Martínez: “Manresa likes it so much because it transmits joy”

Pedro Martinez (Barcelona, ​​1961) He is getting Baxi Manresa to sign a miraculous season in what is his third spell at the Catalan club. He qualified for the Cup after a 17-year absence, he is looking for the quarterfinals in the Champions League and is third in the Endesa League before this matchday, in which he visits Real Madrid (12:30). He himself made it clear on Twitter that it is something to enjoy: “There are many possibilities that there will be a few hours remaining in third position. But for the memory on matchday 23. We must be proud of the path. We will continue as far as we can”he said with a screenshot of the standings. With three defeats less than the ninth and eleven games to play, a victory in Madrid would bring the play off and it would be one of the milestones of the team in this wonderful season. And a little revenge after Madrid’s triumph in Manresa after an electrifying game (87-92).

How is the team? How do you get to the match against Real Madrid?

We arrived well in terms of the dynamics of the entire season. However, we have Bako’s loss, which conditions us a lot in the position of five. We arrived as well as can be achieved without an important player.

How is Bako?

He had an injury the week before the Cup and played it touched, with discomfort that did not seem very serious. We thought he could make the effort for the Cup but he has had to stop. After three weeks, the doctors gave him the okay to play with protection but that protection has not given him security. He took small hits to the area and is now incapacitated himself. We are waiting for the evolution. We don’t know how long he will be gone. It is not an injury with an easy diagnosis.

Do you expect him to miss a lot of games?

Seen what I have seen, I am not very optimistic. I would like him to play and the boy obviously makes an effort but what has happened in the last few days, that he has had to stop, has us worried. Right now we don’t know when he’ll be back

Do you regret having made him play in the Copa del Rey?

It would have been better if he didn’t play, but we know this now. We are in high-performance teams and we always have a limit requirement. Sometimes you take risks. It is never done with the intention of harming anyone, but sometimes things happen outside of your control. Everything was agreed with the player and we believed we were doing the right thing. We didn’t think things would develop like this.

How do you see Real Madrid?

They are a great team, but they have had a difficult time. It is normal in a long season. It is a strange year, with the incidences of COVID. They have had the difficulty of getting injured players like Randolph and Thompkins into dynamics, as well as integrating a player like Deck. In addition, they have had injuries. The casualties coupled with the lack of pace have cost them some poor results. But they are a very good team, as always Real Madrid. They will always be where they are.

What weaknesses do you see?

They will have weaknesses, as we all do. We all have strengths and situations that are more difficult for us to defend or attack. Another thing is to see which team puts those rival weaknesses on the table. I don’t think they have an obvious weak point that all teams can exploit. They are a very talented team and, apart from the tactical problems they may have at any given moment, they have a great competitive spirit. That hides any weakness. They have everything. Talent, physique, technique… They play attractive basketball and are well trained.

Do you prefer to face a rival of the magnitude of Real Madrid when it is going through a bad dynamic?

you never know When they are in a bad moment you have the feeling that they are going to get more batteries when they play against a theoretically inferior team. On the other hand, if they are in a very good dynamic, perhaps they respect you less and you can hook them. With a weaker team I prefer the latter, that they be in a very good dynamic and see if you catch them relaxed. But it is not a guarantee of anything.

They have beaten Barça this year at the Palau… Is it a good omen?

Winning at the Palau was very good, but you have to put it in context. They were missing a lot of players, coming out of the COVID outbreak. Thats the reality. What is clear is that on that day we showed that we believed in victory. Believing that you can win is the minimum since it depends on you. But hey, in the Cup we also believed and lost by 34. You have to do what depends on you and do it very convinced.

Are you satisfied with the season so far?

More than satisfied. We are clearly above our most optimistic expectations. We are very happy, but we would like to be able to make this assessment at the end of the season. It is very good to do it in March but we would like to do it in June. There are more than two months left to finish our season and let’s see if we can say the same. Every month is important but the last ones are always more important than the first ones. We must be cautious and maintain tension and concentration.

