Basket – The ex

After your Women’s League – Eurocoupe double with Bourges last season, you won the WNBA with Las Vegas in September. What did you learn during this first experience in the United States?

” Many things ! Above all, I will retain the lines of work on which I still have to make progress. Axes that I already had in mind and which reassured me that I was in the right direction. It is very different from what is done in Europe. Already at the level of the rules: we have the right to six faults; in defence, you cannot stay three seconds in the racket; players can take time-outs… These are small rules that change a lot of things. I was whistled a few times for three seconds in defense because, in Europe, you are taught to help, which is not possible there… In the WNBA, we put more emphasis on individual qualities. It’s not better or worse than in Europe, it’s different and it allows you to learn new things. »

Iliana Rupert leaves Bourges for Virtus Bologna: “I’m leaving with a clear conscience”

You have now been packing your bags in Bologna for three weeks. How is it going for you?

“Very well, I’m happy to have fallen into such a team. The girls are great, and everything is much easier when you feel good in a team. Life in Italy is pretty cool. I now hope that the objectives set from a basketball point of view will follow. »

“We feel a big basketball culture”

Have you taken any Italian lessons?

“I wanted to, but I have to admit that my plan to learn Italian during the summer failed (laughs). But I can still quite understand and I’m starting to have the basics. »

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Bologna is nicknamed “Basket city”, in particular because of the two big men’s clubs (Virtus and Fortitudo). Do you feel this basketball culture in the city?

“We feel it, yes. I have a car with the Virtus logo, and every time I drive, people look, are curious. It shows that there is an interest. I also went to see a boys’ match in the Euroleague, there is an incredible atmosphere. We feel that there is a big basketball culture, and it’s really cool. »

You were able to play three Italian league games. How do you view him in terms of level?

“I knew the Italian league was weaker than the Women’s League. The LFB is the best national championship in Europe, with real density, and you have to work hard every weekend to clinch victory. In Italy, there is a big disparity between the three, four big teams and the rest. »

Miguel Mendez, former coach of Yekaterinburg, who was to take charge of the team, finally had to withdraw. How did you experience this?

“It’s true that one of the reasons I came to Bologna was to be coached by him. He had personal reasons for leaving, that’s how it is. But it’s still the same team base, that’s the most important thing. And the coach (Giampiero Ticchi, editor’s note) who is present does not come out of nowhere either: he achieved results with Venice by taking them to the title, two seasons ago, and in the Eurocup final. »

“I never stopped being in contact with the girls [de Bourges]. Playing against your friends, people you know, is something I like. It promises to be fun. »

Iliana Rupert (Interior of the Virtus Bologna)

This Wednesday, you will find Bourges Basket…

“I was sure that we were going to meet! It’s cool, I’m happy because it makes me happy to see the girls again. I also know that I will come back to play in Bourges, it will be nice. I never stopped being in contact with the girls. This is the first time I will meet my old club. Already, it’s going to be a good game. And playing against her friends, people we know, is something I like. It promises to be fun. »

With the defeat in Valencia last week, is it an important reception for you?

“Yes, to get started! And it’s the first Euroleague home game in the club’s history. Every Euroleague home game is important, this one will be. It will be a good battle because Bourges has a very good team. It looks intense. »

What objective has Bologna set for itself this season in the Euroleague?

“When I arrived, I was already told about qualifying for the quarter-finals. We have the team and the players for that. Afterwards, if the Final Four presents itself, so much the better, but let’s try to go to the quarter, for a first participation, it would already be a good objective achieved. »

A Swedish international comes to strengthen the interior sector of Bourges Basket

How do you judge your team? Did you find what you were looking for in Bologna?

” Yes. For my first experience abroad in Europe, it’s really this kind of team, organization, that I was looking for. We have great players in every position. We have Cecilia Zandalasini who doesn’t need to prove her talent; Kitija Laksa who had an incredible season at Schio last year and who is still on cloud nine; Cheyenne Parker who has the WNBA level and who destroys everything in the racket… We have the squad to do great things, that’s what I was looking for: a competitive team. I found it here. »

Did you follow the start of the Tango season?

“I watched the European Super Cup, the Champions League match… I also saw that the match at Roche Vendée had gone well, that Pauline [Astier] made a great start to the season. I’m always what’s going on (smile). »

Interview by Nicolas Werquin

Basket – The ex-Tango Iliana Rupert will find Bourges, Wednesday in Euroleague, with Bologna: “it promises to be nice! »