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Laura Hodges adds EuroCup title to her resume
Australian Opals veteran Laura Hodges has added a European title to her resume after her french side, Tango Bourges Basket, claimed their first EuroCup Women's Championship after sweeping 2015 champions Villeneuve d'Ascq.
Laura Hodges celebrating the 2016 EuroCup win | Credit: Tango Bourges Basket
Hodges has enjoyed many successful stints over the years across Europe, the WNBA and the WNBL. The veteran also has 3 Olympics under her belt and 2 World Championships. Taking away three bronze, two silver and the famous gold medal from those tournaments, Hodges has earned her status as one of the most important Opals members.
Her title as a EuroCup champion is just the latest success the Opal can add to her list of achievements.
Bourges won the first game of the two-leg series 51-40 on the road on 6 April. They managed to overcome a half time deficit to finish strongly and take the advantage heading into the deciding game 2 which was back at home.
At home, Bourges led from start to finish, eventually prevailing 54-53 in front of a 5,000-strong sold-out home crowd, with Hodges adding 2 points in 12 minutes off the bench.
Bourges' momentum was far too strong for Villeneuve and they capitalised on their opponents inability to score, making them pay. Bourges was the in-form team of the finals as they were able to beat the strongest teams by competitive margins. The scenes from the Le Prado stadium were full of celebrations, as their passionate fans were able to witness their home team win their first Championship. It was a great result after Bourges was unable to progress in the EuroLeague competition, one in which they have previously won three times.
Hodges averaged 9 minutes per game in the finals, delivering 5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game across the EuroCup season.
Hodges will soon make her way back to Australia to join the Opals in their training camps ahead of the Rio Olympics. Hodges is one of Australia's most quiet achievers, as she goes about her business and always gets the job done. Her depth of experience has made her a great leader among her fellow Opals, and no doubt that will be most important to the Rio campaign after the departure of one of our strongest leaders, Lauren Jackson.