|22 June 2013|
EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013
By Joe Hewison
|Emilie Gomis will have plenty of work facing Tatsiana Likhtarovich on the wing|
Belarus and France meet in their final second round games with top spot in Group F up for grabs.
Last Time Out: France remained unbeaten with 64-49 defeat of the Czech Republic after Belarus bounced back from two straight defeats to beat Great Britain 71-61.
Key Match-Up: One area Belarus could potentially hurt France is from the shooting guard position. Tatsiana Likhtarovich has offered a good scoring threat to compliment Belarus' strong inside game whereas France have relied heavily on their bigs. Emilie Gomis could have her work cut out stifling Likhtarovich while also being required to contribute more offensively.
Key Stat: France (30.2 per-game) and Belarus (30) rank first and second in defensive rebounds in this competition so far. The battle on the boards is going to be a huge deciding factor in this game with both teams strong on the offensive glass too.
X-Factor: Celine Dumerc has not yet been required to reach the levels of performance that made her FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year. However, should Belarus put up the type of stiff test they are capable of, this game could come down to who can hit the big shots with the game on the line and in Dumerc, France have the best person for the job.
From The Camps:
Belarus center Yelena Leuchanka said: "France are a great team with great players and great coaching. We just have to come out ready. The are playing at home, which is a big advantage but we have some things that we have to work on and just come out and play our game."
France Head Coach Pierre Vincent said: "We have three different types of teams in our group. Croatia play an open court game with pick-and-roll situations, it is difficult to push them to play for 24 seconds. Czech Republic are tough inside, big and athletic inside and Belarus are strong inside with more abilities to score from inside.
"They are also prepared with a certain way of applying with lots of set offences, screens, more complicated so it will be interesting for us to adjust."