On Thursday night, Urunday beat Peñarol 87-81, and in this way closed the series 2-0. The Prado team will play the semifinals for the third consecutive year. Martín Aguilera, who was key in the defense over David Huertas, spoke with Basketball Total.
The first game of the series seemed settled in favor of Urunday, but Peñarol reacted and managed to force an extension. On this, Martín reflected: “If the previous game we reached the extension, it was due to a matter of deconcentration and lowering the attitude, especially in defense.” On the adjustment for the second game, he said: “Having entered plugged in the second half, and especially in the last quarter, was important to always keep them down on us. Beyond that at some point they approached, we did not give them the chance that they could reverse the game. It seems to me that that was the key, to always be in control of the game, more than anything in defense. This game we had to control Huertas and Mazzarino a lot, more than anything in the outside shot, which is where their game passed ”. Furthermore, he added: “From the beginning we wanted to show them that we, despite having been unemployed, were going to go out to eat them.”
David Huertas, who was expected to be the decisive player in Peñarol, had extremely poor performances in the series against Urunday. The first game barely scored 4 points (4 free throws, since in field goals he left with a regrettable 0/12). In the second he was able to score 12 points (with a weak 1/5 on triples). On this aspect, Martín said: “We knew that to win we had to control it. The idea was to prevent him from touching the ball, and that when he had it in his hands to try not to throw it ”. Aguilera had the difficult task of defending him, on which he expressed: “The fight with Huertas was tough. He is a very good player. He has a good outside hand, and he is also strong and likes to attack the rim. I went in to be face to face with him, and not worry about the rest. Héctor asked me to cancel it. That I stay with him and not let go. He told me to forget about the rest of the players, not to worry about helping. My goal was to stay with him and not be able to touch the ball ”.
Urunday will play against Nacional in the semifinals, on which Martín reflected: “The series against Nacional is going to be complicated. It’s a tough squad, but it seems to me that we can get some advantages out of them. I think we have more speed and agility on the table. Our two interns are faster than theirs, and I think we can hurt over there. Marcus and Facu have to put the bombs that they always put, which is the goal we have ”. On the defensive aspect, he said: “We have to keep putting in defense. Today, without defense it is very difficult to win. We will try to defend as best we can ”.
It is no coincidence that the Prado team is among the best four for another year, looking for the longed-for passage to the finals. Regarding the good present of the team, Martín explained: “The group deserves this. I saw it from outside when I played against them in the last championship, and you could see the strong group in Urunday. The truth is that living it inside is very nice. Beyond the kind of players we have, there is a very nice group of people, and that is fundamental in a team game like basketball. This team always works with humility and sacrifice. The coaching staff, the teachers, the medical staff and the players are always available, always in a good mood. The human group is fundamental. It is one of the most beautiful things we are experiencing this season ”. Finally, Martín closed with a message for the people of Urunday: “I hope the fans are happy, and hopefully they can be a little more. It is good that the fans know that we are leaving everything on the pitch ”.