The merger that changed basketball in Malaga

Within the acts to commemorate the 30 years of the merger between round box y Mayoral Marists, Unicaja has organized a series of round tables that began with the debate on the rivalry between the two entities that would give rise to the current club. In the Economic Society Friends of the Country of Málaga, they cited Mario Pesquera, Pedro Ramírez, Nacho Rodríguez and Rafa Vecinawith the journalist Antonio Jesus Merchan as moderator, to share experiences and impressions of that time as protagonists of it.

Between the four of them, two for each side of this story, they reconstructed the origins of the rivalry between the two clubs. “The rivalry began in the quarry. We become professionals. For Maristas to compete against round box It was winning,” he explained. Pedro Ramirez, Maristas coach, to which Nacho Rodríguez pointed out: “There was a lot of rivalry that started in the youth academy, but it was healthy”. It is true that, despite the time that has passed, there is still a certain pride and feeling of belonging to the time, although now everyone is rowing in the same direction.

There will be anecdotes to fill thousands of pages, but Rafa Neighbor He went back to his first derby: “I remember the first game I played against Maristas on their pitch. Some 2,500 people who used some magazines to cheer up. And someone gave me some “. Mario Pesquera He points out that “this rivalry is the germ of what the club is today”.

So that people can get an idea of ​​the intensity with which the situation was lived, Vecina said: “With the rivalry we had, the trophy of the Pollinica became little less than the Champions League”. Nacho Rodríguez replied with the intensity that he proposed Marists: “To face Caja de Ronda you had to defend ‘bocaos’. They had a very tall quintet and you had to be intense”.

Within the healthy rivalry, both teams respected each other. “The players of both teams only saw each other in the bars. They earned our respect in the matches,” said Vecina. “We were young, and those from Caja de Ronda were our idols”, Rodríguez added.

There was no shortage of praise looking back. “nacho rodriguez He was our reference player in the quarry, reaching the highest level. When we merged it was like a train wreck, 2 different ways of understanding basketball”, argued Pedro Ramírez.

More focused on the issue of the merger, the balance is positive. It was noted that, despite the fact that the rivalry was beautiful, the logical thing is that the paths of both clubs would come together. It was also a seed for the great moments that have been seen afterwards. A domino pushed by ambition to raise the level of basketball in Málaga, that has become a historical figure on the national scene and to which great merits are recognized. “It was a very big line of demand,” he added. Nacho Rodriguez.

“I had no doubt that the merger was good. But I prefer the words of Jose Mari Martín Urbano: They have absorbed us ”, she said between laughs Vecina, who had some healthy pullita kept up her sleeve. “It all started with Paco Moreno y Queipo de Llanoalso with Urban Martin, with whom a very important step was taken. That’s where the club came from, then came the merger and it has more and more weight. I really enjoyed the audience yesterday”, commented Mario Pesquera, recalling three basic basketball figures in Málaga which unfortunately are no longer there. These are some of the reflections left by the talk, which lasted for an hour of pleasant debate.


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