NF1 Basketball final four ambitions for Roche Vendéé
The town of La-Roche-sur-Yon is in its fourth season of NF1 basketball and the club Roche Vendée is internationally known for its U16 international basketball tournament for boys (tournoi international du basket La-Roche-sur-Yon) and the Vendée Globe boat race.
Women’s basketball has been on the programme since 1972. The current structure of the club has been in place since 1997. French international Emmanuelle Hermouet played her youth basketball at Roche-Vendée.
Basketball news: Mathieu Chauvet finding success at Roche Vendée
Mathieu Chauvet took over the reigns of Roche Vendée last season (2008-2009) and turned the club from relegation candidates into championship contenders.
The club had been top of the NF1 basketball ladder during the early part of last season but ended up missing the NF1 final four play-off.
This season the club did not have the best of starts, just winning 2 of the first 7 games.
However they have picked up since to win 10 of the last 12 games. They have moved up to fourth place in the NF1 standings.
Roche Vendée have two players from the Slovak Republic on the roster with Livia Libicova who is in her third season at the club. She provides to the squad the veteran experience. Since the club’s revival she has come up with big number in points and rebounds.
Her fellow country women Gabriela Kubatova has finally made the adjustments to playing basketball in France. She is s becoming more consistent. Her three-point shooting ability has more than compensated for the loss of Jennifer Garland, who is on maternity leave this season.
Elodie Gérard who played at Nice last season has quickly settled at the club. With Mylène Balat, Elodie Demortier and Maïté Fouquez they provide the solid back court presence that has seen the club climb up the table.
Roche Vendée moving into NF1 basketball play-off picture
This weekend Roche Vendée won at home against Dunkerque (77-58) and have moved above Dunkerque in the table.
The margin of victory gives Roche Vendée a better aggregate score in the series. This may be important if the two teams finish with identical records at the end of the regular season.
Roche Vendée attacked their guests with fast breaks and alternative inside/outside plays to lead (19-10) at the end of the first quarter.
Dunkerque used up a lot of energy in stopping the fast breaks during the second quarter. But they struggled offensively and fell further behind by the break (23-37).
In the second half Mylène Balat connected from the land of many to keep the momentum in the hosts’ favour. Livia Libicova (right) and Balat continued to trouble Dunkerque.
With five minutes left to play in the quarter Elodie Demortier pinched a ball of Sonia Adler. She went to scorer to open up a 21-point advantage (50-29).
Roche Vendée had the control of the game and went into the final quarter leading (57-37). They pushed the lead up to 24 points at one stage.
Libicova led the scoring with 17 points for the hosts while Mariame Dia finished with a game high 18 points for Dunkerque.
Janeka Lopp (left) chose the right day to produce her best game of the season. She led with 20 points UHB-SA to victory (78-60) at home against Rennes.
After a tight first quarter in which Lopp scored 8 points, UHB were leading (20-18). They then stepped on the turbo at the start of the second quarter with an 11-0 run to go further ahead (31-18).
Rennes picked themselves up and went into the locker room trailing by 7 points (32-39). With three minutes played in the second half they had reduced the deficit to 3 points.
Emilie Duvivier started the UHB charge with back to back scores in a 10-0 run for the hosts to regain control of the game.
Rennes did not give up. They trailed by 7 points going into the final quarter. However an 8-0 run by UHB put an end to the contest.
Duvivier finished the game with 18 points and 5 assists while Clémence Beikes compiled a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Lorraine Lokoka was the best scorer for Rennes with 16 points.
With this victory UHB-SA stay in second place.
The rest of the NF1 basketball news
Charleville-Mézières were dominated for 39 minutes by their hosts Lyon BF. But they managed to take the game into overtime (61-61).
The last five minutes belonged to the leaders of NF1 as they went on to win (77-67).
Illkirch-Graffenstaden suffered against their hosts Tour and trailed (11-25) at the end of the first quarter. They fought back during the second quarter with a 12-0 run but still trailed by 5 points at the interval.
The SIG huffed and puffed for the rest of the game. They finally drew level for the first time in the game after 25 minutes of play and had to wait until the 38th minute to take the lead for good to win (67-59).
Majda Ghariani (right)was the player of the week. She scored 38 points as CSP Rézé beat Nice BC 06 (79-77).
Voiron got back to winning ways in beating US Laveyron (68-63) while Pleyber-Christ won at home (75-54) against Charnay-lès-Mâcon.
Reims made light work of the CFBB (83-44) with Floriane Herrscher and Fatou Dieng leading the way with 23 and 19 points each.
There are likely to be changes to NF1 basketball next season with the creation of the "Ligue de Développement de Basket" . This division will replace NF1 and be split into two groups of 12 teams.
If the proposals are excepted then the new structure will come into place for the 2010/2011 season. This implies that it is very unlikely that any of the teams in NF1 will be relegated while further eight teams will be promoted from NF2.
We will be writing more about the new structure once endorsed and what it implies for women’s basketball in France.
All the NF1 basketball results from round 19 of the 2009-2010 season are listed below: