INTERVIEW. “We are not starting favorites but our team likes this role of outsider”, Julie Barennes and Basket Landes touch the title with the tip of their finger

INTERVIEW. “We are not starting favorites but our team likes this role of outsider”, Julie Barennes and Basket Landes touch the title with the tip of their finger
INTERVIEW. “We are not starting favorites but our team likes this role of outsider”, Julie Barennes and Basket Landes touch the title with the tip of their finger

the essential
Beaten in the first leg 67-62, Julie Barennes’ players were able to create the feat by ousting the TGB in the semi-final of the Women’s League. The opportunity for the Basket Landes team to reconnect with the final they won in 2021.

Julie Barennes, Layracaise coach of the Landes Basket team since 2017, recorded another success in the semi-final of the Women’s League during a stunning match against Tarbes. The champions in 2021 will try to regain their trophy from May 11 against Villeneuve-d’Ascq. The coach looks back on this spectacular comeback by her team and discusses her intentions for the approaching final.

How was the defeat in the Coupe de France final against Bourges digested by your team?

Difficult, we know that it is an extraordinary event. The team lost by not playing in the best way, so it was difficult.

How are you and your players managing the very fast pace of matches at the moment?

This is an advantage, because we can quickly plan for future deadlines. When it’s over, it’s over. We are aware that if we lose this final, it will be the end, so we can re-motivate ourselves, look for other levers and try to be better. At the end of the year, the idea is no longer to progress, the team is in play-off mode and we have to be efficient.

A qualification on the line

During the first leg against Tarbes, Basket Landes lost by 5 points. What do you think the team lacked?

I would say that we accumulated small defensive errors and that we lacked offensive fluidity. That’s why we lost by 5 points there.

What was the atmosphere like in Tarbes?

The Tarbes room was full and frankly, it was good.

How did you manage to re-mobilize your team after the defeat in the first leg?

It’s obviously still difficult, but on the one hand we know we’re only five points away, quote unquote, and we’re capable of doing it. Being so close with the quality of play on offer motivated us to have a strong second half.

You were trailing at halftime of the return match (24-34, 20th). What allowed you to turn the match around?

We continued to push and increase the intensity. We played offensive basketball again and regained fluidity. A little more skill also allowed us to come back to the score. It doesn’t matter much.

Were you in doubt at half-time of the match and did you give a special speech to your players in the locker room?

No, I didn’t doubt it. I asked them to play simply because I thought we were timid. I told them that if we continued to play like that we were going to lose and that it would have been deserved because Tarbes were better than us. We had to go there, not play for mistakes, and score.

Dreaming of the title to achieve it

The final against Villeneuve-d’Ascq will begin on May 11. Have you started your preparation?

Since we played yesterday, the girls have a day off today. But the resumption will be tomorrow, we start training to be as best prepared as possible.

Does Villeneuve-d’Ascq’s position as favorites make you fear the shock?

They are the favorites, that’s obvious. You must not lie to yourself. They had a great season, they finished first in the league, a great Euroleague season, they won by thirty points in the semi-final. We know it, but we like this outsider position and it suits us very well.

A little aside on the Lattes/Montpellier player from Agen, Romane Bernies. As a Lot-et-Garonnaise, can we hope for a place for her at the 2024 Olympics?

She has every chance for this summer and the whole of Lot-et-Garonne supports her, that’s for sure! I’m very happy for Romane, she’s a great person and a great player.

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