At last the 2009 NF1 basketball regular season champions are known
NF1 Basketball: Limoges ABC celebrate NF1 regular season title (Photo: Olivier Saare)
For Bertrand Parvaud the suspense is over as Limoges have won the 2009 NF1 basketball regular season.
Limoges have won the right to play in the Ligue Féminine de BasketBall (LFB) next season.
Parvaud will have to enjoy the freedom of casual dress code for the remaining games for this season because once in the LFB he will have to wear a suit and tie while coaching.
Limoges had to work hard for their victory Limoges playing in front of a capacity crowd beat US Laveyron (71-60) in a hard earned evening work.
Laveyron who are fighting to stay out of the relegation zone scored the first points of the game through Cypriot international Kalia Papadopoulou.
Limoges quickly responded with 6 straight points but then lost out (13-2) to their guests to trail (8-15) with five minutes played.
Marie-Frédérique Ayissi (right) did all she could for Limoges as her side finished the first period down by a single point (18-19).
US Laveyron refused to allow their hosts to settle during the second period despite falling behind (22-26). Then they went on a 12-point run to go into the interval ahead (34-29).
The third period was not pretty to watch as both sides battled in the paint. The guests started to tire and Limoges to chip away at the score.
As the game became more physical, the complaints from the players on the bench became more vocal.
Unfortunately for Laveyron this resulted in a technical foul. This incident seemed to have drained all the energy from the players from guests.
Limoges took full advantage of the situation and took the lead for good with 29 minutes played and led (48-43) going into the final period.
Limoges controlled the final period and led by 14 points at one stage before settling for an 11-point victory.
The NF1 final four will be played at the Palais de Sport de Beaublanc in Limoges and not in the winner's own area.
When things are not working just, then ask Audrey Koop
Illkirch-Grafenstaden will finish the season in second place after their victory against US Colomiers (86-64).
Once again Allison Verneray (left) will be in the headlines as the match winner with 28 points, 11 rebounds, 4 steals and 1 block. But she was not the hero of this game despite finishing the game with a suspected fracture.
It is not often that the SIG are out rebounded in a game and have problems hitting free-throws.
This game did not start well for them as they were 0-from-4 from the free-throw line within 90 seconds and 2-of-7 after two minutes. In addition they were also having a bad time shooting from distance.
Furthermore the SIG were losing the battle of the boards. So it was Audrey Koop (right) who does not play as many minutes these days that calmed her youngsters down and changed the tempo of the game.
She led by example as she made passes to Verneray and Céline Schmitt-Sender in the paint for the two players to combine for 9-of-9 in the first half.
Koop dished out 4 assists and the SIG led (42-37) at the interval.
The game changed during the second half but the SIG was now in control. When Koop scored her only points of the game with about two minutes to play, you would have thought she had hit a game winning buzzer beater.
She finished with 2 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals for her evening work as captain. The SIG will play Armentières in the NF1 basketball final four semi-final.
The rest of the NF1 basketball news
Nice Cavigal Olympic
Etoile de Voiron
Toulouse required a last second effort from Emmanuelle Hermouet to beat Strasbourg ABC (61-58) while Charleville-Mézières ran out easy winners (93-75) against Pleyber-Christ.
Toulouse remain in fourth place and provided they win their last game of the season next week against Voiron they will qualify for the final four.
For Charleville-Mézières they will host Illkirch-Grafenstaden next week. They have to win this match and hope for a defeat by Toulouse to reach the NF1 basketball play-offs.
For Roche Vendée the season is ending badly. They lost away to Voiron (55-77).
For Voiron this victory moves them out of the relegation zone, although they have the same record as US Laveyron.
Voiron have a difficult last match against Toulouse while US Laveyron travel to Armentières.
Rennes' relegations problems are over after beating Nice (85-65).
Ifs became the third team to be mathematically relegated after losing at home to third place Armentières.