Gaiters Perno To Lead Francophonie Team
Thehead coach of the Bishop’s Gaiters women’s basketball team, Alex Perno will take on a new offseason challenge as he has been chosen to lead the Canada-Quebec women’s basketball squad at the Francophonie Games this year. The seventh edition of the games will take place from September 6-15, 2013 in Nice, France.
Perno just completed his fifth season at the helm of the Lady Gaiters and becomes the first male coach to lead the CanadaQuebec women’s team at the Francophonie Games in the last decade. He has been an assistant coach at two previous games; 2009 in Beirut, Lebanon and 2001 in Ottawa and Gatineau.
Canada has struggled in the past at this event. Perno hopes to turn that around in 2013 as he takes the reigns. The program has been set up to mirror the tactical and technical approach of Canada Basketball. It will also be a way for the 18-25 year olds to prepare themselves for the next step. Perno will attend the senior national team camp in Toronto in May to gain a greater understanding of what type of player they are looking for.
“We expect to change this year,” said Perno. “The group we have and the training regimen we are putting into place should help us be successful.”
The team will be comprised mainly of Cégep and university players from Quebec. Three players who attended NCAA schools will also participate in the training camp that takes place May 10-12. There expected to be about 40 players vying to make one of the 12 spots on the team. Helping Perno make his decisions will be head coach of the UQAM Citadins, Albena Branzova-Dimitrova.
The pair of RSEQ coaches will have regular practices every two weekends. They are also in the works to host an international event in August where they hope to get some quality pre-competition games.
The seventh Jeux de la Francophonie will have 57 states and governments taking part in competition and 20 states observing. In the basketball section 16 teams will compete in four pools. Canada-Quebec will be in Pool A alongside Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Poland. Their progress can be followed from September 6-15 at http:// www.jeux.francophonie. org/.