Basketball Coupe de France Trophy - Trophée Coupe de France
Two more games before the final of the Trophée Coupe de France féminine
The Trophée Coupe de France féminine, the amateur version of the French cup, is in its fourth season. It has finally established itself as an important event in the French Basketball calendar.
Dunkerque, the first winners of this trophy in 2005, did not have the opportunity to defend their title as they were promoted to NF1 in the same year. The 2006 winners Perpignan have since dropped down a division. The 2007 winners AJS Ouistreham are not in a hurry to let the trophy go. They are one of eight clubs still battling for a place in the final.
The four teams from group A are:
COB Calais Espoir, US Laveyron, AJS Ouistreham, Cercle Saint Paul Rezé (NF2).
COB Calais (NF3, +7) - US Laveyron (NF2)AJS Ouistreham (NF2) - Cercle Saint Paul Rezé (NF2)
COB Calais Espoir have had an incredible cup run this season. So far they have already knocked out four teams from NF2 and will not be intimidated by their opponents. COB Calais will have the opportunity of fielding their strongest line-up for this match because they have players from the first team who are eligible for this competition.
US Laveyron have dominated their group in NF2 this year and have an objective of playing in NF1 next season. They were one of the first clubs to book their ticket for the play-off in NF2. Furthermore Laveyron have not lost a game all season. They will start their quarter-final match against Calais with a 7-point handicap.
AJS Ouistreham lost some key players at the end of last season. Their winning coach, who just happened to be the wife of Hervé Coudray, the head coach at USVO, also left the club. Their league form this season has been patchy. They were never in the battle of a play-off spot. Although when it comes to cup competition the team metamorphose into a winning machine. The club has good links to Mondeville. A number of players have been joining their club at senior level after spending the youth career at Mondeville.
Leslie Veron (left)is looking forward to a another trip to Paris Bercy.
In the last few years the teams from Brittany (Bretagne) have become more competitive on a national level. Cercle Saint Paul Rezé's achievement in reaching the quarter-final has not made the headline like most of the teams left in the competition.
Rezé now have the chance this weekend to show their qualities as they take on the holders in the second quarter-final. With their play-off hopes dashed in the last week in March against Val de Loire, they have been concentrating on the cup competition.
Nice Côte d'Azur will be with Sabine Falcoz who was playing at the very top in the LFB and NF1. Nice have never hidden their ambitions for this competition. In the last round against Toulouse they won (108-89). They will certainly not hold back against their opponents. Nice have also qualified for the NF2 play-off.
Stade Poitevin have a solid team. When Pauline Rimbaud and Kristina Karklina are firing on all cylinders, then they are very difficult to manoeuvre.
The game between these two sides has all the ingredients to be the game of the weekend. If both teams just play open offensive basketball, the spectators will be in for a treat and a potentially high scoring basketball Coupe de France match.
The SIG have lost two Trophée Coupe de France finals. They are the book makers favourites to qualify again. The SIG have had a good season in NF2. They have already won their group and are looking to keep their form for the play-off. Hélène Kuissu (in picture) looks forward to one more trip to the final. Villeurbanne are the third team from NF2 group A in the quarter-final. They are a young side and their inconsistency in the league never put them in a position to challenge the leader of their group. In the cup they play a different game. Villeurbanne have qualified for the first time in their history for the quarter-final of this competition.
The match-up between the SIG in red and the ASVBF in green will be very physical: the experience of the SIG against the youth exuberance of ASVBF.
The winner of each quarter-final match will meet on Sunday for the semi-final.
The final will take place on Saturday, 17th May at Paris Bercy.