2005 FIBA Europe Cup winners Phard Napoli met their first real test of the 2006 EuroLeague Women season on Thursday night against 2004 champions Valenciennes.
After defeating Polish side Wisla Can-Pack in their first game, Napoli found the going against French champions Valenciennes considerably tougher, despite playing at home.
It didn't take long for Valenciennes to establish their authority.
A Vicky Bullet lay-up gave Napoli some hope at the start of the second quarter, but a jump shot from Sandrine Gruda sparked an offensive outburst from the French which saw them take firm control.
Valenciennes outscored Napoli 16-6 following Gruda's shot and closed the half ahead, 21-34.
It was plain sailing from that point on for the French.
The nearest Napoli got was within 5 points but any threat of a comeback was quickly snuffed out as Valenciennes closed the game 22-10 in the final 10 minutes to win 50-69.
Slobodanka Tuvic led Valenciennes with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Grudin and Vedrana Grgin Fonseca added 13 each.