Ponsarnau stressed that they are preparing to face “the best” Cazoo Baskonia on Sunday in the Basque derby, taking into account that when the team from Vitoria reaches its level “in attack it is probably the best team in Europe”. “And within that best attack it has two values, the counterattack and the shot from three. On their ‘roster’ they are all very good three-point shooters, ”said the coach of the Basque team at the press conference prior to the game at the Buesa Arena that he offered before the training session that he led in Miribilla.
To neutralize these virtues of the Barça team, Ponsarnau is clear that they will need to “make the defensive transition well so that they find as few points as possible” and also “want to reach all three shots”. “And to achieve that it is important to attack well and have few turnovers because they are players with a stealing mentality and a huge commitment to compete for every ball. In the games that have cost them the most to win, they have won the rebound and that speaks volumes about their competitive ability, ”he analyzed.
Questioned about Howard’s importance in the Baskonia game, the Catalan coach considers that Joan Peñarroya has “an even more decisive player” like Thompson. “It had been a long time since such a solid and consistent point guard in creation, execution and defense had come to the ACB. You have to give importance to Howard, but also to Thompson, Giedraitis, Costello… I give Joan a lot of credit for extending the team as much as he could”, he highlighted.
About his team Ponsarnau is confident that he will be able to count on the full squad after Hakanson, who was out due to muscle problems in Tuesday’s European game against UCAM Murcia, returned to training on Thursday. In that session yesterday, the one who suffered a slight physical problem, which the coach did not specify, was Francis Alonso. The man from Malaga did not train this Friday with the group, but Ponsarnau assumes that he will be available for the Buesa derby.
“Our chances will be marked by the options we have to build our tone and our roles from work because otherwise we are a weak team. If we manage to conjure up everything in a positive way, we can beat anyone, even Baskonia”, stressed the man from Tárrega.
Reyes stressed that after being left out of the Champions League, the goal they have set for themselves in the locker room is “to continue to be a team that is respected and feared, like at the beginning of the season.” “I think that we were dangerous then and in recent months we have lost the identity and the claw that characterized us in the first days,” stressed the forward from Extremadura. He added that after the injuries and player changes that the squad has experienced, they are finally “everyone on the same page” and “eager” to complete a good end to the season from the qualifying tranquility that the ten victories they have given them. already in the locker.
“After a bad Champions League phase, it’s a good opportunity to make up for it and show that Bilbao is a team that should be taken into account,” added an excited Reyes about playing on Sunday “a game that people like to play,” in the one who aspires to reach the final stretch with chances of victory.
“It’s a game to play as a team and keep your head for 40 minutes, with 38 it’s not worth it. We will have a great team in front of us, but we also know what we are capable of. We are going to focus on what is ours, which is to fight until the end and then we will see what happens ”, he reflected.