The Juaristi Iraurgi opens the doors of his lair


They host Coruña at 9:30 p.m. on the opening day of the LEB Oro, with Guuk Gipuzkoa taking on Ourense half an hour earlier

Beñat Arnaiz

Only five teams left the Azpeitia sports center alive last season – TAU Castellón played in Azkoitia – and Juaristi Iraurgi reopens the doors of its lair in the hope that rivals will continue to fall into the trap and fall victim to good basketball who hope to deploy the wolves commanded by Mikel Odriozola. The LEB Oro kicks off tonight and Gipuzkoa hosts a very attractive first match, with Leyma Coruña visiting Azpeitia at 9:30 p.m. (LaLiga Sports TV).

Only Girona, Lleida, Real Valladolid, Melilla and Cáceres won in 2021/22 in the Urolatarra fiefdom. Many rivals were naive. They traveled to Azpeitia believing that a simple match awaited them against the lowest in the category and they returned home without knowing where the wind had given them. Ask if not the Students, Granada, Alicante or Coruña itself. This season all visitors should be on their toes and hit the slopes with ears pricked.

Diego Epifanio has arrived at the Galician bench this summer and as a good connoisseur of the LEB Oro he knows that the successes of June are built from October. Only three players continue compared to last year, and one of them is the base Álex Hernández, who is still recovering from a knee injury, so the Croatian Goran Flipovic is in charge of directing a ship with a lot of new name and also known. Aleix Font has not been able to make the leap in quality that he was looking for in the ACB and has gone down a step to boost his career by leading Coruña.

Juaristi Iraurgi, meanwhile, will test the current state of the team against a rival that aspires to be in the top-5 of the standings. The squad is young –average 23 years old–, but there is a block that already knows the LEB Oro and that will know how to face these first days with greater guarantees than in 2021, when inexperience was noted when it came to closing matches. Odriozola has everyone available and the fans, sandwich in hand, will be able to enjoy the first glimpses of Dimitri Maconda and Nathan Hoover.

In Ourense with Sollazzo

Guuk Gipuzkoa, like Juaristi, begin their second consecutive campaign in the LEB Oro for the first time in their history away from home, at Ourense’s pitch at 9:00 p.m. (LaLiga Sports TV). The best news is that forward Adam Sollazzo joined the expedition that left San Sebastian this Thursday, practically unprecedented in preseason due to a blow he received two weeks ago to the face. On Wednesday he completed his first group training after the stitches were removed and tonight he will be available for whatever Lolo Encinas asks of him.

The one who still has a little more left is Rauno Nurger. The San Sebastian coach explained this Thursday that “he came with an overload from the Eurobasket and we thought that he was going to recover, but every time we put a greater load of basketball on him he was worse. We have changed the approach and it seems that we are getting it right. This week he has finally done exercises without opposition, but I can’t tell you when he will be there ».

The Gipuzkoans will face a recently promoted player with a lot of tradition in the LEB Oro who will be led on the court by Fran Pilepic, Shaun Willett and Stojan Gjuroski. Encinas affirmed that his team “has more character and more focus in attack than last year”, conditions that will help to see a more compact group in defense and in which Justin Jaworski will pull the car in attack with his long shots and tackles to basket.



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