I loved shooting three points, I always liked it. But there were good shooters: Pablo Morales was a good shooter. Leandro is a good shot. I think the shooter’s theme is, if he is left alone, he holes, he has to hole. Unless you have a bad night, yes, if you have a bad night you can shoot only 10 times and not put it. But if you are alone and have a good night, you have to hole up and that is missing a bit. Shooting can shoot anyone, the issue is hole. If you shoot 10 or 12 triples, four or five are going to score.
In your particular case as a great shooter. Did you train him apart?
Yes Yes. Ever since I was in Marne, they threw me out of the club. There is an anecdote that when Unión bought me, I was in Marne shooting, the first had finished at 10:30 p.m. and it was more or less 11:30 p.m. and Juan Carlos Alonso appeared, who was Lovera’s assistant ( Daniel), I had faced him when he played in Sayago and he was there as an assistant. He asked me if my old man was home, I said yes and he went home. I asked him if something had happened and he said no, he wanted to talk to him. I thought it was because of something from Cutcsa because my old man worked there. I kept shooting for a while longer, until the canchero told me he wanted to go, he turned off the lights and we left. When I got home, Lovera was with my old man because he wanted me in Union, that’s where he closed everything for me (laughs). But, I always hung around, maybe when I went to Unión Atlética, I couldn’t because of the bus issue, I didn’t have a car, I always rode a bus. I couldn’t stay two hours to shoot because I had no way to go home. When I was in Marne I spent hours shooting, but hours and I went in the morning too, right? (laughs).
Are the shooters out there forced today?
I think hours of training are missing. In the year of Athens that today told you that I was the best sixth man, the coach was Da Prá (Héctor) and he made us shoot five free games in a row, if you didn’t hock, you didn’t leave. Sometimes we were there for a while, but we hopped. There are times when it is a matter of the head too, you can train the shot 10,000 times but if you don’t have a good hand, you will hole one, but there are times when you don’t.
How was that night vs. Welcome that you made 11 triples? That a few years ago Johwen Villegas set you the record with 12 on the Trouville court.
Luckily I’m the only Uruguayan hitting triples (laughs). At least it was Johwen, I played with him and he’s a monster. What’s more, I’m honest, I was happy that it was him. That same year Pablo (Morales) scored 10, then I spent it in that game with Welcome with the triples. Then I had the number of free games without missing, which were 63 in a row without missing, I think García Morales was yet to come, but very close and I think he didn’t. But the triples, I shot 20. You have to shoot 20 triples! But the Johwen thing was tremendous, he scored 12/15, it was an exuberant percentage, I don’t think he will ever do it again (laughs). It’s difficult because of the amount of triples you have to shoot, because it’s not that you’re going to shoot 11 times and hit 11 triples, at least you have to shoot between 15 and 17 triples that it’s not easy to shoot that amount now for a single player.
Who was the bravest defender that touched you in your career?
El Bicho was brave and another who was complicated was Pelado Vázquez. El Bicho (Silveira) left you free a little more after you were old, but at first it was unbearable.
And the most complicated court?
Pah, in this I am going to coincide with Pedro (Xavier) who read it here. Defensores de Maroñas was brave, very brave. Those teams from before were very brave, Defensores de Maroñas, the Paysandú field. Before they were nice messes, it didn’t happen more than that, you didn’t go out or it took longer than normal, you had a swollen eye. Now, they don’t have codes and anything can happen.
Why did you withdraw?
If I kept playing basketball, I couldn’t enjoy my kids. I retired in 2015 in Marne, once the late Walter Pesqueira told me: “Please retire to Marne”. So that stayed with me, my little head was always withdrawing in Marne. My son Lautaro was 5 years old and Benjamin 1 year and something, we played against Verdirrojo who saved us from relegation and from then on I had thought that I was going to retire. But, I still asked Lautaro if he wanted me to continue playing and he said: “No dad, don’t play anymore”. And there I decided not to play anymore. I didn’t have the time either, I worked in the morning, my children left school, I watched them for two hours and I had to go to practice, I didn’t have a family life.
Did basketball leave you something financially?
The only thing he left me with is a lot of knowledge, a lot of friends, well-known people. He lived day to day, able to raise a little money, but it didn’t make a difference. When I played in Olimpia it was when he jumped from Federal to Liga, that was more or less that my salary improved and I just got married (laughs). He did not give me time to collect money, we already came here (Cuernos de Batlle) and had to pay for electricity, water, etc. My wife also works and we helped each other. But, it was not the same when you live in the house of your old people that you do not put a handle on being married and maintaining a house.
Now are you still playing?
No, now I decided not to play. A few years ago, I am a friend of Gucci and we had a team that we were Taste Assassins, José Fernández, Caballo Lambert played, we laughed a lot, I played to break balls and fuck a while. And sometimes because of who you are, they would come and hit you, push you, and I’m not up for those things. The next day you have to go to work, so that they hurt you or something, now they are again and I decided not to go for that.
Do you like to go to watch basketball on the court or do you like to watch it quietly at home?
Yes, I’m from watching it on television. If I can Marne, I will always see him, I always try to go with my children who accompany me. More with Lautaro who is older, sometimes I will not see other games because I do not end up seeing anything. Because you come across half the town, they start talking to you and the game goes away (laughs). One day I took Lautaro to the Peñarol Palace that I did not know, he was playing one of the Hebraica vs Aguada finals and as soon as I entered they made me a note for the radio. I sat down and started talking to Rodolfo Kaminietzky, because he knew my old man from before. When I wanted to agree, he had 2:00 left to the game and I couldn’t see the final! So I prefer to have a snack or something and watch it calmly at home.
Which player looks like Pablo Clérici on the field today?
Pah is very difficult to compare. But, the other day I was watching and I really liked Agustín Pose el de Colón, I know Mateo the brother and he always painted to be good, he was in national teams and everything. Now I saw him and he is a player who has mettle, another who has mettle is Planells (Luciano) did not have many shifts in Unión Atlética, but he is a player that must be followed. I also like Martín Rojas a lot.
What do you miss most after retirement?
The costumes, that was lost a lot. When I was in Athens and we were training at 10:30, at 9:45 I was there with the thermos and mate with Celso (canchero) downstairs in the room. All that was lost, but the costumes were essential. I would come out of bathing and spend half an hour to put on my clothes, chatting about life, breaking balls and that’s what the group does. Clothing and food, there you realize if the team is for something or for nothing.
Today you play more for money than for the love of the shirt?
It could be. The day it didn’t matter to me winning or losing, I wasn’t going to play basketball anymore, luckily that didn’t happen to me, I didn’t retire because of that. I have seen players who lost by 30 and I saw them at night or they told you that they had seen it, if I lost by 30 I would lock myself in my house and I was ashamed to go out the next day. I, Pablo Clérici, the others who handle themselves, but I think that much was lost. I was always a player who liked to win at everything, it did not matter to me, maybe that was lost because they look more at the money, what they care about is to collect, which before was more difficult to collect, sometimes they owed you three or four months, maybe things are stricter now.
What was left for you to do in basketball?
And … to be champion in the First Division, I was champion, which is the maximum, in El Metro, but in First we were there at the door, but it did not happen, it was not for me.
Were you happy on a court?
Yes, yes, I really liked playing basketball. He enjoyed playing basketball, maybe as we all don’t like physical preparation, but you had to do it to be physically well. I liked to play basketball, it left me a lot of knowledge, the great issue here, although you play for money because you need it, since you lived on that. But today I can enter any club I go to, that is fundamental and wherever I go to one they greet him with great respect and that must be earned and that is what I try to instill in my children. Respect is essential.