NF1 basketball is back without any fireworks

In France the basketball season starts with NM1 basketball for men and NF1 basketball for women.

The 16 teams will battle it over 30 weeks with the winner of the regular season winning the right to play in the LFB next season.

The three other teams that finish in the top 4 will qualify for the NF1 final four.

The winner of the final four will be crowned champions of France; and if the winning team is different to the regular season champion, they will also be promoted to the LFB.

In the last two seasons, the winners of the regular season, Nantes-Rezé (2008) and Limoges (2009) came out second best to Basket Landes and Armentières respectively.

Some weeks during the regular season we will write about a team of the week. This week we have chosen Pleyber-Christ and you will be able to read our story by following this link or scrolling down the page.

What happened during the first weekend of NF1 basketball

Etoile de Voiron Féminin 2009-2010 ready to go © Etoile de Voiron Féminin

Etoile de Voiron Féminin opened their campaign with a victory for their new coach Thierry Dornez (80-65) against NF1 basketball newcomers Charnay-Macon.

Voiron went into the interval leading (39-31) and thanks to 16 points from Nadja Morgan went into the final period leading (55-45).

Rennes won the Brittany derby against Pleyber-Chirst by 30 points, while Union Hainaut showed no mercy against Nice BC 06 with a 25-point victory(74-49).

TVL (Tours), as they are known locally, won their first ever match at this level (66-54) against the CFBB.

Dessislava Anguelova who is 39 years old and more than 20 years older than the eldest player from the CFBB, gave a little lesson in the art of point-guard play.

With Tours leading by just 3 points at the end of the first period, Anguelova was called into action. By the end of the second period, her side led by 14 points (42-28).

The CFBB made a comeback during the third period. But with Clarisse M’Paka leading the way with 19 points and 9 rebounds and Delphine Lecoultre adding 11 points, Tours survived.

Charleville Mézières had to wait until the third period to get the better of Roche Vendée and went on to record a good road win (73-51).

It is not often that a winning team playing away from home turns the ball over 25 times, 10 times more than their opponents and run out winners. However this is what happened to the SIG as they beat CSP Rezé (66-53).

Céline Schmitt-Sendner fired in 27 points for Illkirch-Graffenstadem which included the only three-pointer of the night for the guests.

CSP were without Sandrina Ronot and Manute Larissa. They never recovered from allowing their guests the first 9 points of the game.

Stéphane Lalart © FFBB/Jean Francois Molliere-Ciamillo&CastorialDunkerque huffed and puffed their way to a road victory against Reims (73-59). Dunkerque always appeared to be in control but only went into the final quarter leading (53-49).

Reims who only have a roster of six players were unable to match their opponents in the final period and ended up losing the game despite the 21 points of Floriane Herrscher.

FC Lyon continued from where they left off in NF2 with a (81-72) victory against US Laveyron with Julie Legoupil (right) leading the scoring with 23 points for Lyon.

Lyon dominated the first period and led (25-10). Laveyron spent the rest of the game chasing after the score.

Team of the week: Pleyber-Christ

When it comes to amateur basketball in NF1 then Pleyber-Christ is a prime example. The team is made up of many students and civil servants.

They train if possible three times a week during the regular season. Even the coach Franck Simon has a full time job.

Of the established clubs in NF1 basketball, they have the lowest budget. They have a loyal fan base between 500-600 fans and their home games are normally sold out.

Visiting clubs do not like to play in Pleyber-Christ during November until March as it is the coldest arena in NF1. It is common for players sitting on the bench to be wearing their coats. However this is what makes NF1 so challenging on and off the court.

What are some of the professions of players at Pleyber-Christ?

Pleyber-Christ trains three times a week during the regular season due to the fact that many of the players and the coach himself are students or have other jobs.

Franck Simon head coach at pleyber-Christ© Franck Simon (left), the coach, has a full time job away from Pleyber-Christ as a CTS for basketball in the region. His role as a coach at is purely voluntary.

Caroline Le Fé, who is one of the oldest members of the squad, is a school teacher and has played for the club like most of the players since their youth. She was injured during pre-season and had to have an operation that will keep her out for a while.

Sapeur-pompier Mélanie Vernier (fire fighter) is known for her rainbow three-pointers. She has been able to fit her training around fire duty and is normally off duty during the weekends for playing matches.

Aude Kernevez, Alexandra Thos and Malgorzata Puc are all students at the university in Brest.

Pleyber-Christ 2009-2010 © Pleyber-Christ Pleyber-Christ’s first home game of the season was a Brittany derby against Avenir de Rennes. When the two clubs met last April, Pleyber-Christ saved their NF1 basketball status with a hard fought victory (77-57).

However Pleyber-Christ were unable to repeat the victory as they fell (57-87) at home despite leading by as many as 12 points early in the game.

The home fans had something to cheer about as their side led (18-13) by the end of the first period.

Rennes got their act together in the second quarter and took control of the game as they went into the locker room ahead (41-31).

Pleyber-Christ were hampered with foul problems and Rennes went into the final period leading (62-49).

The last quarter was one-way traffic for Rennes as they cruised to victory.

For Pleyber-Christ fire fighter Venier top scored with 18 points and was joined in double digits by Naignouma Coulibaly who had a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.

For Rennes Emmanuelle Gorjeu led the scoring with 15 points. She was joined in double digits by Yvette Assilaméhou, Lorraine Lokoka and Milijana Evtoukhovitch with 14, 12 and 11 points respectively.

All the results from the first round of games in 2009-2010 for the Nationale Féminine 1 are listed below:

Roche Vendée 51-73 Charleville Mézières
CSP Rezé 53-66 Illkirch-Graffenstaden

Voiron 80-65 Charnay-Macon
Reims 59-73 Dunkerque

Hainaut 74-49 Nice BC
Lyon 81-72 US Laveyron

Tours (TVL) 66-54 CFBB
Pleyber-Christ 57-87 Rennes

Return from NF1 Basketball Nationale Féminine 1 to index page

Return from NF1 Basketball news to women playing basketball blog page

NF1 Basketball Previews for 2009-2010

part 1: Hainaut, Reims, SIG and Charleville-Mézières

part 2: La Roche-sur-Yon, Nice BC 06, Dunkerque and Rennes

Part 3: Voiron, Laveyron, Pleyber-Christ and CFBB

part 4: FC Lyon, CSP Rezé, Charnay-Macon and Tours

NF1 basketball picture credits:
FFBB/Jean Francois Molliere-Ciamillo&Castorial
Etoile de Voiron Féminin
Pleyber-Christ Basket Club

Date: 14 September 2009

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