PABLO ROMERO / COMMUNICATION AREA FEB
It will be in just a few hours when Lluis Costa tie your shoes in the changing room of the Covirán Granada with that uncertainty that comes from thinking that, the game at stake, could be either the farewell to the season or a fight for promotion usual for him over the years.
Because with three promotions behind his back to his barely 28 years old, the Catalan playmaker has become one of the men of reference when trying to promote category. All a virtue that has seasoned this season with its supremacy as the top rated player of all LEB Gold League.
Data that invite optimism within a Nasrid team that this year has its own “Law of the Coast”, but of which Lluis himself does not want to hear about in the previous hours even a clash of those that every player yearns to be able to dispute.
A heads or tails marked at this time by uncertainty and that only the passage of time will be able to catalog according to its result.
Lluis Costa: “The one from Covirán Granada is very attractive for the players”
Alternating the last work sessions with a few free hours and rest periods in which the clock seems to be not ticking, the point guard Lluis Costa already counts the hours to be able to jump back to the court of the Palacio de los Deportes where his team will look for this Wednesday the pass to the final of the LEB Gold League. A whole purpose for which they will fight from the motivation of those who are only obliged to try.
I imagine that the wait must be long when one is about to play the most important game of the season …
“It becomes a little more bearable because, throughout the year, we have faced each game with that philosophy, as if it were the most important of the year. But yeah… Once you get to this point in the season where a lot of the work is done, all you want to do is play. At this point the heart and the head tend to pull more than the physical aspect so, if it were up to us, we would have started the third game right there, as soon as the second finished ”.
What is it about this stretch of the season – beyond the title fight – that makes it so special?
“Well, for the player it is a very special moment because you work for many months to be able to see yourself in this situation. During all that time, perhaps the work and its fruits are not so visible, but now is when you realize that all the efforts you have made have been worth it. In our specific case, a very important job has been done as a group to be able to fight for the title and being able to see us now among the last four candidates is already a triumph in itself ”.
Something must have seen in Granada a Lluis Costa accustomed to winning projects to be now one step away from being able to play the Final of the LEB Gold League …
“I’ve always said that from minute one your project was very attractive to me. Granada is a historic city in basketball and whenever I had played in the Palacio de los Deportes the atmosphere that was breathed even as a rival was very special. If you add to all that the desire of the club to grow year after year and how well things were being done in recent seasons, in the end you make the project attractive to the players ”.
That the bloc and the national player are so important, I imagine that it will also help to opt for a project like this …
“Without a doubt, yes. We are talking about a team that, year after year, has strongly bet on national players and that has remained faithful to that philosophy despite having been achieving different promotions that have raised the demand … The base of the dressing room always has 6 -7 important Spanish players in the competition and that is a great help when it comes to shaping the dressing room. Foreign signings connect much faster and the team adapts earlier to the season because it knows the terrain. If you add to that that almost every year a very important block from the previous year is maintained, you quickly understand the key to the team’s success ”.
Quino Salvo used to say that, to be promoted to the ACB, it was enough to sign the two best national bases in the League. Are you this year at the Covirán Granada?
“Ufff, it’s a question that I think I’m not the one who should answer it. In the end, a point guard is a good player if he gets his team to play what the coach decides, if he makes his teammates better and if he is able to do everything on his part so that the team wins … The only thing I can tell you is That sense is that both Christian and I and even Germán Martínez in his role, we do everything on our part to be better on a day-to-day basis and that this can help the team achieve its goal. But the national bases of this League have so much quality that it would seem very daring to say that we have the best couple in the competition ”.
But the numbers do not lie and the pure and simple statistics say that this year, the most valued player in the League is being a point guard named Lluis Costa …
“Yes. And it is a fact that, on a personal level, gives me great satisfaction, but always because of what it means for the team. In this League it is useless to make high ratings or score many points if that does not help the team to score or win important games. I keep that those numbers have contributed to us all being able to reach this point in the season with the promotion options intact and depending solely on ourselves. Although everything is a little easier when you share a dressing room with someone like Thomas who you know very well or with a player like Christian with whom I have been playing since I was 10 years old ”.
What if we talk again in 48 hours? What do you think will have happened?
“In our heads there is no other possibility other than having won that third game against Leyma Coruña, although we all know that it will be really difficult. We have in our favor playing at home and doing it with the support of our people, even though there may only be 1,500. And they will play with the confidence that knowing that they have already been able to win on our court will give them. We know that it will be a really difficult game and against a great squad that does not usually lose two games in a row, but I think we are in a good moment of form, that we know how to face the game and that we have more than enough weapons to leave everything on the track”.
Can you imagine Covirán Granada ascending to the Endesa League?
“We are talking about something so complex and for which there would be so much ahead that, right now I only see myself opting for the final in that third game. Obviously, the whole team would very much like to be able to culminate that promotion for which we have fought so much, but for this we would have to win two points against a great rival and in a Final for which we have not even qualified yet. So, following our philosophy, we are going to think only about that third assault against Leyma Coruña to see how far our work can take us ”.
Seeing the collective nature of this interview and the importance you give in Covirán to match by match, it would be useless to ask you about a hypothetical fourth promotion on a personal level with which to rub shoulders with historical bases such as Ricardo Úriz or David Gil … right?
“Exactly, but it would be my pleasure to be able to answer that question in just a few days. It would be a good sign… It would mean that everything we have worked so hard for has become a reality ”.
Season statistics – Lluis Costa:
Played games: 32
Minutes: 28.24 pp
Points: 13.1 pp
Rebounds: 3.9 pp
Assists: 4.2 pp
Recoveries: 1.1 pp
Caps: 0.1 pp
Fouls received: 4.1 pp
Rating: 16.5 pp
Sports career – Lluis Costa:
Categories Inf: CB Sant Just, CB Cornellá and FC Barcelona
2010/11: FC Barcelona (Junior)
2011/12: FC Barcelona (LEB Silver)
2012/14: CB Peñas Huesca (LEB Gold)
2014/15: Ford Burgos (LEB Gold)
2015/16: CB Peñas Huesca (LEB Gold)
2015/16: ICL Manresa (Endesa League)
2016/17: ICL Manresa (Endesa League)
2017/18: ICL Manresa (LEB Gold)
2018/19: Real Betis Energía Plus (LEB Gold)
2019/20: Debreceni Egyetem (Hungary)
2019/20: Barça B (LEB Silver)
2020/21: Covirán Granada (LEB Gold)
International career – Lluis Costa:
2009: European U16 Lithuania (Gold Medal)
2010: Singapore Youth Games (8th place)
2010: U17 World Cup Germany (10th place)
2013: European U20 Latvia (Bronze Medal)