Pablo Laso: “The OCB should think not of going up, of being in the ACB, and for that, a pavilion is needed”

“I’m sorry to put pressure on you, Guillermo (Arenas), but I’m sure that if you beat Melilla you’re already saved.” The author of such a statement towards the Alimerka Oviedo Basketball coach is a more than authoritative voice when it comes to talking about basketball. Pablo Laso, one of the best Spanish basketball coaches, was yesterday the protagonist of the “Sport and Business” series of talks organized by Caja Rural and the Carbayón club. The coach was very affable with the audience and showed his affection for Oliver Arteaga, OCB captain, with whom he met in his first year on the bench at Castelló.

The man from Vitoria spoke about the Oviedo project, which after 20 years of existence, and despite the current qualifying difficulties, dreams of climbing to the top of national basketball. “How many teams are there that want to go up to the ACB in 20 years?” Laso joked with Fernando Villabella, president of the Carbayón club, before leaving several keys for the future of the people from Oviedo. “What the club should focus on is being in the ACB, not going up. It’s different. To stay in the elite you need a sports project that needs time and facilities to match,” said the former Real Madrid coach, for finish off: “Is the mayor around here? Because I know Pumarín and to be on top you need a new pavilion.”

Laso was optimistic about the permanence of the Oviedo team, which today has a key duel against bottom club Melilla. “If he wins, I think he’s practically saved,” analyzed the Basque, who confessed not to be a fan of LEB Oro.

From the left, Fernando Villabella, Luis Tuero and José Antonio Tuñón, respectively president, vice president and treasurer of the OCB; Pelayo Coyantes, from Alimerka; Miguel Ángel Traverso, from Caja Rural; José María Salazar, from Tartiere Auto; Guillermo Arenas and Manolo Barreto, head of the club’s medical services, listening to Pablo Laso. | Julian Rus / OCB

After being sacked by Real Madrid during last season’s play-offs after suffering a heart problem, Pablo Laso wanted to reassure fans about his state of health. “I’m very good, even better than before,” he enthused. Regarding his future on the bench, the man from Vitoria made it clear. “I think that next year I will train again. This year I had an option in the middle of the season, but I didn’t want to. Right now it’s absurd to talk about teams, but my life is training,” said the coach, delighted by the love he receives now from the fans: “I’m having a coffee and people come up to talk to me. It’s something that is appreciated, that the public values ​​your work”.

Laso was able to greet familiar faces. “I am very happy that Arteaga is still here,” confessed Laso, who coincided with the 40-year-old OCB captain in his first adventure on the bench, in Castelló, and of whom he has great memories. “I never thought that more than 20 years after we met he would continue to fight on the slopes,” revealed Laso, closing an act that left a great taste in the public’s mouths.


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