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Can the formula between football and basketball save Central Córdoba from relegation?

Abel Balbo talks with Julio Lamas and the other two members of the Central Córdoba coaching staff: Martín Piñeyro and Gabriel Martínez. – Credits: @Gustavo Autalan

The bet is innovative and has an interdisciplinary approach, with which it is intended to add capabilities of two sports. Central Cordobafrom Santiago del Estero, opened the doors for this experiment that this Saturday saw the light for the first time, with the 3-1 defeat against Racing at the Madre de Ciudades stadium, for the Professional Soccer League. Abel Balboafter a brief experience in the Italian ascent, is starting to build his racing career technical director and chose to surround himself with Julius Lamaswith a long history as coach of basketball, included in the Argentine national team, in which he made Emanuel Ginóbili debut at the age of 21 in a World Cup, Greece 1998.

The times rush. The duo faced the official competition with only a couple of days of trainingand the urgency to remain in the first category will mark the next steps. The day of his presentation, Balbo said that he only thought about preparing for the match against Racing. When they consulted him about the last bullet left for the leaders to reinforce the squad, the Santa Fe responded with a joke, which is also a symptom of the needs: “Yes, Cristiano Ronaldo”.

Julio Lamas, following Central Córdoba vs.  Racing from a stall at the Madre de Ciudades stadium.

Julio Lamas, following Central Córdoba vs. Racing from a stall at the Madre de Ciudades stadium.

The supplementation is not intended to adapt tactics or strategies used on the parquet on the pitch. The proposal of each meeting will be the responsibility of Balbowhich is accompanied by Martin Pineyro y Gabriel Martinez as a field assistant. With a concentrated gesture, Lamas witnessed the debut in a stall. will have a job in collective managementwith the authoritative voice conferred by its trajectory of more than 30 years in charge of schools.

It arrives impregnated with high competition. He coached the Japanese basketball team at the Tokyo Olympics. The Básquet Plus site highlighted Lamas: “He is a special coach, with a great capacity not only to articulate groups, but also to plan and order. He did it in the institutions in which he worked, from Sport Club in the 90s to Japan itself, passing through Olimpia, Ben Hur, Libertad, Obras, San Lorenzo and the two cycles in the Argentine team”. He also managed Boca Juniors, a club in which he won the National League for the first time (1996/1997). Then came four other crowns, which have him second in the history of League champion coaches, behind Sergio Hernández, owner of six trophies.

Compact of Central Córdoba 1 vs. Racing 3

When Balbo had to justify his duo with Lamas (58 years old), he expressed: “He is for the management of the coaching staff because he is a person with an enormous career, of the highest world level. What I was looking for for the coaching staff was people who had a mentality to work in a group and knowledge of the area in which they would have to act”.

This Professional League was close to having a similar precedent, when Carlos Tevez announced that he would take office in Rosario Central accompanied by Carlos Retegui, who finally chose to remain as Secretary of Sports of the City of Buenos Aires. A case of extrapolation from another sport to football is that of Ariel Holan, from field hockey. In the eighties, when Carlos Griguol directed Ferro, had as a frequent interlocutor Leon Nakhnudelmanager of the basketball team of the Caballito club and ideologue of the National League.

Francisco González Metilli, perhaps the best individual on the Central Córdoba squad, tries to escape Eugenio Mena, from Racing.

Francisco González Metilli, perhaps the best individual on the Central Córdoba squad, tries to escape Eugenio Mena, from Racing.

Hard work in sports and motivation awaits the Balbo-Lamas duo. With the loss against the Academy, the Ferriovario fell to a relegation position. Of the last 15 points he got one. The campaign to the tumbles already cost Sergio Rondina his jobtemporarily replaced in the three previous matches by Adrián Adrover.

In the general balance, Racing was quite superior. He made it 2-0 with two headers from Enzo Copetti, very awake to exploit the inattention of the two central defenders. Central Córdoba threatened to get into the game with the discount of Renzo Lopez fifteen minutes from the end, but the Academy defined it with two players who entered from the bench: overflow of Matias Rojas and definition of Carlos Alcaraz.

Balbo, a former striker who participated in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups, had long been expressing in the media his desire to have an opportunity in the technical direction. With 56 years, his career in banks is short and discontinuous. He has been inactive for a decade, when he managed for 10 games at Arezzo in Serie D in Italy, where he had previously trained Trevisoanother deep ascent club.

Racing players huddle around Enzo Copetti, scorer of two goals in Santiago del Estero.

Racing players huddle around Enzo Copetti, scorer of two goals in Santiago del Estero.

For the meeting with Racing, the most significant change he made in the formation was in the goal: César Rigamonti by Christopher Toselli. Sheathed in a gabardine jacket, he followed the match without much in the way of instructions. He greeted Fernando Gago before and after the match.

At the press conference, Balbo hinted that the merger between soccer and basketball is in the making to change the complex situation at Ferroviario: “I rescue the attitude and commitment of the players. They tried to do the best they could, but many didn’t work out. It is logical: with two days of training we could not expect them to understand certain situations. I leave with good feelings and also with what I already knew: there are many things to correct. We are not going to discover anything,” said the native of Empalme Villa Constitución.

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