Ibon Navarro: “Marcelinho is better at 40 than at 28”

The Unicaja coach carefully prepares this first game of the playoff for the title against Tenerife. Fifth confrontation of the season in what is already considered the new classic of Spanish basketball. Alberto Díaz and Jonathan Barreiro, serious doubts.

prolegomena. “The team is fine, the doubts are Alberto and Jonathan. Alberto is between cottons, with an overload in the calf caused by the ankle problems, we have to be careful. Jonathan feels better, let’s see if he works these days with his colleagues and see if he can help us. I wish we were worried about whether Alberto will be able to play in the final or the semifinal, but that is not the case. We think about Sunday and Thursday, the only two games we know for sure, from there he will try to make an effort for Sunday, he still has to wait until Thursday. We do not have the capacity to save a player for the semifinals, it would seem like a tremendous audacity. If they are not on Sunday, then wait until Thursday.

physical state. “Obviously, as they say in my town, after seeing the dick you already know it’s a boy. Maybe they shouldn’t have played a Final Four, but two players of that hierarchy, even if they are at 50%, always hope that they can help. The rest of the players, when they see them, breathe. Phew! There are Alberto and Dario and there it may be that their alertness goes down and they are not there makes them more tense. We are in forever. If Kendrick hits the triple, we don’t talk about this… The coaches, we have to make decisions. Darío, Alberto and Jonathan were not at 100%, but in an event like this how are we going to do without two European champions, due to their experience inside and outside, they help you even if they are not well. Even if they are not there, the result is worse or better, but we will not know. The players who were not at 100% were not in Bilbao”.

Carter, Kalinoski and Kravish, in full training,.
Carter, Kalinoski and Kravish, in full training,.Mariano Pozo

Closet ground. “We have returned to the line of the games before Madrid and the Final Four. There are players out of their role, we win things and lose others. If they can’t play, they have resources, even if they are not comfortable. We need everyone and Alberto and Jonathan are very important, but we have had the ability to adapt to problems to never stop competing”.

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The importance of the court factor. “When you play three games against an opponent, the home court factor is diluted a bit. We would also be worried if we had the home court factor because we cannot fail here because it is very difficult to win there. I would also like to play two games at Carpena, it’s obvious. You have to play it, we know it’s very difficult, but we have to know that we can. We weren’t far from winning there, with little success and complicated circumstances. We won two of the next three matches. We are going little by little, we have the feeling, learning to play against them, although you always have the feeling that you depend on their success, they play very well, they pass the ball. The rhythm and that have been the details that have decided the matches. A player can appear and be unbalancing, it is difficult to predict what is going to happen. I don’t feel that the home court factor is particularly decisive”.

Ibon during his appearance.
Ibon during his appearance.Mariano Pozo

How do you prepare this match? “At this point there may be details, some easy basket with something that can be prepared. The bulk of the game is that one team leads the game. The number of fields that are run when we win a quarter is very high and when we lose it it is much lower. There are data that corroborate this feeling that we want to run and they don’t. High pace, good defense, being good on the rebound, taking quick shots after baskets so the game doesn’t slow down… They make clinical defensive balances and it’s clear that by doing them well they don’t make us as comfortable. The one who does things better and follows his game plan better will have a long way to go ”.

The previous confrontation between the two. “We have to count on Tenerife being more successful in certain situations, they missed open shots that normally they don’t do at home. We look at many games, but I don’t think it’s just that. That day Alberto plays a great game, let’s see if he can repeat it. The variables of that meeting will not be repeated. They have others. We also have to do our job and limit those situations, even if they won’t penalize us. They can put much more”.

Marcelinho Huertas. “At 40 years old she is better than at 28″.

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