Another difficult task is waiting for us on French soil on Wednesday evening at 8 pm. Bourges is capable of defeating anyone at home, even though their results are not that strong yet this year.
The two teams with the longest past in Euroleague will face each other on Wednesday. We played the icon of French basketball in the 1999/2000 season for the first time. Both sides came away win one win each. The rivalry has been balanced ever since, out of 16 games we won 8 and so did they. Home court has proven to be decisive in this duel. We could only beat Bourges once on their home court, which was the first serious step towards Euroleague Final4 back then. We scored 1025 points against them and conceded 1132. Speaking of this season: We stand at the third place in our group with a 4-2 record, while our hosts are at 7th with a 1-5 record. Although this might be misleading, because they only fell short by a couple of points in all of their lost games, so they might just need a bit of luck. Let's hope they won't find it on Wednesday.
The French club who are always working with a wide rotation underwent a serious rebuilding process, and just like us, they are working with a loft of talented young players besides the experienced ones. Their results show that this noble quest full of obstacles isn't easy at all. They need time and patience which we can also confirm.
The role of the head coach is filled by former Basket Landes coach Olivier Lafargue looking for new goals after 13 years on the bench of his former club. They put together quite the roster for him, which is expected to do great things. They are rotating nine players, who spend an average of around twenty minutes on court. No less than five of their players is a member of the French national team. They have the two most promising French talents Marine Johannés and Alexia Chartereaux on their squad. The experience of 32-year-old Elodie Godin and Canadian signing Katherine Plouffe can mean a lot to them. Speaking further about the French part of the team we must mention 189 cm big man Diandra Thatchouang, the scoring expert yet still 23 years old Valeriane Ayayi whom they managed to get from Lille, and Saraj Michel, who is also a very efficient scorer, and completed a great season in Euroleague last year with BLMA already. Kristen Brooke Sharp represents experience with her 36 years of age, unlike 27-year-old point guard Cristina Ouvina, who was also born in a basketball nation, namely the Spanish.
The game which was chosen as the Game of the Day tips off at 8 pm. in Bourges. It can be followed via live stream on YouTube, and on our club's Facebook page as well. Those who want to join fans in watching the game together can do so in City Coffee Lounge next to Novomatic Aréna.
We asked Virág Weninger to share her expectations about the game before the team left for France on Tuesday morning.