With the permanence assured, the end of the ninth season of Embutidos Pajariel Bembibre in the highest category of national women’s basketball has even been too comfortable. The coach of the Berciano team, Pepe Vázquez, although he has reiterated on multiple occasions that he feels “very comfortable in El Bierzo” after three years and believes that the outcome of the last one has been more than good, sets conditions for his renovation: “If I continue, I would like to keep the block, a continuous project. It is something that I could not achieve in previous years ”, recalls the Galician coach, who acknowledges that“ I would like, if I stay, not to start the season from scratch. It would be good to be able to start with a significant number of players from the last season “, reiterates the Compostela, who considers it important that” the fans can recognize a large number of players. Evolving a team from a midpoint is easier ”, he adds.
Specifically, the Galician coach admits that one of the greatest difficulties he has encountered has been having to renew the squad almost completely every year: “This year there were, for example. to build from scratch, with very young people with no experience in the Endesa Women’s League. Except for Anna Palma, who had not had much prominence in Cadí La Seu either, the team had no experience, which made the work even more complicated ”, argues the coach from Santiago de Compostela, very happy for the faith and perseverance shown by the group at all times: “Each game is an exam, but one must evaluate a little further. It is very legal to go to a stand to ‘crack’, but those of us who dedicate ourselves to this must value the day to day ”, underlines the strategist of the Bercian squad, who remembers that“ the team worked very well. The consequence has been this result ”, sentence.
The coach of the red box, in fact, is aware of the good second round that his team signed, at the level of the best teams in the competition. Who would have thought after the difficult start of the season for a team that had to start with a young and totally renewed squad. Finally, three days were left over to certify permanence, an objective that the compostelan believes that the entity must maintain for the next course: “The priority, in the current context, must be permanence. If the club manages to maintain a block, it will be easier for it to reach its eleventh season in the Endesa Women’s League and not suffer so much “, clarifies the coach of the Berciano team, who affirms that” it would be a personal challenge for the players, to try to go a step further and see where the level of the competition places it ”.
“I was happy winning, but I was also proud in many defeats”
The Galician, yes, remains expectant for the promotions of Liga Femenina 2, because in recent years they have managed to raise the potential of the League. “The teams that will go up are not known,” points out the coach from Santiago, who emphasizes that “there are projects, some with an ACB structure, that are knocking on the doors and will arrive with force at the competition. I hope that the Endesa Women’s League continues to grow ”, specifies the Santiago de Compostela coach, who recalls that“ we once again have the best Spanish women and important WNBA players. I don’t know if it will be the most powerful League of the last decade, but it reminds me of the one in which Ros Casares had Maya Moore ”, says the coach of the Bierzo Alto team, adding that“ Spanish teams demonstrate in competitions Europeans that there is a very good level ”.
The level of the Endesa Women’s League grows every year, increasingly complicating the permanence of the Berciano project. Despite all the difficulties, Vázquez was the one who believed in her the most in the season that has just ended for the Bembibre squad. Perhaps the key to achieving the goal was perseverance and the faith to believe in work. “One of the things that I am most proud of is that an evolution is perceived, that the players and the group went from less to more”, explains the coach of the Berciano team, who recalls that “the same thing happened to us both previous years. I was happy winning, but I was also proud in many defeats ”, he emphasizes.
Silva and Gladkova, keys: “They have given serenity and experience”
From a sporting point of view, the arrival of two players of his trust such as Roselis Silva, first, and Julia Gladkova, later, was decisive in redirecting the dynamics of a team that paid for its inexperience in the form of defeats. “Their returns were two breaths of fresh air,” acknowledges the Compostela, who adds that “they have given serenity and experience, but they are also quality players. We knew each other and they knew that he was going to try to get the best out of them “, argues the Galician coach, who considers that” his arrival, if the group had not grown, would not have served. Their return was a source of joy because of the affection I have for them ”, he initialed.
