Franco Baralle: A Journey of Triumph in the National Basketball League

Franco Baralle: A Journey of Triumph in the National Basketball League

Franco Baralle has a long journey despite his short 24 years. The point guard from Córdoba completed his eighth season in the National Basketball League, winning the title with the Quimsa de Santiago del Estero jersey, where he has played for the last three years. And always reaching the final, after five seasons in “his” Athens, after his debut on October 14, 2015, at just 16 years old (against Estudiantes de Concordia).

Baralle will leave Argentina to continue his career abroad as a champion. “The truth is very nice to be champion. It is a satisfaction to all the work that we have been doing with the team, with the club. It was the third attempt and it was also more rewarding”, highlighted the point guard to Mundo D. Before beating Boca in the final, Quimsa had lost the finals against San Lorenzo and Instituto.

“You end up learning that when it didn’t happen in the last two seasons it was for something, it was part of learning and it helped us fight until the end,” added the Cordovan born on March 25, 1999.

“Those two finals that we lost in the fifth game on top of that. Against San Lorenzo, in that fifth game, we were winning by 16 or 18 points in the first half. And in the last one against Instituto, they had control of the game. We went to the front at the end, but they defined it with the free practice. They were always fought games, ”he recalls.

It was difficult, but he did it, Franco Baralle won the National League with Quimsa from Santiago del Estero. (Matias Garcia / National League)

-What came to your mind when they won the title?

-It was a relief from everything lived. To have fulfilled the objective that we had all set ourselves. To have the personal opportunity to be champion. There was the chance that it was my last year at the club, so leaving in the best way. And having taken advantage of the other opportunity, be grateful for learning from the two lost finals. Also from my family, who was there on the field, and who was always accompanying me. Having lost two finals you realize who really is and who isn’t. And well, the family is always there.

-You can see that they are a very close family and it is clear, with that last name, very basketball

-Yes, we are reunited and we really like basketball. We are all passionate. My grandmother was there too, who was the wife of Eder (historic former president of Athens, as well as a former player). She is also passionate about basketball. When I started playing (in the League) it’s like she returned to the ring. You ask her and she knows a lot about basketball, about the League. She knows a lot, she sets out and searches. So she’s very cute that too.

“Having lost two finals, you realize who really is there and who isn’t. And well, the family is always there,” Franco Baralle said during his visit to La Voz. (Ramiro Pereyra / The Voice)

-What lessons did the National League leave you?

-It is one of the most competitive out there. He will never let you down, he never lets you down, no matter what. Today the economic context of the country does not help, and it may drop in level, but competitiveness will never drop. When they leave, everyone wants to return to the League, I assure you that. The League gave me a lot. I started playing when I was young, at the age of 16, and I grew over the years. Being in Athens I went through a lot of… I can tell you, I went through a bit of everything. I think that he left me many good things in the situations that I experienced. I played for relegation with Athens, I was champion, I lost finals…

-Is it for this reason that the Argentine player is highly sought after?

-The foreign teams look for the Argentine players. Obviously it is a source of pride because it shows that something is being done well. Beyond what they say about the League, there are a lot of things they say that it is wrong, that it is in decline, it continues to bring out good sought-after players from abroad. The Argentinian has everything, he is considered a winner and almost every team always tries to have one. He is part of our essence, the work and the desire to compete and win that we have.

Baralle, the selection and his step

With the great quality of Argentine basketball point guards, and beyond his youth, Baralle enjoyed the national team process. But he was not in the last games of the qualifiers in which the team did not qualify for the 2023 World Cup.

“It was very hard to be left out of the World Cup. I saw the team’s work and being left out due to a difference in points made me a bit angry because the players made a huge effort. “Tortu” (Deck) traveled, like “Facu” (Campazzo) to be; also “Lapro” (Nicolás Laprovíttola), who arrived the same day of the last game”, says the Cordovan.

“That commitment of theirs to the national team is fascinating, a source of pride for the team, for the country, for us who were there in the process and saw what they did to be a game, or two. We didn’t deserve to be left out. But things happen for a reason, maybe it’s a wake-up call to start turning a page, start a new process. Pablo Prigioni said that he only now has the chance to train for more than a month, and that will help him a lot and I think the team will be better, ”he added.

“Obviously, being there is not the same as not being there, but I am equally happy to have been in the process, I want the team to return to where it deserves. I have a lot of idols there in the national team and obviously I want them to be in all the World Cups, all the Olympic Games, because it’s a pleasure to play there,” added Baralle of the Argentine national team.

-Do you expect a new chance in the national team?

-It is a difficult position because there are very good point guards, but I am always aware. Being there is beautiful. Being part of the process, sharing training sessions, meals, is something very different from what one experiences at the club. But I am objective, I know where I am standing, I know what I need to be there, I know who they are, it is not something that makes me feel bad if I am not there. It doesn’t matter to me, obviously. I’m glad to see them play, I honestly pay to be in the front row and see them.

-What are you looking for taking the step to play abroad?

-The experience of going abroad, of continuing my training, of growing personally; It’s going to be quite a challenge. And try to assume that responsibility of being a foreigner in the best way. Also to meet new people, a new league, new players. Learning, that’s what it’s all about.

More information about Athens

2023-07-13 11:05:57
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