The Unicaja coach, Ibon Navarro, appeared this Friday in the Martín Carpena press room to analyze the team’s return to competition after the feat of the Copa del Rey, that will take him to face Bàsquet Girona this Saturday, March 4 at the Carpena (6:00 p.m., broadcast by Movistar Deportes -dial 59).
It is the first appearance of the coach from Vitoria after the Copa del Rey, Navarro stated:Having given almost 6 days off I hope it has helped us a little to digest this emotional storm that we have all had, although it is hard for us to have “detrained” a bit, but I think we needed to. We took the opportunity for some of them to return home and share what they experienced with their families. The team has trained very well this week, although we haven’t competed for 15 days, but so has Bàsquet Girona, even longer. It’s a weird situation for everyone.“.
The compositor technician expects a possible downturn after the euphoria of the cup. “Having a low would be a very normal reaction, what I don’t know is if we are normal. Also if after the Cup we had had to compete a week or a few days later, it would have been different… I have been in a team that has won 4 games after winning a Copa del Rey, it depends a lot on the group, the players, the the people, their maturity… But I don’t think the team is satisfied, we still find ourselves a version of the team with brutal confidence and that everything flows, or a team that has trouble getting started. That would be normal, but I don’t know if we are a normal team”, pointed out Ibon Navarro.
About the physical state of Alberto Díaz and Kendrick Perrythe two Unicaja players who played in the FIBA Windows with their respective teams, Ibon Navarro highlighted: “We have adjusted this week’s work a lot with them, giving them Monday and Tuesday off, and Wednesday with a progressive return to work. Mario Saint-Supéry has helped us a lot to train and dose, more to Perry than to Alberto, I think our physical trainer Marcos is controlling meticulously and we will be able to manage it well”.
Another topic that has been addressed in the press conference is the possibility of a transfer due to Djedovic’s injury. “Mario Saint-Supéry doesn’t have Djedovic’s virtues, he has others, so he can’t help us in that role, but he can in other things. That Melvin Ejim falls to 3 at times is an option so as not to overload Kalinoski or Barreiro. The option to play with 3 little ones is there, although it is not what we like the most due to a defensive issue, due to losing the ability to lose rebound, and Mario has to help us in the position of 1”, affirms the compositor technician.
Two titles remain at stake
Regarding the state of the squad, Navarro said that He sees a group that is exactly the same as before going to the Cup, if possible with a better work environment, in the dressing room, good humor, but also a good predisposition to work. On the other hand, he states: “Not all teams are affected in the same way by the fact that they start to talk. I hope the players are calm, that they are valued by the team, the staff and the fans. Kendrick Perry already said that this is not over, we 40% of the season remains with two titles at stake. We are not the top candidates, nor were we for the Cup, but we will try to compete“.
Regarding the rival, Bàsquet Girona, the Basque coach has commented that it is of a team with many young players, who as soon as they assimilate their coach’s way of playing would become a very dangerous block Due to its activity, its intensity, its youth, its talent, it is a team that is dangerous behind with a lot of activity, unpredictable.
Finally, he wanted to some comments about Marc Gasol, stating that they are going to have to defend him collectively and try to keep him away from the paint and not play easy.