A privileged mind like Albert Einstein’s said that “In times of crisis, only imagination is more important than knowledge”. A phrase that could perfectly adapt to the moment that current basketball is going through and that, last summer, experienced its particular update from the LEB Gold League.
Because it was the sports managers of the competition who dared to contradict the German physicist, uniting imagination and knowledge to be able to counteract the effects of the pandemic on the markets.
And it is that, with budgets afflicted by the reduction of spectators and the problems to retain sponsors, the margin of error had to be minimized to the lowest possible level. An effect that forced to hit the maximum in each movement and that led to a commitment to confidence.
Thus, there were not a few clubs that decided to bet on old acquaintances at the time of being able to reinforce some templates in which that of the “old acquaintance” has ended up weighing more with the passage of time.
And if not that they tell it to a Juaristi ISB that grows from continuity, to an EasyCharger Palencia that matures through Pedro Rivero’s ex, to a Cáceres PH that matures from the hand of a recovered Carlos Toledo or even to some Unicaja Oviedo, Levitec Huesca or ICG Força Lleida who signed old acquaintances with the season already started.
Juaristi ISB, a continuity by principles: They serve as the best example of the results that can be achieved through trust, but this model is by no means new to them since, at Azkoitia, trust is a whole club philosophy. And the best proof of this is none other than the 8 renewals signed on a staff of 13 players, including the coaching staff, to face their jump from the LEB Plata League. All this without forgetting the importance for the club of an indigenous product that has not come to the team to lower the cost of the squad but to enjoy a well-deserved opportunity with 5 Basque players, 4 from Gipuzkoa and 3 from the Azpeitia-Azkoitia region. The results, in sight: 4 victories with which to remain in permanent positions and resounding triumphs in their fiefdom against some of the strongest teams in the category.
Movistar Estudiantes and the call to play safe: What works is better not to touch it and perhaps that is why Movistar Estudiantes decided during the summer to be able to give continuity to Jota Cuspinera’s project as a team coach. A knowledgeable technician like few in national basketball and who, despite not having previous experience in the competition, knew very well what type of players to incorporate into his squad. Like a Javier Beirán who was going to defend like no one else the colors of the one who was always his home, like a Héctor Alderete who was going to leave his skin on the track to show that his injury is already part of the past or like a Nacho Martín who He lived through times of splendor in the student body and knows better than anyone in the dressing room a competition full of difficulties. The result: weeks of leadership and a solid foundation to fight for both the Cup and promotion.
Covirán Granada and its defense of the national product: Seven were the players who continued at Covirán Granada after the final played last year, but if there was a position that received special attention, that was the point guard. Because Pablo Pin knows better than anyone that having talented national bases, accompanied by good experience, can be decisive when fighting for promotion. A theory that explains the important commitment made by the club for the long-term continuity of Lluis Costa despite the offers from different parts of the national geography. A path that was prolonged with the renewal of Christian Díaz and the Germán Martínez combo, thus completing a position in which the club does not have any fissures despite the injury that has kept the Canary from the slopes for a good number of weeks. Because with them on staff, the requirement is more than assured.
Pedro Rivero, heading to Palencia with his trusted men: He made a commitment to the EasyCharger Palencia last summer to be able to take a step forward in his career as a technician and, before entering the market, Pedro Rivero seemed to be clear that there could be no better allies than those who had grown from his hand . For this reason, being able to meet again with Bamba Fall as an internal reference and after a year in Granada, seemed to give confidence to a Segovian coach who would add up to two more former players to his new roster. The first of them a Chumi Ortega whom he had directed both in LEB Silver and LEB Gold and, the second, a Noah Allen who became his winter reinforcement last year in Alicante before the dispute of the Princess Cup. In this way, the ideas of the new technician began to flow very soon inside a changing room that did not take long to adapt to his demands.
Gonzalo García de Vitoria, from Ourense to Alicante, in company: He had directed Ourense Baloncesto for six seasons, but when Gonzalo García had to pack his bags, he had no doubt that this Ourense past should act as a bridge to his new destination. For this reason, the Basque coach knew how to combine the needs of his new team with the opportunities offered by the market to be able to add two old acquaintances to his ranks. Thus, both forward Joan Tomàs and center Aaron Menzies renewed their confidence in their coach to act as the experience of the team and the roof of the league respectively. Two players who have remarkably helped the team coach to be able to feed his team with his new style of play.
