Due to the coronavirus, Pepe Sánchez returned to basketball and shone like in his best times

In Argentine basketball, the show must go on at any price. By decision of the Club Association, there are no rescheduling of matches due to coronavirus cases in the campuses, so the team that cannot appear due to the number of infections loses the points. This happened to San Lorenzo in the National League, which did not even travel to its commitments before Oberá and Mercedes Communications due to the wave of Covid that affects its players.

However, this unfortunate situation also caused surprising and pleasant news: after nine years retired, the Olympic champion Juan Ignacio “Pepe” Sánchez returned to play -and at a high level- for the team of the club of which he is president, Bahía Basket , in the 91-87 victory over Gimnasia and Esgrima La Plata, for the Argentine League, second category of Argentine basketball

As a result of the coronavirus cases that decimated the Bahia squad, Sánchez resolved to return to activity after managing an authorization before the Club Association, after having retired in 2013. And with the magic almost intact, the former Philadelphia 76ers player and Detroit Pistons in the NBA led their team to the victory in overtime, after drawing 77-77 in regular time.

At age 44 and after almost nine of inactivity, Sánchez completed an enviable roster, with 12 points (2-3 in doubles, 2-8 in triples and 2-2 in free), eight assists and eight rebounds in 29 minutes. who was on the court. Some of his passes even recalled his years of splendor, when he shone in the Argentine National Team or in Real Madrid, Barcelona or Panathinaikos.

The Olympic champion base did not start as a starter, but coach Laura Cors ended up using him much more time than expected due to his surprising level and the few personnel he had. At his disposal he only had nine players (the minimum required is eight), since six members of the squad are isolated with coronavirus: Valentín Forestier, Ezequiel Paz, Facundo Tolosa, Valentín Simondi, Gabriel Novaes, and Tiziano Prome.

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Since he retired, Sánchez has carried out a comprehensive sports project in Bahia, with a lot of youth promotion. Leandro Bolmaro, now a Minnesota Timberwolves player in the NBA, emerged from his quarry. But the plan also included the construction of a High Performance complex where the first basketball team plays at home, called Dow Center, erected on the outskirts of the city of Bahía Blanca and with a capacity for 4,000 spectators.

In sports, the team did not do well in recent times and fell to the second division, where it is twelfth in the second phase of the Southern Conference, with three wins and three losses.


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