a final step a little too high after an already dizzying season

a final step a little too high after an already dizzying season
a final step a little too high after an already dizzying season

The sweeter the dream, the more abrupt the awakening. And it was almost a bucket of water that brought the Basket Landes players out of their dreams this Friday, in the second leg of the Women’s League final. A (very) large defeat (114-88) on the floor of an intractable Villeneuve-d’Ascq and who makes an indisputable champion. When Julie Barennes’ players revealed certain shortcomings that their courage and self-sacrifice had been able to mask all year. Enough to carry them throughout one of the greatest seasons in the club’s history. Not enough to win an improbable title.

The Palacium, already reassured by the victory of the ESBVA six days earlier in Mont-de-Marsan (66-70), never considered defeat for a second. Normal, when your Guerrières have fun slamming an 11-0 in the first two minutes to a Basket Landes who remained in the locker room. Then 14-0, then we stop counting a bit.

“They were very skillful. We didn’t put the defensive slider that we should have put. In terms of intensity, they were above. We had a wave from the start, which lasted the entire match,” Marie Pardon smiled as best she could. The young leader (23 years old) had a roller coaster weekend, between selection in the list of 18 Blues to prepare for the Euro, and therefore sinking in the final against ESBVA.

“In the match, I don’t even know if there are things to analyze,” she continues. Rightly so: the Landeses, and anyone who followed the match, understood very quickly that there would be no match. Intractable almost throughout the home season, Julie Barennes’ group, however, had difficulty away from home. Too much to recover from such a tidal wave taken from the start. “At home, we manage to surpass ourselves, but we have had more difficulty away, all year round,” recalls the blue and white coach. So we’re not in for a surprise. There, you are taking a high price, because a 14-0 entry away from home…”

Slayers in training

“We are beside ourselves, overwhelmed by the stakes. It’s going quickly Villeneuve, so we’re having a blast. They are full of confidence and we are full of doubt. We watch them play, we are overwhelmed. We are taking our lack of experience in the face, breathes Julie Barennes. I also think that we didn’t understand it well. These are things that can also be learned. »

With two finals lost this season, the young Landes group, with an average age of 23, actually knows what areas to work on in the near future. Better management of travel and the stress of big matches, and the Landes could become the killers they encountered this Friday. Only Kendra Chery, Alexis Peterson and Angela Salvadores will leave the club, when Leila Lacan and the American Destiny Slocum should arrive, even if the club has not communicated on this subject.

The framework will therefore remain the same, and it has undoubtedly taken a boost of calcium, solidified by the experience of the Euroleague, a third place and an invincibility in the championship during the regular season. But also by these cruel defeats in the Coupe de France final against Bourges and the LFB final against Villeneuve-d’Ascq. Whose coach Rachid Meziane wants to be prophetic: “I said to Julie at the end of the match: you will still be here next year, and you will be even better. »

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