When Lolo Encinas thought of Aitor Zubizarreta: A native of Azpeitia where he had grown up sportingly hand in hand with his Juaristi ISB, the name of Aitor Zubizarreta has not stopped growing over the last few years in a LEB Gold League to which he arrived already with a certain amount of maturity after his I went through North American basketball. A competition in which he debuted with the Azpeitiarra team and led by Lolo Encinas who four years later decided to meet him again in a much more ambitious project. Because this year the Basque point guard acts as one of the important men of a team that has just arrived from the Endesa League and in which he is fully complying with the demands of his coach. Because before turning to any other market, Lolo seemed to be clear that his needs could be met just a handful of kilometers from Illumbe.
The Extremaduran maturity of Carlos Toledo: They already had a good previous experience in Cáceres with the recovery of Devin Schmidt last year and perhaps that is why Roberto Blanco wanted to repeat his return this year with an old acquaintance of the house. On this occasion, with the return of a much more mature Carlos Toledo after two seasons in the LEB Plata League with Cantabria and who seems to be giving the team everything that was expected of him. Because beyond the numbers, the Murcian exterior is one of the men most used by the team, being an example when it comes to putting the team ahead of its own statistics and even receiving the praise of its coach in the different press conferences . Because, accustomed to thinking and rethinking each signing so as not to burn unnecessary bullets, at Cáceres P. Humanidad seem not to have failed with an insurance bet.
The three stages of Devon Van Oostrum in Huesca: Levitec Huesca had built a really young team in which young bets were once again their main hope, but the need for experience led the club to look for an old acquaintance in the market. And this was none other than a Devon Van Oostrum perfectly committed to the Huesca project. A player willing to join Jorge Lafuente inside the dressing room, thus starting what is already his third stage in the Alto Aragón team. Without a doubt, one of the men of reference for a Sergio Lamúa for whom everything turns out a little easier when the base of the Netherlands assumes the leadership of the team.
The reverse reunion of Melilla Sport Capital: Arrived in the Autonomous City a year ago, Nedim Dedovic has experienced the reverse situation in Melilla as he was the one who has acted as host before the arrival of a former coach. Because the reconstruction of the Melilla project after the arrival of Arturo Álvarez could not begin in any other way than by appointing a player as captain of the team with whom he already shared hours of flight in their joint journey at the Sáenz-Horeca Araberri. The best possible way to start a project that was going to completely renew a squad in which the understanding between the Basque coach and the Bosnian player has been key to their qualifying launch.
Lezkano and Jeff Xavier’s Running Train: And if there have been numerous cases this year of teams and technicians who have reinforced their squads with old acquaintances, in Oviedo they were able to do so even with the train running. Because when Natxo Lezkano had to reinforce his foreign line with a new talent, the Asturian entity could not find a better option in the market than the foreign one with the highest number of matches played in the LEB Gold League. A Jeff Xavier who broke all records in his first meeting with a Natxo Lezkano with whom he had already shared experiences in Palencia a few years ago. In this case, the bet was more than safe by a team that did not take the slightest bit to deliver gallons.
Shaquille O’Neal Cleare, back at Barris Nord: And in parallel to the arrival of Jeff Xavier to Oviedo, the ICG Força Lleida carried out a very similar movement with the incorporation of a new player. New for its coach Gerard Find, but not so for the entity since the return of Shaquille O’Neal Cleare was a breath of fresh air for the painting of a team with whom he was reunited just a few months later. Although, in this case, an untimely injury has prevented him from being at the service of the team with the desired regularity.
Mateo Díaz and the transfer of the Ruta de la Plata: The Breogán River was looking for a destination in the LEB Oro League for his young point guard Mateo Díaz and the opportunity seemed to arrive as an old acquaintance. Because the presence as an assistant of his former coach Iago Castro in the Cáceres World Heritage Site made the Multiusos the ideal place to agree on the desired transfer. In this way, the Argentine base was reunited with the Galician coach, thus giving a new dimension to a market that was thus experiencing the last of its reunions through another type of modality, a transfer with which to continue growing in the category.