They arrived in Spain last morning and traveled to their respective cities of origin after a few days preparing their departure from Russia. Along with Miguel Méndez and Alba Torrens, Nacho Martínez, assistant coach at UMMC Yekaterinburg, who will join the coaching staff of the Absolute Women’s National Team, has also traveled.

Miguel Méndez: “These have been very hard days, but we have been supported at all times”

The National Team Manager, Miguel Méndez, recounts how he has lived these last few days in Yekaterinburg, where he has been working since 2018: “When the war started in Ukraine, we got very nervous because nobody is used to the country where you work being at war, although there the terminology was different. We are very far from there and at the beginning, we led a normal life, we continued with the competitions, both the Euroleague and the Russian league. The turning point occurs when the sanctions begin and when the Euroleague leaves out the Russian teams. And, above all, this weekend, when the Spanish Embassy recommends that we leave the country as soon as possible due to the closure of the airspace. It is at that moment when the players meet, they make the decision not to continue and to talk to the club so that they allow us to leave. The coaching staff, both Nacho and I, joined the initiative of the players. The club tells us that it respects our decision and looks for plane tickets for us to leave the country”.

The National Coach assures that he has felt supported at all times: “We have been in contact with other foreign coaches who are there and at all times we were informed and supported by the Spanish Basketball Federation, through the President, Jorge Garbajosa, and the Sports director, José Ignacio Hernández. I know that this contact was not only with me because I was the Coach, but with the rest of the Spaniards who live there. We had no security problems because we were always supported by the club and by the FEB”.