Pueyo: “We are satisfied with how the team is doing”

Rafa Pueyo usually lives on the wire. The Bilbao Basket sports director has to refine a lot because resources are scarce at the club. And year after year a ‘white blackbird’ is taken out of the sleeve that is revalued in Miribilla. On this occasion, one of the stars of the ACB is Hakanson and it will be difficult to keep him in front of the great European ‘sharks’. “He has had very good game spikes. We want him to continue, we’ll see what his point of view is. We are going to try to make him stay, he has been here for three seasons and we are betting that he will be there for more. To those who want it, we will not make it easy for those who want it. Let’s hope he appreciates the importance he has in this team”, in addition to Ludde, coach Ponsarnau, Radicevic, Francis Alonso, Rabaseda, Goudelock and Reyes have a contract for next year, almost all with affordable clauses to leave. The North American is back in Bilbao and yesterday he underwent a review with doctor Mikel Sánchez to analyze his operated knee. His return is not scheduled until April. “He will arrive very precisely at the end of the season,” settles the sports manager. As for Rigo, who is leaving behind his third serious injury to that same joint, Pueyo is even more pessimistic: “He is working, but still without contact, it is too soon to know if he will be able to be in a game this season.”

He celebrates the presence of two Bilbao Basket players for the first time in the National Team (there have already been in the Swedish team with Hakanson and Andersson): “Álex (Reyes) is very excited and satisfied, and we are also able to help him get to there”. Alonso is the one who stays with Scariolo. The summary of the season so far could not be more positive: “The classification is good and we are satisfied with how the team is doing in both competitions.”. We find ourselves with nine victories, one away from the playoffs and six ahead of relegation. We would have all signed to be like this on matchday 20. And in the Champions League, we have a balance of 1-2, but we passed the first phase that was the objective and we are still alive, of the three games we have left, two are at home, We will try to compete until the end and speed up our chances of passing. Mathematically, the objective has not been achieved, we want to be ambitious and be as high as possible, finishing in places that allow us to return to Europe, but the Champions League has become more important, we want to try to get through this phase, the quarterfinals. Before, if we had two games in a row, the priority was the ACB and now, it could be the Champions League, because the classification allows us to focus more on it”, celebrates the Bilbao leader.

Goudelock, already in Miribilla, in the last phase of his recovery


Goudelock, already in Miribilla, in the last phase of his recovery

During the season the point guard position has been a headache, but it has been solved and the signing of Smith has been a success. Pueyo estimates that the calendar marks a lot. And in the two streaks of four losses they have had to play three games away and one at home, against Baskonia in one of them and against Joventut in the other. The change of Mumbrú by Ponsarnau after 13 years between player and coach sowed unknowns this season, but this one has fit very well. “He has gone through several teams and has stayed at the same club for many years, such as Valencia and Manresa. The results are there. After Álex’s stage, we knew that doubts could be raised, but I think they have dissipated”.

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