ESBVA Tarbes 84-55 in Women’s Basketball League

ESBVA players before the match against Tarbes (photo JMD/Sports5962)

ESBVA finished first in the first match of the Women’s Basketball League after their card against Tarbes (84-55) at the Palacium on Sunday. So the Warriors are the unofficial winter champions. A purely honorary distinction, but nonetheless shows the real ambitions the capital club can claim just days before their return to the European Cup.

In this last first game, Les Villeneuvoises were right there in a still packed Palacium with Tarbes Gespe Bigorre, 7th in the Women’s League. Despite being on an impressive rocket Isabelle Yacoubou, the Northerners played in steamroller mode. With only a small pocket of air in the 2nd quarter where ESBVA went an unexpected 0-13.

But with the suggestion of its two leaders Caroline Heriaudback to the ground and Indian Ben Abdelkader, Villeneuve would calmly put up baskets in the 2nd period to win by nearly 30 points (84-55). An important victory that allowed us to finish the first game on equal points with ASVEL and Bourges. But with the advantage of the average score, ESBVA is very unofficially chosen as the “winter champion”.

Video SPORTS 5962/SPORTBUZZ. Rachid Méziane talks about the club’s ambitions and the second half of the season.

The great American duo

It is purely an honorary title.“, immediately annoys the coach Rachid MezianeFollowing this case of ESBVA v. Tarbes. “I usually pay the musicians at the end of the ball. It is interesting to know that one can be at the top today. But I will rely on results and content to build a better tomorrow. It doesn’t make any sense to finish first in league 2 or the play-offs next year and not reach our goals. That’s why you have to keep your head on your shoulders”. A quality warning in the middle of the season.

“I don’t understand if Villeneuve-d’Asc is not the champion this season…”

Francois Gomez, head coach of Tarbes

In any case, ESBVA showed a mastery and regularity unknown in previous seasons. Arrival of two Americans Kennedy Burke and Kamiah Smalls probably explains this efficiency. Moreover, the coach of Northern Tarbes Francois Gomez (from Somain) is dithyrambic at ESBVA level this season. ” If Villeneuve-d’Ascq is not French champion this year, I don’t understand. This is the strongest team I have faced. Better than Burgess and Lyon. If this team does not claim to be the champion of France, it is wrong in its goal.” This is clear and obvious. And that perhaps puts the pressure on ESBVA for the second half of the season, which promises to be very busy.

American Kamiah Smalls brings a lot this season (photo JMD/Sports5962)

Due to the strength of its international experience, Tarbes interior Isabelle YacoubouIn previous seasons, often defeating Villeneuve with Tango Bourges, ESBVA has taken another dimension this season. We don’t play in the same category. Villeneuve has efficiency everywhere, in all areas of the game. They also have the best pairing in the league at 4-5 domestically. ”

82% win the first game

Therefore, the Metropolitans finish the first game with 9 wins to two losses (82% success). Two setbacks were surprisingly missed at home against ASVEL 72-76 on October 30; and Charleville Carolos (68-72) on December 17. It’s surprising because the Warriors always play in a real pot at the Palacium, which carries them forever. But these defeats came after European matches that still require energy.

This season, ESBVA plays in three tables: the championship, the French Cup and the European Cup. But this year Rachid Meziane has a rich bench in terms of quality and quantity. And he’s not afraid to rotate and give promising young players a chance: Maia Hirsch, Manoe Cisse as well as Eloise Pavrette and Maelle Blaineat the end of the match, he entered the game with “Tarbes”.

“I have a really good team”Villeneuvois confirms his coach. “These are competitive, ambitious girls. It is my pleasure to lead such a group. We have the characteristic of a very young team. But to be a champion, you need a mature enough team. That is why we are working on it to train this team as soon as possible. »

Janelle Salaun is on the verge of joining the French team this season (photo JMD/Sports5962)

Belgian national Indian Ben Abdelkader discovered the group this year. He also confirms that he can go far as long as he keeps his feet on the ground and doesn’t let go. ” It’s always good to be leading the championship halfway through the season. What counts next is the result at the end of the year. We know that everyone in our team can score. The contribution of the bench is very important for us. »

The European Cup is also in sight

A testament to their new ambitions and confidence, the Villeneuvoises jumped right into Wednesday’s meeting. It will be the round of 1/8 finals of the European Cup against Pec. Having won 8 points in Hungary, ESBVA made a good choice for qualification. But Rachid Meziane He remembers the accident he had with Lublin last season. Villeneuve played both games at home. The Warriors, who won the first, inexplicably cracked in the second.

But maybe that changed this season. There is a certain mental strength. For this reason, the northerners hope to win at least one cup at the end of the season. European trophies such as the Championship and the French Cup are among these achievable goals.

Game sheet

ESBVA – Tarbes GB: 84-55 (26-19; 21-17; 21-10; 16-9)

Day 11 of the Women’s Basketball League

Villeneuve-d’Ascq Palace: 1,908 spectators

ESBVA: Ben Abdelkader (19), Smalls (13), Burke (11), Salaun (11), Diaby (4), Hériaud (10), Diallo (8), Djekoundade (2), Hirsch (6), Cissé, Pavrette , Blaine. Head coach: Rachid Meziane

Tarbes: Afv (6), Leite (8), Evodo (6), Popossi (10), Yakubu (13), Tadic (10), Samson (2), Bobst. Head coach: Francois Gomez.

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