At the recently concluded Open LFB Pierre Vincent, the head coach of Bourges Basket, was presented with the trophy as coach of the year.
He has been Bourges’ head coach for the last four seasons and in 2006 led his side to a domestic grand slam and has been ending the five-year hold of USVO as the French Champions. Last season the club successfully defended the Federation cup but had to hand their other domestic titles back to USVO as they were defeated in the final of the French Cup at Paris Bercy and lost out in the final championship play-off series.
(Picture courtesy of Allée/HS/FFBB)
After three seasons of being knocked out in the EuroLeague Women quarterfinal, last season Pierre Vincent finally took his side into the final 4.
We managed to meet up with him after his presentation and speak briefly about his LFB team roster and the club’s expectation for the coming season., the promotion of women’s basketball with events such as the Open and the new play-off system:
"Compared to the previous season we have not changed the squad so much this year. The core of last year’s squad is still in place and we have added four players so that we will have a roster of 11: In the team we have recruited some young players with a lot of potential, a French one (Ana Chitiga, U18 and U20) and a foreign youth player, a 18 year-old with international experience (Sonja Petrovic). I believe that we will be a lot more effective and dangerous from the perimeter but remain stable inside.
Obviously the club is expecting a lot from us because we did well last season but people thought we could have done better if especially Céline (Dumerc) had not been hurt at the end of the season. They are still expecting more from us. And there is a lot of pressure on the team. Despite all this it is what we do on the court that counts and we will see what Bourges 2007 - 2008 can do starting from tomorrow at 6:00 pm.
I will mention about the positive and less positive things: With the current event, the Open LFB, we have managed to fill the hall here in Coubertin, Paris for the two days (Saturday and Sunday) which is excellent news and wonderful for the organisation. Unfortunately the start of the event was dampened slightly due to ambiguity in the form of information given. But all the same I hope that it will end well and that it will give a good impression of women’s basketball in France here at the Open. The Open itself is developing well and shows that women’s professional sport in France can work."
Pierre Vincent comments on the new play-off system:
"I am not against any of the play-off systems. The play-off system with 12 teams is fine if all the teams participate correctly. What happened in the last two seasons is that the teams that could not hold on to their Americans were not as competitive as they could not present their best team. This spoilt the play-offs as they could not compete equally and this resulted in a number of blow-outs which was not interesting. So moving on to a play-off system for the championship with only four teams is a good option."
You can listen to his comments in French below:
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