There CAB Estepona continues to advance this season on its path in the Challenge League, the second national women’s basketball competition. Unfortunately, only two Andalusian teams participate in it. In addition to the CAB there is Unicaja. Curiously, both teams are from Malaga. In the rest of the provinces there is nothing. But is that In LF2, the third national competition, there is only CB Sevilla. This year CB Almería also had a place for Challenge, but the lack of financial support made the board make the decision to give up playing in the league. It goes without saying that in Liga Endesa, the first women’s division, there is not a single Andalusian team. Nothing. Absolute desert.
This makes everything a little more difficult because trips are more expensive and more difficult to cope with because of the distances. You have to travel many kilometers if every time you have to play away from home you have to travel from Madrid up.
The competition is great. There are very good players and good coaches who play good basketball. In this league, if you don’t prepare the games well, you’ll be disappointed. And, furthermore, the quality that all the squads have makes it very difficult to win away from home.
Only the league champion has the enormous prize of promotion to the Endesa League. The next 8 teams will play for another promotion spot, first in a play off and then in a Final Four. As you can understand, the difficulty is maximum. It is because the competition system is tough and because the rivals are tougher. Here are teams that They come from playing in that first division like Zamora, Leganés or Cáceres. There are also recently promoted players like Mallorca that have made a very strong economic commitment. Clubs with a huge tradition in men’s basketball like Joventut or Unicaja that want to follow in the footsteps of Valencia, Zaragoza or Barcelona and have a team also in the Endesa League in addition to the ACB. Or affiliates like Paterna, Valencia Basket’s second team, made up of young players with great talent and projection, with zero pressure. You also find teams like Alcobendas or Ardoi, with great experience in the category and that every year fight to be in that Final Four.
Well, CAB fights with all of them, with the aim of making a place among so many good teams and earning the respect of the competition, despite having less experience than many of its rivals.
This year’s team is younger, although there are some older and more experienced players. Younger, but not more inexperienced. All the young women have been playing for several years in Challenge. And many of them Andalusian! They work every day to improve individually. You don’t have to tell them to start training, they are always willing. What’s more, you have to turn off the Pineda lights or save the balls for some of them as the only way to get them to go home. They have individual workouts, personalized gym sessions, and individual video meetings. We all work to make them progress. But they also have the challenge of growing as a group and playing good basketball together, because that is the way to be at the top and opt, as a first objective, to save the category as soon as possible to think about playing in the play off. Well, more like thinking about winning it. The ambition of this club and this team is that. We want to be as high as the competition allows us. Just having the enthusiasm to do it we know that it will not be enough.
The challenge is difficult but who thinks this league is easy? CAB Estepona puts all its effort into fighting to be at the top and, if they let us, opt for those two promotion spots.. For this it is essential to play good basketball. That is key for El Pineda to also fill up. We are convinced that our fans are going to play a very important role in all the games we play at home. That is why we must play attractive basketball, because this way you have more chances of winning and because by playing well, more people will come to see us to push us when we need it.
Thus, all together and one, We can get Andalusian basketball to take a step forward that is more than a step, it is a leap.. But even though it is a leap, it seems to me that it is very necessary for our region to have a team in the highest category of women’s basketball as soon as possible. We must change the reality that we live now.