“We are incredibly lucky that Boris Diaw came,” points out ESMS president Serge Darbo before the Coupe des Landes final

“We are incredibly lucky that Boris Diaw came,” points out ESMS president Serge Darbo before the Coupe des Landes final
“We are incredibly lucky that Boris Diaw came,” points out ESMS president Serge Darbo before the Coupe des Landes final

What is your state of mind after the elimination in the quarter-finals of the championship, at the gates of Nationale 1?

I’m doing very well, the club is doing very well. We gave the maximum of what we could give to Fougères. We were still with a team which has not lost at home for two years, which aims to move up to N1, has the budget for it, which has nine professional players who train every day. To lose the beauty at home by nine points, we cannot be disappointed. We have already turned the page and we are focused on the last objective we have left: the Coupe des Landes final on Saturday 1er June.

In the event of qualification for the semi-final, it would have been necessary to choose between playing in the championship or the Coupe des Landes. Had a decision been made?

Quite honestly, I had made my decision. As president, I knew what I wanted to do. But I’m quite pragmatic. I was waiting to see if there was qualification before having to make a tough and difficult choice, with opposing opinions and the potential to create tensions. My decision was made, not that of the club. Suffice to say that I am a little liberated by the fact that the weekend went like this (laughs).

Wouldn’t everyone have chosen the Coupe des Landes?

The vast majority of my players and my staff wanted to go to Auch (for the Final Four of N2, Editor’s note). A large part of my managers wanted to play in the Coupe des Landes. This choice that I saw coming, I feared above all, because even when explaining things, we cannot achieve unanimity, and everyone is free to think as they want. So I’m a little relieved by the turn of events. We weren’t ridiculous, we lost with honors on the pitch.


The joy of Ruop and Lesca after the qualification against the TBC.

Philippe Salvat/SO

Is there a need to save the season with Saturday’s match, or is this 2023-2024 exercise already successful?

Oh no, no: the season is perfectly successful. When we are in Montsoué-Montgaillard-Sarraziet, 1,400 inhabitants, and we finish second in the N2 group against Niort, Auch, Bordeaux, Toulouse – just prefectures and big cities – we must not overdo it. ‘feat. We will not remain second to N2 for the rest of our lives. I enjoy every day.

In addition, we reached the final of the Coupe des Landes. We’ve been lucky not to come across Biscarrosse until now, I think it’s the dream final for some: we’re one of the two or three teams in the department who can offer the best opposition. So the season is already a success. The pressure was on me in the semi-final against TBC. I said to myself: “If we lose, we will miss the final and the exceptional spotlight it will benefit from. » But since we passed Samadet (TBC), both the play-offs and the final, I’m going there calmly.

To beat Biscarrosse, “the planets really need to align”

There is no pressure, but there is still ambition?

Oh yes ! We’re going to go there to win, to do everything we can. But hey, 49 points, I don’t want to say that it’s prohibitive, but not far all the same. We really need the planets to align, we defend hard, we keep them at 50 points and we need to be able to score 100 points. That’s what worries me the most. We sometimes mark them in N2, but not every Saturday either, and there, we will play in an environment which is not classic. It will be in the open air, without walls, without landmarks, the wind can destabilize our shooters. The context is not easy.

The Coupe des Landes is “THE” trophy that the ESMS is missing?

That’s it. Since 2016, we have played three finals, all lost. In 2020, we qualified for the semi-finals, we had cleared the main favorites, and Covid arrived. We really are the black cats, the cursed ones of the Coupe des Landes (laughs)! We miss it. Especially to my volunteers. I would like to win it for them and the supporters.

At the start of the season, you took a very dim view of the Biscarrosse project. Has it changed since then?

I have not changed my mind. When I learned about the project at the beginning of August, I did not agree for ethical reasons. I explained this several times to Barbara Canlorbe. It’s no longer a subject. We are facing them in the final, we are going to play. Whether it’s Biscarrosse or another team, it doesn’t matter. The most important thing for me is that Landes basketball has grown as a result. Saturday really has to be the celebration of Landes basketball. May there be joy, conviviality. Basketball is not war, it’s just fun. What I think hasn’t changed, but today it’s forgotten. Time for the show.

The Coupe des Landes did not wait for Boris Diaw to be unmissable. But the “spotlight” that you mention is undeniable…

Of course. Apart from the initial problem which I have already mentioned, it is an extraordinary spotlight for Landes basketball. It’s fantastic, it will never happen again. Every medal has its downside, but there is still an extremely positive aspect for all Landes clubs. We must also be objective and say that we are incredibly lucky that Diaw came.

Will all Landes basketball be behind you?

When you are No. 1, whether in life or in sport, you are often criticized. I think even our fiercest opponents will be with us on Saturday. All Landes amateur basketball will be behind the ESMS.

What about the climb?

Asked about the possibility for ESMS to eventually move up to N1, president Serge Darbo indicates that if the situation had arisen, the club’s board of directors would have met to decide, even if the scenario had been anticipated. “To explain the difficulty of the thing: the average budget of N1 clubs is 900,000 euros, we would therefore have to double our budget to be competitive. Going higher is not impossible, but we must be lucid and not let ourselves get carried away and set off on an adventure that could surpass us. We have 160 licensees, 300 young people with the clubs around, I want this to continue and not take reckless risks which could give us more pain than joy. »

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