On a personal level, in addition, these two players were capital, leaders on and off the court. His knowledge of the club and his character were vital in guiding a team lacking in leadership. “I am very proud of the human group and the work group,” emphasizes Vázquez, who maintains that “in this team it was combined having good people and hard-working people, wanting to improve individually and win the games. It is unfair to speak of the best group of my coaching career, but this has been a great group ”, insists the Galician coach, who assures that“ it has been a pleasure to train these players. We have competed and been able to win more games “, says the Santiago, who adds that” the image that the team gave has been very good and made us believe. “
The defeat in La Paterna, critical moment: “I walked back to the hotel”
There were many key moments in that reaction, starting with the victory against Lointek Gernika on the second day of the second round. Despite the subsequent defeat against SPAR Gran Canaria, the team became strong in its pavilion to achieve permanence. Vázquez recalls that “that victory against Gernika was a boost due to the arrival of Julia and what contributed to the confidence of the group. Not only because of the victory, but because of how they beat a team of the most important in the competition “, points out the Santiago coach, who believes that” against Zaragoza it was also important because of how we were able to win even though it was not a bright match. Also the streak of three wins in a row ”, he specifies.
That was the moment when the team believed and definitely clung to the category, beating Campus Promete and coming back against Alter Enersun Al-Qázeres, the main rival for salvation in that section of competition. The worst moment, without a doubt, was the defeat in Gran Canaria. Pepe Vázquez explains that after that game “I even walked back to the hotel. I had time to reflect with the person I love the most, my partner ”, explains the Galician coach, who remembers that“ we had just won Gernika and it was a blow. I did not think of throwing in the towel, it lasted a minute “, clarifies the rojillo coach, who assures that” in the next training session I was already convinced that we were going to save ourselves. The team believed it too ”, he emphasizes.
An atypical season: “It is very sad to play in an empty hall”
Another of the black points of the season was competing in many important moments without fans, one of the incentives of the Berciano team. However, he was able to celebrate his stay on matchday 28 with the victory over Quesos El Pastor. Vázquez acknowledges that “it is very sad to play in an empty hall. Not only in our particular case “, clarifies the Compostela, who wishes that” soon we can return to normality. I missed our fans a lot in many games “, insists the coach of the Bembibre team, who recalls that” the day Quesos El Pastor came, they performed spectacularly. Against SPAR Gran Canaria he helped us to come back ”, highlights the Galician strategist, who considers that“ it is the joy of any club. In the end you play for the people and this is what motivates the players ”, she certifies.
In a health context marked by the coronavirus, Vázquez considers that “it has been a strange season. Nobody had experienced this before ”, sums up the Galician coach, who assures that“ it was an uncertainty, because you didn’t know if you or your rival were going to be okay. Luckily, we did not have any case and only in the matches against Valencia Basket and Alter Enersun Al-Qázeres were we affected and altered ”, recalls the coach of the Boeza village team, who admits that“ it is difficult to plan training sessions and matches with that uncertainty. I feel privileged to be able to finish the season without setbacks ”, admits Vázquez, who assumes that“ testing every week is complex, but we feel privileged to have that control ”.
Right from the start, even before the start of the season, there were changes, starting with a presidency that passed into the hands of Amparo Villadangos after four years with Salvador Fernández as the top leader. In this regard, Vázquez assures that “the change in the board of directors has not been traumatic, as people who already knew came in. The figure changes, but Amparo came in with enthusiasm and that has not affected my way of working on a day-to-day basis “, clarifies the coach of the capital of Bierzo Alto, who states that” I was very happy before and I am with the current directive. He works every day to give us the best ”, sums up the man from Compostela, who also had to find a new assistant in Diego García after the departure of Álex Gutiérrez. “It was an unexpected change, but, as happened with the previous one, Popi González, it is a joy to see the professional progression of a colleague”, argues the Galician coach, who considers that “we recovered quickly with the hiring of Diego , whose adaptation was also fast ”.