Pouye lights up opening win and just wants to keep getting better
KLATOVY (Czech Republic) - Tima Pouye was one of the standout performers on the opening day at the FIBA U20 Women's European Championship 2019 to get France off to a flying start.
The 20-year-old guard showed off her shooting prowess with a quick-fire 10-point blitz at the start of the third quarter and finished with 22 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in the 77-50 victory over Germany.
Mid-range jumper; corner three; long-range jumper; corner three (from the other side). Nothing but net.
All catch-and-shoot situations in a devastating two-and-a-half minute stretch with Pouye's teammates finding the hot-hand to stretch the lead out to 19 points.
"We're very happy," she said post-game. "It’s just the first game, but a good start and we need to keep our focus.
"It was a team effort. I felt really good and had a lot of confidence in my shooting. I have an important role on the team and just try to do my best to help us win."
Pouye led France with 12.7 points per game in Sopron last summer and carries extra responsibility as one of just three returning players from that squad - along with Emmanuelle Tahane and Naomi Mbandu.
A tough 51-50 loss in the Quarter-Finals against eventual champions Spain is tough to forget with France ending up in 6th place a year ago.
"I learned a lot from the experience last year. This time, there are a lot of very good teams again. I try to remember last year and get better and hopefully we can do well here.
"The important thing is to stay together and play hard every game. Our team spirit is key for us."
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Pouye has caught the eye with her performances in EuroCup Women having averaged 27.5 minutes per game during the 2018-19 season in the competition as Tarbes provide their young prospects with plenty of opportunities to shine.
Returning for another year - alongside fellow French rising stars in Marine Fauthoux and Marie Pardon - Pouye is determined to continue her development from recent seasons, and take her game to the next level.
"It has been a very good experience for me playing EuroCup," she said. "Of course it helps playing against different styles for a tournament like this.
"My ambition is just to keep improving my basketball and to get better all the time."
Pouye has made her mark on the tournament early and will want to continue to shine in Klatovy as France chase a return to the podium for the first time since 2015.
With bigger challenges to come, Pouye's wealth of international experience having played two summers at U16, U18 and now U20 level - as well as U17 and U19 World Cups - could prove crucial for her side.