If Marc Gasol was one of the protagonists of the national team match, the club he presides over, the Girona Basketball by Nacho Martín, will be one of the referents of the Herbalife 3×3 Series. The international player defends the title won in 2019 and presents himself with his team (Javi Vega, Sergi Pine tree and Sergio from the source) as one of the great aspirants. The favorite band is not removed, but he points out that there is more and more level and more equality in the Spanish 3×3.
How is the first stop of the Herbalife 3×3 Series presented?
Both my team and the rest of the 3×3 players are looking forward to Herbalife 3×3 starting again because there is more and more competition, more and more players are dedicated to this and because we want to see what level we have this year.
Do you consider yourself the team to beat for the rest of the rivals?
It is true that in the first edition we won several venues and the final Master, but this year it will be different. There is Valencia 3×3, Onil 3×3… they can make us favorites because we are the current champions, but this summer is going to be a totally different story.
How does Bàsquet Girona arrive at the Madrid headquarters?
We are starting the 3×3 season because we have only played a couple of tournaments. In Badalona we were second losing with Onil 3×3 in a very close final. And this weekend we came from winning a tournament in France in which there was a good level. We are taking off and looking forward to more tournaments.
And with more equality, the parties are decided in a large percentage in a triple that enters or not …
In fact, you can see that a 3×3 game is not under your control, even if you win easily. You put two doubles in a row and you enter the game. That you win by 5 in the absence of 30 seconds does not mean that they cannot turn the match around. That is the beauty and the difference of 3×3
What does it mean that Básquet Girona has opted for this modality?
We have been with them for two summers now. It is a solid project, for the future, and it covers our needs in the tournament season. We have to thank the club, and its president, Marc Gasol, for the support they are giving us.
Is having Marc Gasol behind the project a guarantee?
Marc has known the team members for a long time (Álex Llorca, Javi Vega, Sergi Pino…). We have a friendship with him and he wanted to help us by creating a 3×3 section. But he is convinced that 3×3 is a bet for the future, that it is a project in which he wanted to participate, and if he also has friends in the team, the advantage is double.
How is the evolution of the 3×3 in Spain?
The evolution of street basketball in Spain is good, but slow. There are other countries that have their private leagues, they organize more events and hence they get more points in the FIBA ranking. The situation is good, we are growing, although we are a few steps behind other countries.
And what needs to be done?
We would need to organize more high-level tournaments, which would make Spanish players compete and get more points in the FIBA ranking. Because everything is decided by the points you get both as a particular player and as the team. The more tournaments you play, the more points you get and the higher you are. To enter the European, World, Olympic Games … we need to have more players at the top of the ranking. And that’s why the Herbalife 3×3 Series is so important.
The first appointment of the Herbalife 3×3 Series will be in Madrid, in front of the WiZink Center, on Friday the 9th and Saturday the 10th. Days after the Spanish team played their second preparation match for the Tokyo Games at the sports venue, it will be their turn of the new Olympic modality. Of course, he will do it according to his hallmarks: on the street, with the excitement of short 10-minute matches, and establishing a great closeness with the spectator.