The 2008 Basketball Coupe de France finals preview
The finals of the Basketball Coupe de France will be decided at the Paris Bercy Arena 7: the Cadettes Stabilo Coupe for the U18, Trophée Coupe de France for the amateur women and finally the Coupe de France – Trophée Joë Jaunay for the elite women.
Basketball Coupe de France Cadettes
The final is between the defending champions US Valenciennes Olympic (USVO) and USO Mondeville (USOM).
Mondeville have won this cup on two occasions with the last victory back in 2005. Last weekend Mondeville won the national final four for the fourth consecutive year and will hope to end Didier Godefroy's first year in charge with the double. This will be the last opportunity for Melissa Micaletto and Marion Charterau to add the one piece of silverware missing from their collection.
USVO are back in the final with most of the players that won the title last year. Sarah Michel is no longer eligible for this age group. But with Aminata Konate leading the way they have an adequate replacement.
Although the two sides have played each other this season during the second phase of the national championships, a high number of players on display this weekend did not play in either match.
The key battle in this game will be between the two point guards, Konate for USVO and Micaletto for USOM. The last time both players faced off during national finals, they were both playing U15 basketball. Konate was then a member of the all conquering Paris Basket 18 club that won the national championship that defeated the team of Micaletto, at the time the SIG, on the way to the final.
Basketball Coupe de France – Trophée Coupe de France féminine
The SIG have taken out a subscription in this competition as they are back in the final for the third year. With their promotion to NF1 assured they will not be playing in this competition next season. They will face US Leveyron who have also won promotion to NF1 after eliminating Furdenheim.
Both sides have players that have played in the LFB and NF1 with some of them passing through Racing Club Strasbourg.
The SIG are looking for their first major honour after years of close misses. While the seniors play for the amateur French cup, the U15 side will be looking to qualify for the national final four for the third time.
Basketball Coupe de France féminine
Bourges Basket recovered quickly from their defeats in the EuroLeague Women's final four to win the domestic honours. First up was the Federation Cup (Tournoi de la Fédération). They then went on to win their 8th French Championship by beating Lattes-Montpellier in two games. Bourges have only been beaten once domestically this season and only lost three games in 2008. They have beaten Villeneuve d'Ascq five times this season and will be looking to making it for the sixth time this weekend.
Villeneuve have had a tough season and have not been able to find the consistency of last season. They struggled in the earlier games during the EuroLeague Women which appeared to have effected their domestic form. However they turned things around in the second half of the season and moved up from tenth place to finish in fourth position at the end of the regular season. They also won their first ever game during the Tournoi de la Fédération to take third place. Abdou N'Diaye knows what it takes to win the French Cup final. While coaching Aix-en-Provence he had pleasure of lifting the cup in 2000.
Géraldine Robert's rise from playing basketball in England and Wales to one of the most entertaining players in the LFB is well documented. She is a player that enjoys the big occasions and her battle against the twin towers of Bourges will be one of the highlights of the game.