I am delighted about," she said.
"We have shown this season that collectively we are very strong in defense, which in turn has caused many problems for our opponents offensively and as a result we work at lot on our defense."
One of Bourges strengths has been their depth, which was exemplified in Friday's win.
Dumerc fouled out, but reserve Florence Lepron filled in adequately.
"I am the starting point guard but I know that Florence Lepron is more than capable of running things in my absence," Dumerc said.
"She proved it in this game and with the rest of the team as they played to their strengths which more than compensated for my early departure with five fouls."
Bourges are now just two wins away from their first title since 2001.
"It is true that playing for a club that has such experience, you feel this through the club as they make everything available for us to work under the right conditions to achieve the best results," Dumerc said.
"The whole club works towards placing us as high as possible and when we are on the playing court we try and our best to give them back what they have given to us."