Basketball. Women’s League: TGB-TMB, first match this Saturday evening

Tarbaises, who are seventh in the table, welcome Toulouse, who are second to last (11th) in the League, on behalf of the ninth day of the LFB. However, if we count, only one win separates the two teams from Occitania (3 to 2). Before the promising derby (Quai de l’Adour), two captains, 36-year-old Isabelle Jakubou and 31-year-old Isabelle Strunk, surrendered.

Isabelle Yacoubou (Tarbes GB):
“We selfishly focus on ourselves”

Do you think the derby against Toulouse really exists?

It’s not a concept that drives us as we approach this match. Selfishly, we must be self-centered. What we’re doing is pretty good (Editor’s note: 7th, 3 wins, 5 losses), but it’s still not satisfactory.
Tarbes, in a very broad sense of the term, is a bit like the big suburbs of Toulouse.

But from a basketball perspective, we’d be inclined to say otherwise, wouldn’t we?

Of course. TGB is the highest level for X years. We are talking about one of the biggest clubs in France still in existence in terms of prizes. Perhaps the last few years have made people forget the greatness of this club, but Tarbes has titles, especially the European Cup.

We feel this TGB coursing through your veins…

This club literally carried me in my youth. To come back and bring my experience, to help put it back on top, that’s part of me. After that, we are professionals and we need the tools to make this team shine. For example, when you see the condition of our parquet… It’s as if you give the barber school scissors and hope that he will give you the super trendy haircut of the moment. We need more support!

Does this return to Tarbes live up to your expectations?

I couldn’t have dreamed of a better personal transition (he also gets his coaching credentials). In terms of sports, I’m a little hurt. We don’t have the psychological trigger to beat the best, but the age of this group, so young, justifies our current level. We’re moving on, girls have to grow up fast.

Is this captain role, which is a first for you at the club, an additional mental burden?

Before the break, the coach (Francois Gómez) just told me not to forget myself, don’t pay too much attention to the youngsters, always be behind them. But that’s how I am, I’m focused on others. My DNA won’t change, but now I allow myself to focus more.

Isabelle Strunc (Toulouse MB):
“We will be at work on the square”

Is it a real derby?
Compared to the proximity of the two cities. Otherwise, for us, it’s a game like any other.

In economics, Toulouse is the capital of Occitania. Is it the opposite in women’s basketball?

I don’t know if we can say that Tarbes is the capital. We are moving forward. So in the division, we will always be a small town, a small team.

How do you rate the Tarbes team?

It is a good mix of young and experienced players with an experienced coach. TGB has a strong domestic sector with two real post 5s (Isabelle Yacoubou and Ana Tadic, editor’s note). It is rare. In general, when there is any player, there is only one player! And there, once, there are two! But external appearances also perform. Tarbes is a fairly well-established and complete team.

How do you feel about TGB being a 100% French team?

It’s great! This is good for the development of French basketball, for young players who have the opportunity to express themselves.

Share of the game?

Although what we did on Saturday was interesting from a basketball point of view, we are struggling at the accounting level. We need points and our goal is to win the match.

Is the absence of Kalis Loyd, who picked up an ankle injury at Anges last Saturday, a big blow?

Kalis is one of our leaders. We will definitely miss him. As Xavier (Noguera, coach) told us, nothing beats the team. We will make up for his absence. We will be on the square.

In 2013, you went through several preparatory courses with the French national team before the Euros. You rubbed shoulders with Isabelle Yacoubou there. Does it remain a good memory for you?

It is obvious. Especially since it was an option I never expected. I was just enjoying discovering what the France A team was, yes, I have great memories of it.

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