A few months have passed since Jorge Álvarez decided to leave Oviedo to look elsewhere for his progression in the world of basketball coaches. Now he is the right hand of Lolo Encinas, forming a coaching staff that has the difficult mission of directing a rebuilding Gipuzkoa Basket after relegation from the ACB League. While the Basque team exhibits great irregularity, their old team, Unicaja Banco Oviedo, is once again among the best. Today they meet in Pumarín (12.30 pm, LaLiga Sports).
– How is the experience being?
-Well well. It is true that the team is very irregular and at the moment we are not able to compete against those at the top. Granada and Coruña beat us easily. In Palencia we were good, but it took us a long time. Against those below we have been solvent, and now we have that step to see if we can play the best face to face.
– But more is expected from a recently released from the ACB.
– Yes, but the club is in the reset phase. Every time he has gone up to the ACB it almost became a problem, and now he has at all levels the challenge of ceasing to be an elevator club, of reinforcing the structure in all plots. It is true that when you go down you can think that you are the favorite, but the reality is what it is.
–And the OCB, upstairs again.
– Well, here few coincidences. The OCB thing is a trend, because it is always there. They take us two victories and they are doing very good basketball, very successful, with a tremendous level of confidence and dominating the games.
– What do you think is the key to the Oviedo team?
-The first key is the continuity of an important nucleus of players, in this league it is very difficult to maintain a block. And then they combine a very good team game with the development of individual talent. They have a top defense in the league and they compete very well, it is difficult to get them out of games. They are comfortable with the game on the wire, while there are many who get nervous in those situations.
– What style of play does the GBC propose?
–The idea is to play fast, with shots in the first seconds of possession and not lose the opportunity to launch open shots. It is good for us to play from the pass and with the threat of the outside game. We try to play with rhythm, and those who have beaten us have not wanted to run. It is true that behind us we need one more step of toughness and we are rebounding a little below what we had thought in defense and that is very important to be able to run.
– Is the Pumarín party special for you?
–It is a bit special to return home and to Oviedo, having been in two stages, but we are concentrating on getting a bit of regularity, we need it, the break lengthens doubts a bit. We need to take that step forward and we have five key games in December.
– What did you think of Marc Gasol’s debut in the League?
-The debut was easy due to the circumstances of Huesca, who did not have the complete team, but it is clear that he is the player with the greatest impact that the LEB has stepped on, a little more than two years ago he was champion of the NBA and the World Cup with the Spanish selection. The impact must be positive, it gives visibility to the competition.