Saturday, April 1, 2023

Ibon Navarro: “With Carpena at its best it is difficult for us to play badly and for someone to beat us”

Ibon Navarro spoke about the important game that will take place against Unicaja this Tuesday against Galatasaray Nef (8:30 p.m.). The match corresponds to day 3 of the Round of 16 of the BCL and will mean the return to the European competition more than a month later.

For Navarro, the squad is “very good” at the level of confidence. “At the level of sensations we were afraid before the game against Basketball Girona due to the break and the accumulation of euphoria that we have had… but I think we are doing well. Although we are aware that we are playing against an extremely dangerous team due to the type of players they have”.

The coach has underlined the danger of the outside players of the Turkish team: “Has the highest scoring line of bases, twos, combos in the BCL, with Russell, Ennis and McGee. They are three players capable of making their own shots and baskets, both shooting and penetration, with a very long shooting range of 8-9 meters and one-on-one situations. This means that many times they have very high scoring partials, because the three are capable of scoring 10-12 points, but if you manage to control them or limit their good shots and they don’t gain confidence, that’s when they suffer the most in their defensive balance”.

Likewise, Navarro warned, “They have 3 players who are Caloiaro, Kabaca and Ristic, who without being the benchmarks at the scoring level take full advantage of what the three little ones generate. Also, Koksal, with his attack rebounding and three-point shots from the corners, lives a bit of what one-on-one situations generate defensively from the three generators.

In general terms, Navarro has pointed out that Galatasaray “is a very dangerous team that we have to control well one on one and that we have to answer very far shots well. We must know that they are going to have significant scoring streaks and that in one minute they can score us 9 points, but we must not get frustrated or lose energy, and maintain a very high game pace, because in the end their rotation is shorter than ours and You have to try to make the games long for them ”.

This Tuesday will be the first of the double date between the two teams this week, the second meeting being on Thursday in Istanbul. Regarding this, the coach from Vitoria indicated that “it will not affect the first match, but the second it surely will. The first game is a game that you have to win and depending on how it goes, you can save something, you can book players because you have a trip and a game in less than 48 hours, but in principle we are going to go to the game with everything, with our style. And depending on how the first game goes, the second one is faced in a different way”. Regarding the lack of time to prepare for the second game, Navarro pointed out that “you don’t have much time to train and adjust many things, and, obviously, in the state they are in, who have lost many games in recent weeks, Well, a defeat here can squeeze them and put them in a difficult situation for the return. I think we have to become strong at home, and regardless of what happens here, a game in Istanbul, against its people, on a pitch that is tight, will be difficult”.

The keys to the match, in his opinion, are “not letting McGee, Ennis and Russell enter the game with simple baskets. You can’t control the difficult ones, because they have a lot of talent and the ability to score them, but don’t let them enter the game with simple baskets. And alson limit their points in the open field from our attack, not having too many turnovers, without losing sight of Caloiaro’s game without the ball, Kabaka’s mobility, Koksal’s three-pointers and Ristic’s versatility. But, above all, control the three exteriors ”.

Lastly, Ibon Navarro appealed to the fans ahead of tomorrow’s match at a Carpena that is very close to recording another full house: “We are all excited about the BCL because it is a competition in which we are one of the 4-5 favorite teams and that makes us, the club and the fans excited, and with them we are stronger. If we manage to secure the home games and be a solid team away from home, it could be that we find ourselves in a Final Four situation, and then the experience we have gained in the Copa del Rey could be very favourable. The strength we can have at home depends to a large extent on our people. With Martín Carpena the way he was on Saturday, it’s hard for us to play badly, and if we play well, it’s hard for someone to beat us at home”.


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