PABLO ROMERO / COMMUNICATION AREA FEB
It was the evening of October 27 when the Innova tsn Leganés announced the hiring of a new technician with whom to try to straighten the course of the project within its first year of life in the LF Endesa.
An advertisement for which, however, there seemed to be plenty of presentations since its name was none other than that of a national basketball classic, a Evaristo Pérez Torices who took the reins of the Spanish selection between 2007 and 2009 and thus returning to the front page of a basketball that had not completely left.
The best of news possible for a group of players who were then beginning a process of express adaptation his new coach, with just three training sessions and a first round in Logroño in which the first positive details could already be appreciated.
Indications on which to start working in an international break in which the Palencia coach has laid the foundations of a dressing room that is beginning to know in detail. A team that has already given the pick and shovel of a descendant of Barruelan miners in order to dig their own gallery towards the middle of the competition.
Evaristo Pérez: “We want to work to be a respected team in the League”
The international break will not have been bad for an Evarito Pérez who has taken advantage of the last two weeks to settle in his new home. A period in which the style of play that will accompany his team in the final stretch of the season has matured and in which he now makes a small stop along the way to detail the keys that should guide his team on the track.
Evaristo Pérez, back to LF Endesa. Satisfied?
“Very much, because I am very excited to be able to return to this competition. Although some years have passed since the last time, in all this time I have not lacked projects and opportunities with which to be closely linked to basketball, but now there were personal and work circumstances so that this return could be effective. It is a competition that I know very well, in which there are players that I have previously managed in practically all teams and a League that I have been very aware of. For all this, I believe that the adaptation process can be quick to try to obtain the desired results as soon as possible ”.
What was the first thing that crossed your mind when you picked up the phone and you found the offer to take over Innova tsn Leganés on the other side?
“It may sound a little weird, but I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, a lot of satisfaction for the trust that the club was placing in me, but on the other, a bittersweet feeling since I was currently in a very nice project in Logroño and this meant having to leave it. It was not something as sonorous as the Basket Leganés project, but it was a long-term and very rewarding quarry model. It caused me a certain sadness to have to put an end to it, but this was one of those opportunities that I couldn’t pass up and the club understood that way, not posing any problem for my departure ”.
I imagine that in Leganés they would not need to use many arguments to convince you …
“Yes… They proposed a project to me that was by no means in a dramatic situation, but to which they wanted to change course taking advantage of the fact that it is still early and that there are still quite a few league days ahead. The feelings they were having in the board and the path that the team was taking were not entirely good and for that reason, their first request was going through there, to find a person who would help the group to change their mentality. I accept that challenge and, from there, comes a bit of what everyone already knows, my arrival in Leganés and the beginning of work to be able to channel the team where we want ”.
What was the first thing you encountered when you arrived at the locker room? How was the group on a mental level?
“From the outside I had perceived a certain lack of self-confidence, so on the first day of work we decided to have a small group meeting on the track. There I met a team with a very good predisposition for work and willing to reverse their situation. The first thing I wanted was to be able to convey my work philosophy to them in a condensed way and I sent them a first message in which I asked for a lot of positive energy and confidence so that they would be the ones to help me unblock the team on a mental level. I wanted them to come out of that blockage so that they could find themselves back on the track and do it feeling valued at all times ”.
When the first thing that is asked of a coach is a change of mentality, where do you start? Do you work on the court or do you initially attack from outside?
“A bit of everything… The first thing was that group talk I was talking about, with a positive and always constructive tone and, from that moment on, a series of individual interviews have been arriving in which I have asked for mutual trust. since we do not have time to start from scratch and that is why we must work from that starting point. They have conveyed their concerns to me and what they want me to help them with, so that’s what we’re doing, helping them to be what is expected of them on the track. Now, the first challenge is for them to believe in themselves again. We have to make tailored suits so that each one feels comfortable within the group and that this helps us grow as a team ”.
You have had almost two weeks to organize your team idea and you have done it with the experience of that first game in Logroño… What positive conclusions could you draw from it?
“Well, look, I saw a competitive squad that may be important in the League, but today it is a little below what its performance level could be. In general, I liked the team for a few minutes, while it was fresh-headed and was able to develop what we had been able to work on in the previous two days. The first two quarters were very good, showing progress, but when difficulties arose the team made mistakes again because morale is fragile. I think it was a good start in terms of feelings and that makes me optimistic, but now what we have to do is work on that game plan for the 40 minutes and gradually acquire coordination and automatisms.
As of Thursday’s game, the future is yours… in which margins do you think this team can move?
“We are going to face a difficult week because we received Valencia Basket and Cadí La Seu, but I have always been very bothered by those people who face this type of game saying that they are not rivals in their League. Obviously they are teams with a higher budget and a lot of potential that can beat you 9 out of 10 games, but … Who does not tell you that that tenth game can come in this confrontation? You have to make every possible effort and empty yourself because in this competition the middle class is getting bigger and bigger and I believe that, if we work hard, we can be in it without giving up anything ”.
It should not be easy to get to a team already made and with the season already started, but perhaps the most positive thing is that the time margin to grow is wide enough …
“Yes. The ideal situation is to always arrive with a 0-0 in the standings and start building your own path from there, but in this case we have to face that it is not like that because we started from a 2-4. We have lost a bit of ground so we will always have to look ahead, looking for solutions and setting ourselves short-term goals to grow in the competition until we settle in the middle class. We do not forget that we are a recently promoted team, but we want to be respected in the competition ”.
Have you noticed a lot of change between the LF Endesa that you left in 2007 and the one that you are taking up again in 2021?
“Right now, the LF Endesa is a competition that is the envy of many European countries. He has managed to get up after a small bump and grow again as a competition until he has a really good level. It is a very attractive League for the coaches, but also for the players, as we can see in the different transfer markets and above all. I think that in Leganés we must value how important it has been to be able to get here and that this helps us to give the best of all to be able to enjoy this moment to the fullest ”.
Sports career – Evaristo Pérez:
1984/88: Tizona Burgos Sword (1st Division Masc)
1988/89: Tizona Burgos Sword (3rd Division Masc)
1990/91: CD Liceo Castilla (Autonomous Youth)
1992/93: CB Alpha (1st Division Masc)
1993/95: CB Vekaventanas (1st Division Masc) – Assistant
1994/95: CB Vekaventanas (Liga EBA) – Assistant
1997/99: CD Liceo Castilla Autocid Ford (2nd Male)
1999/00: CB Autocid Ford (EBA League)
2000/02: CB Atapuerca Autocid Ford (Liga EBA)
2002/05: CB Atapuerca Autocid Ford (LEB Silver)
2004/05: Absolute Selection Masc. Castilla y León – Assistant
2005/06: CB Ciudad de Burgos Arranz Jopisa (LF Endesa) – Assistant
2006/07: CB Ciudad de Burgos Arranz Jopisa (LF Endesa)
2007/09: National Women’s Coach (Absolute)
2009/11: National Women’s Coach (U16F)
2014/15: University of Burgos (1st Women’s Division)
2015/17: Santiago Automotive Group (EBA League)
2017/19: Castilla y León Male Coach (Cadet)
2020/21: White Owl Logroño Foundation (Training)
2020/21: Innova tsn Leganés (LF Endesa)