Surely you will remember, the faithful fans of the LEB Gold Leaguethat change of millennium in which Joan Penarroya put all his talent at the service of teams like the current one Inherits Ourense or the Baxi Manresa in order to reach the highest levels in the category.

A successful career as a player that found its continuity just a few years later from the ranks of the MoraBanc Andorrabut this time as coach of a project with which he added his first titles to end up ascending to the Endesa League.

And, since there are not two without three, the “Peñarroya third stage” in the history of the Competition has come this year from the hand of his son, a Marc Penarroya transferred by the entity from Manresa to Palmer Mediterranean Soul.

There, the young Catalan point guard works hard to be able to earn the necessary minutes with which to demonstrate that his talent can take him back to a Endesa League in which he debuted hand in hand with Peter Martinez with a great taste in the mouth.

Marc Peñarroya: “I am in the process of maturation and growth”

He is facing his first season away from home, but listening to Marc Peñarroya it might seem that his words respond to those of one of those veterans hardened in a thousand battles. Because, with just 19 years behind him, the young Catalan base seems to be really clear about what his path should be in order to one day return to an Endesa League with which he longs to be able to meet again.

Marc, surely the good fans of the LEB Oro will have brought back very good memories seeing the Peñarroya surname again in the competition…

“Yes, it is something that I perceive on a day-to-day basis. I grew up in the Manresa youth academy and I’ve already had a few minutes in the ACB, but I’m still a young player and there’s no doubt that many people know me or have noticed me because I have the Peñarroya surname. There are people who when they see it on the shirt it brings back good memories and for me it never ceases to be a source of pride”.

Due to your age you didn’t arrive in time to see him play, but when you were 10-12 years old we could see you on many occasions in Andorra during Joan’s fight for promotion to the Endesa League…

“Yes, when he retired I must have been a couple of years old so I didn’t have time to have a very clear memory of that, but I have to admit that, over the years, I have been watching videos of those years to know how he played. As I grew older, I was able to enjoy my time as a coach a little more… In the early years of LEB Plata, on Friday afternoons my mother would pick me up after mini-basket training and we would drive two hours from Manresa to Andorra. Once there, we watched the game and went back home with him at dawn. The next day, he came to watch my games and so on week after week”.

Having an entire Endesa League coach at home, is it noticeable on a day-to-day basis?

“In this case I would say no because for me he has always been more of a father than a coach. We talked a lot about basketball, but I was very respectful of my coaches, letting them carry the weight of my training. What’s more, when I went to Andorra at Christmas to do some modernization campus, I would let Xavi Luque or any other coach help me train during those days. Although it is also true that, as I have grown and matured as a player, I have always liked being able to listen to his advice in order to improve in my day-to-day life”.

What is a reality is that the name of Marc Peñarroya sounds more and more strongly due to his own merits in basketball…

“Well, perhaps the debut in the ACB with Manresa helped me to get to know myself, but right now I think I am in a process of maturation and growth with which I try to be the best possible player for Spanish basketball regardless of the category. This first year in Palma has not been easy because of how everything is developing, but that is also part of the process and they are things that help you grow and mature as a player”.

Does having debuted so young in ACB suppose a little more pressure when it comes to being able to make the leap to professional basketball or is it something that is left aside on a day-to-day basis?

“If I’m honest, I don’t think it’s extra pressure because last year I was really clear that I wasn’t an ACB player. I had played my first games and had a few minutes, but always with the mentality of knowing that my place was in the EBA League team. It was an important season for me, but I approached it as a year in which I was going to be lucky enough to be able to be in the dynamics of an ACB team and very well trained by Pedro Martínez”.

But surely the shirt of the debut wave of the explosion against Baskonia will be kept in a safe place in the “family museum”…

“Yes, those are well kept along with those of all the teams I have played for and of which I have always tried to save at least one. The day of the debut was special, but the one you mention against Baskonia was a reward for the work he had been doing throughout the year. Injuries made me stay almost as the only point guard and with a bit of luck, the shots ended up going in so that I would have a great memory of that game”.

Returning to the present, what balance do you make of these first months of assignment in the Palmer Alma Mediterránea?

“I have positive feelings, but I am also clear that there are many things to improve since it is costing me a bit to adapt to the League. Here I have found a very competitive LEB Oro and in which there are players who, due to their conditions, could be perfectly in ACB. That means that the level of demand is maximum and that it is difficult for us young people to adapt to the level of the competition. If you add to all that the fact that the team is having a hard time getting the victories, it makes everything a little more complicated”.

Watching Palmer Alma Mediterránea play, you don’t convey the feeling of being a bottom team…

“Yes, there are times when the team has a good game and it looks a lot like what we want to be. The problem has come because we are a very young group that, by losing 4 or 5 games in overtime or even finals, has been somehow conditioned on a mental and emotional level. The important thing is that the League is long and that there is still room for improvement. Now we have incorporated some veteran player and we have two postponed games ahead of us and a whole second round in which to try to improve our situation. The important thing will be being able to add a victory as soon as possible because then we will begin to see things differently”.

Surely Pepe Laso will be playing a fundamental role alongside the coaches in search of that turning point…

“Well, look, the fact that I came to Palma this year was for two reasons: the first, because they gave me the opportunity to play in this competition. And the second, because they had a method of working with him that attracted me a lot. The fact that Pepe Laso was helping young people and that they had a methodology focused on training and not so much on results, was something very important for me when making the decision”.

And the day Marc Peñarroya stops being a Palmer AM Palma player and returns to the discipline of Bàsquet Manresa, how would you like to do it?

“My goal has always been to be able to establish myself as an ACB player and I would love for that to happen with Bàsquet Manresa because it is the team from my city and the one in which I have developed almost my entire career. It is an opportunity that I will not give up, but for which I am aware that there is still a long way to go to learn, which at the moment goes through the LEB Gold League”.

season stats – Marc Penarroya:

Games played: 14
Minutes: 10.37
Points: 1.9
Bounces: 0.5
Assists: 0.9
Recoveries: 0.7
Plugs: —
Fouls received: 0.9
Rating: 0.4

sports career – Marc Penarroya:

Training categories: Joviat School
2016/18: Catalana Occident Manresa (Cadet)
2018/20: Catalan West Manresa (Junior / Endesa League)
2020/21: Grup Vía CB Artés (EBA League / Endesa League)
2021/22: Palmer Mediterranean Soul (LEB Gold)