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Does this Manresa have something special?

It is a team of players with very good chemistry between them, they get along really well. This has helped us a lot. Personal relationships are very good. They are very extroverted players and that makes the group work better. Moneke’s leadership is well accepted by all, it makes the team have a different stamp, a different joy to compete. That helps us to be more competitive.

Is the human factor differential?

Yes. We have been able to put all the pieces together relatively quickly. That allowed us to start the season with good results and gain confidence. Tactics and technique are fine, but human relations make the difference.

Why do you think this Manresa likes it?

I wouldn’t know what to say, but having a group of outgoing people like Bako, Moneke or Francisco helps. They convey a certain joy in what they do. We also went through bad times and no one laughs there, but as a group they are optimistic and try to prepare well for the competition. They have enthusiasm for winning and that is transmitted. We are a small team and that makes us like it, people appreciate that we have a good season. We try to play an attractive basketball for the spectator, without speculating, running. Play at a pace that the fans like, even if that sometimes costs us some displeasure. It is a risk we take.

And every summer he has to make a practically new team…

It is a difficulty, but we are Manresa, we are delighted that the players who play here are revalued and go to better teams. It happened last summer and it will surely happen next. This is what we hope will happen with the signings, that they don’t stay for a long time because they receive better offers. We assume it and we know that it is our path.

Where do you see Moneke next season?

He is very ambitious and has high expectations. If you asked him he would tell you that he does not give up anything. I have no idea where he will end up. We will see, but we must not be very aware of the future, but of the present. If you do things right and improve, your future will be good. Both he and other young players have potential but I advise you to be aware of the present.

Is Manresa a good intermediate step in your careers?

Hanga or Lundberg, who has just signed for the NBA, played in Manresa. I trained Mitrovic here and now he’s in the Euroleague. Or Llull himself. Manresa is a team that tries to sign untapped talent because it is what we can pay for. What we propose is a working method and a leading role that allows them to grow to go to a higher stage. This year we have several in that position. We give them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and they give us the performance. Hopefully they succeed and are capable of achieving challenges of greater economic and sporting value.

If you had to choose which is the coach of the moment… Which one would you choose?

Complicated… I don’t know. I could not tell you. There are very good coaches and I don’t like to assess them only for the results. There is the game proposal, which helps improve their players… Not everything is winning and losing. That is the main criterion, I understand it, it is what it is and what we are judged by. But not only do I look at that, I try and try to see other things. And there is a high level both in ACB and in Europe.

You manage social networks… Do you receive a lot of criticism?

Depends. The truth is that no, but there is everything, of course. When I have a lot of interactions I don’t read all of them. I don’t normally place a high value on it, nor on praise. What I value most are the criticism or compliments from people I know and are close to. Both the positives and the negatives. To the other criticisms, so generic, I do not give them any value.

What do you think about the expulsion of Russian teams from continental competitions?

From a sporting point of view I don’t like it, I would have liked them to compete because we are talking about professionals who are there and who are not to blame for the situation. But on the other hand I also understand the difficulty of staying in the competition. They are in a country that has invaded another. That generates all kinds of logistical difficulties, of image, of understanding of the fans… I understand the position that has been adopted. I feel bad that professionals, athletes who are there, cannot carry out their work for something that does not depend on them. They are more victims than anything else.

Do you follow the NBA?

Little, during the season little. I see some piece of a deferred game. I like it huh, but I watch more European basketball.

What diagnosis do you make of Spanish basketball? What future do you see?

A good one, the ACB is still a very strong league with great teams. High-level players continue to come out. It is true that we have enjoyed a generation of Spanish basketball, with many already retired, with a very high level. It’s going to be very difficult to keep up, but Spanish basketball is very competitive and I’m hopeful and certain that it will continue to be so.

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