Carlos Suárez, one of the captains of Unicaja, takes a walk through MARCA to discuss various aspects of the current situation of the Los Guindos complex. In a special year for him, he feels like a player again after eight months of ordeal and injury, the ‘Chimpa’ wants to make up for lost time from the hand of a team that has not cleared up doubts at this start of the competition. Unicaja has two faces, the one shown in Europe, leading all the statistics of the FIBA ??Champions League, and that of the ACB, where the accounts to go to the Copa del Rey in Granada begin to falter. All this and much more in an extensive talk with the Madrid forward.
Question. Finally the captain is back …
Answer. Yes, little by little. It helps me to be with my colleagues after eight and a half months away. Now it is a question of taking the physical tone with the passage of training and games.
Q. Have you had a very bad time?
R. I’ve had a bad time, very bad for the whole situation last year. The results, the Covid, the results of the team. The hardest thing was getting back to my teammates and relapsing again. etc; it was a very hard stick to relapse. Now I want to take it easy and go back to enjoying being on the track that is my natural habitat.
P. Each time with more minutes …
R. It is that. Being on the court, that competitive tension, the adrenaline that you burn with the games and with the day to day. Playing all those minutes against Dijon was a very good experience that I had been missing all this time. Feeling like a basketball player again is what I’ve been wanting for these months. To be with the fans, in short. Something very positive.
P. Watch that Champions League. What do you think?
R. It is clear that we are winning comfortably, but I think there is a good level. There are good teams, like Lenovo Tenerife or Pinar Karsiyaka, who are signing players who were until recently at Real Madrid. It is still too early to analyze much more of the competition. Sooner or later it is a competition that will grow and level up. I believe that Unicaja has not been wrong.
Q. How do you see the cup options?
R. We have complicated the options, really. We have to win 6 or 7 games that remain, I think we have to take them out at home since we still have a lot to play. The Carpena factor of playing at home we know is going to be important. That it is played in Granada is an incentive, you have to trust. It is a Cup without a host and that makes it different. Granada has not enjoyed basketball for a long time and they like that.
Q. What are the reasons for this bad dynamic?
R. We all think that we should take some more victory. The Gran Canaria game was a stick, it’s the one that kills us a bit. The one that marks whether we were getting off to a good start or not. He left us touched, with that victory today we would be in a different way. It is true that there have been matches that we have not been well, such as Andorra or Manresa, but we have competed in all the matches that we have lost. We have a narrow negative basketaverage despite six losses. With Barça we fight until the end.
Q. What’s wrong?
R. It is the small details that are weighing us down.
There have been moments of good basketball that later we have not been able to sentence, without going any further the clash the other day in Vitoria. We have had small mistakes in the end of the matches that have left us without victory.
Q. What happens to Nzosa?
A. The problem with Yannick is that his entry was spectacular in professional basketball that we are often not aware of how old he is. He is a 17-year-old boy who is just starting out and who needs that experience. The first year everything is good because there is no requirement, the complicated one is the second. That’s where people put the magnifying glass on you. I have told him to play calmly and that way he will regain his level. I have full confidence that he will return to the level of last year and more. It’s true that it has that huge background noise around it. But I promise you that I don’t see him enjoying it at all. . It means that you have done things right. He is the youngest. You have to try to gain experience and that confidence, to be better day by day.
Q. Should Unicaja go to the market?
R. A team like Unicaja has to always be aware of players who can arrive, we are on the sidelines in the locker room. We players do not talk about it inside the team.
P. ‘The Carpena Factor’, fundamental.
A. We are getting back to normal. After a year without an audience, it shows a lot. Hopefully we will have that atmosphere again before the pandemic, with that Carpena of the great occasions. The other day against Barcelona it was very noticeable that they were there again.