Playing basketball with new players in Tarbes for 2010-11

2010 LFB champions Tarbes ©  Laurent DardThey started playing basketball under the name of Tarbes Gespe Basket (TGB) in 1983 in the lower divisions of amateur basketball.

However the club was well run and by 1993 the club had reached the top league, at the time of NF1A, which resulted in the club changing its name to Tarbes Gespe Bigorre (TGB).

The club has remained in the top division ever since. When women's basketball became officially professional in France with the creation of the LFB, Tarbes joined the professional ranks.

During the 2007-008 season the club released two coaches during the first phase of the season and François Gomez left the CFBB to become coach.

He turned things around and the club won the challenge round. In 2008-2009 he built a roster that challenged Bourges Basket for the title. But his team fell short in the championship final.

The lessons were learnt and finally Tarbes were able to put their hands on the trophy.

What made this success even more sensational is that Gomez knew he would not be coach for the 2010-2011.

Tarbes 2010-2011 ©

Tarbes will be defending the title with six new players and a new coach, Alain Jardel.

TGB will also be playing basketball in the EuroLeague Women. For Jardel this will be his first participation in the EuroLeague.

Florence Lepron ©  womensbasketbll-in-france.comOf the four players that remain only Florence Lepron (left) had been a major player last season. She had also played for France at the FIBA World Championship for Women.

The team captain Isis Arrondo had been plagued by injuries last season. She is a young player to watch.

Pauline Jannault-Lo who played for France at the FIBA World Championship for Women had had a difficult season last season and had spent more time on the bench than on the court.

She should be hoping for more opportunities under the new coach, while Naura El Gargati is the other player back.

However the question is how to replace a championship winning roster with Anne Breitreiner, Béatrice Castets, Frida Eldebrink, Hamchetou Maïga-Ba, Emma Randall, Fatimatou Sacko, Isabelle Yacoubou-Déhoui, not forgetting Charde Houston who had already left in January before the end of the season.

Jardel has gone for players from his successful U20 Championship winning team of 2009 by signing Ana Cata-Chitiga and Darline N'Soki.

The four foreign players who will be playing basketball for Tarbes are: Montenegro scoring machine Jelena Dubljevic, Vaida Sipaviciuté - who had played in Arras two seasons ago, WNBA player Erin Thorn and veteran Ivanka Matic who played at Challes-les-Eaux last season.

Tarbes will be playing in Group C of the EuroLeague Women which on paper appears to be the group of death.

The supporters will miss Isabelle Yacoubou-Déhoui who came up the ranks from the youth structure when she joined the club in 2003.

The LFB and EuroLeague Women roster is: Jelena Dubljevic, Erin Thorn, Ivanka Matic, Pauline Jannault-Lo, Isis Arrondo, Naura El Gargati, Florence Lepron, Darline Nsoki, Ana-Maria Cata Chitiga, and Vaida Sipaviciute.

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Playing basketball picture credits:

Laurent Dard

Date created: 20 October 2010

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