Our team will be facing a new challenge from 8 pm on Wednesday. LDLC ASVEL Feminin the new French champions aim to take over the lead role in the league from Bourges in the long run. Tony Parker standing behind the club is a strong basis for that.
The company led by Tony Parker that operated the men's team in the city has bought the club in the spring of 2017 when they were on the edge of relegation from the first division. Their goal was to create a top team that could end Bourges's reign in France and can grow to become a solid participant on international level as well.
In the first season they immediately showed themselves by making it to the semi-finals, and last year they became champions. With all the success the sponsorship has also widened opening more possibilities for them.
Valéry Demory who has done a great job in Montpellier for a decade got a strong roster in her hands. It also matters that the champion team stayed almost completely together. In the summer two French national team members have arrived: the center Helena Ciak and and Marine Johannes who has already made her mark in the WNBA. Only they had to be integrated into the well-oiled machine. The building process is visible, in which talented French players have a big role. Besides Tanqueray, Salagnac, Turcinovic, and Badiane they have four outstanding international players to make them stronger. The biggest name is WNBA champion Alysha Clark who also has an Israeli passport stopping whom has been difficult for us before when she played for Polkowice. The America star has suffered an injury to her thigh muscles, and her return was predicted to happen in November. They surely won't rush anything, so before the break due to the FIBA International qualifiers window they might not use her on Wednesday. Belgian point guard Julie Allemand, Brazilian center Clarissa Dos Santos and Canadian Michelle Plouffe are all important pieces in the jigsaw for Lyon.
They felt the absence of Clark on the international stage, so even though they were matched with Kursk and Schio for 30 minutes they lost both games. However, at home they showed their worth, and sent Spanish side Girona packing with a 22-point victory.
They have a big offensive potential with all the creativity they have in their players, but with some good defense they can be distracted. Surely Johannes remembers last year's Euroleague quarter finals where as the leader of Bourges we gave her a hard time and destroyed their FINAL4 dreams.
Let's turn towards our team. On Sunday we played well in Zalaegerszeg even in the absence of some important players, but Euroleague is different. Our job is made more difficult by Briann and Jeca's injury that proved more serious than expected. If they won't be eligible to play we can expect especially difficult 40 minutes Wednesday night. We talked to the latter after the Monday morning practice.
The game can be followed from 8 pm via live online statistics at the competition's website, and via live video streaming on the FIBA Youtube channel.