The whims of fate have led five players and a coach who played as locals in Bilbao to play for the Champions League title in this city. Vidorreta is the most motivated because he forms a very important part in the history of basketball in the Biscayan capital. And then there are Huertas, Todorovic, Borg, Sergio Rodríguez and Sulejmanović. Txus and Marcelinho are the only ones who did not step on Miribilla as hosts, their stage goes back to La Casilla and in the case of the coach, also to the gigantic BEC.

Txus and Marce began a successful coexistence in the 2007-08 season, three years after promotion. A remembered campaign in which a spectacular leap was made in terms of ambition. The semifinals of the Copa del Rey were reached, with a defeat against Baskonia, and the ‘men in black’ came to lead the ACB at Christmas. They fell in the first match of the playoff against a Barça that got into the final. They also played the Super Cup, at the BEC. The Brazilian base signed a memorable campaign and was included in the Ideal Quintet of the League. He perfectly complemented Salgado. The dances were established at the end of the matches in the center of the track.

“It’s special to come back to a place where everyone knows how much I enjoyed basketball. There are many players who, by chance or not, have passed through Bilbao and spent time with the people of Miribilla. We will have a good part or all of the fans with us, I hope they support us and a piece of this award would be for them”, details the Brazilian point guard in an interview with Lenovo. Vidorreta completes by his side: “His departure was the beginning of my departure from Bilbao”. The latter happened in 2010.

Huertas will never forget that campaign, in which he arrived at La Casilla on loan from Joventut. “There was a special connection with the people of the club and the coaching staff, they opened their arms to me. The atmosphere in the locker room, what we enjoyed together, I have never experienced again. It made us achieve more things than people expected “. Vidorreta recalls that a renewal of the orchestra director was agreed, but La Penya exercised the right of first refusal and to avoid it, the point guard, who did not see much of a future in Badalona, ​​left the Italian Fortitudo. Then, you know, Baskonia in two stages, Barça, Lakers… and the reunion in Tenerife with Txus. “The year after leaving Marce Bilbao, we played in Europe for the first time. He made a big change in the team’s ambition and we stayed in the semifinals of the Eurocup. That title would not have gone to Lietuves Rytas but to us if Marce arrived to follow in Bilbao”.

The Indautxu coach goes back further in time, to how the signing was conceived. “We didn’t hesitate when the possibility arose of bringing him on loan from Joventut. We thought that he would make an extraordinary couple with Javi (Salgado) and his adaptation was very fast. We knew that he had overflow, many thought that he played with a certain madness and it was the opposite, he was a mature point guard, capable of directing and scoring, so he and Javi played a lot of minutes together”.

Looking at what they are about to face, the canarista game director sets a clear slogan: “If we want to have a chance to win, we will have to leave everything and more”, the aurinegro captain is clear about a match, this one Friday against Holon, for which he considers that “both teams have quite clear ideas”.

After him a very young Borg and Todorovic arrived in Bilbao. They landed with Sito Alonso in 2014 and were together for three years, two with the current coach of Murcia and one with Duran. They covered the stage after the black cycle in which the entity was about to disappear. Team players who performed very well. Dejan arrived on loan from Unicaja and was finally owned by Bilbao Basket. He followed one more campaign than the Swede and experienced the bitterness of relegation in 2018, so he terminated the course that he still had left.

Two others who have lived parallel paths in recent years have been Sergio Rodríguez and Sulejmanovic. They arrived in Miribilla after promotion in 2019 and lived a full year, with participation in the Cup and the playoff in the bubble of La Fonteta, under the orders of Mumbrú. With the forward there was no agreement to renew and he returned to Tenerife, where he had been a long time ago. The Bosnian pivot paid the termination clause before a project that offered him more money.


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