Saved three days from the end of the Endesa League, the Urbas Fuenlabrada has achieved each season’s goal, thanks in part to a final reaction with five wins in the nine games coached by the coach Josep Maria Raventós, about whom the club president, Jose Quintana, assures EFE that “they have no problem” in continuing.
“When the season is over, this Saturday, I would like to see myself with Raventós to ask him, first if he wants to. We have no objection to him continuing as coach, but we also have to convey some things to him, “said the top leader of the Fuenlabrada in an interview with the EFE Agency.
The president of the club in the south of the Community of Madrid links the continuity of the Catalan coach to maintaining “the DNA of the game” that has saved them, based on the rapid defense-attack transitions that in the club they see that it favors their shooters and improves his defense, and the acceptance that being the first coach “there is no mattress” for the Barcelona coach, who has been an assistant for five seasons.
“If things are not going well and the decision is that we have to make a change of coach because the results are bad, we will have to do it, and he will not have the mattress of when you are second. The way of working is different, you are the person in charge of the technical direction, for the good and for the bad “, added Quintana over a Raventós who already told EFE a week ago that he would “very much” like to continue leading the Fuenlabreño club.
The president of the Fuenlabrada took stock of a “positive but irregular” campaign, in which the team began by losing five games with Paco Garcia as a coach, prompting the arrival of Javier Juarez, who won four of his first five games, but then only managed to win in three of the next 16, which caused his cessation.
It was at that moment when the Fuenlabreños leaders decided to bet on Raventós, then an assistant coach, who was asked to apply that quick transition game. “We decided that he would take charge with the idea that if we die, we die as we want, and he agrees with the reading,” says Quintana.
The Urbas has used 25 players this season, almost two squads, a circumstance that Quintana attributes to the accumulation of injuries and the departures of some players to other clubs, such as the Dutch guard Charlon kloof or the Serbian pivot Oliver Stevic.
“We had to reinvent ourselves at the end of the first round,” recalls the president of Urbas, who highlights the arrivals of the Serbian base Jovan novak, from American interiors Josh sharma Y Kwan Cheatham and the Canadian pivot Kyle alexander as those who have given “continuity” to the team in the final stretch of the season.
“With the public we would have won three or four more games”
The Fuenlabrada he has maintained the category having played all his games for Fernando Martín without his fans. “For us it has more merit, this year with the public at home we would have won three or four more games, almost certainly. We are a field that squeezes, the people are close, and the players cannot lower their arms because the fans transmit energy “, it states.
The impact of the pandemic has deprived them of having an audience – which this same Wednesday returned to some pavilions, such as the Fondes do Sar in Santiago de Compostela – and has forced them to tighten their belts: the entity made a budget with a reduction in expenses of 24%, between staff and other items, to compensate for the loss of income from season tickets, box office, and sponsors, among those who have withdrawn and those who have lowered their contributions.
“This has an impact, but although we have not closed the accounts, I hope that we are fair and we have not spent a deficit, because one of the ways to continue in the Endesa League is not to spend more than you have,” reflects the president of Urbas , which does not take long to remember that his team manages “the second lowest budget in the League, after Gipuzkoa”, which has already decreased.
“I would keep 80% of the current staff”
With the season almost over – they will close it on Saturday at the Fuente de San Luis against him. Valencia-, the Urbas faces the making of the team of the 2021-22. “Right now I would keep 80% of the current squad,” says its president, who emphasizes that many of his players this year were rookies in the ACB.
Quintana is aware that several players have raised their cache after their first season in Spain. “For example (Melo) Trimble, Leo (Meindl), (Kyle) Alexander, which is beginning to be called the NBA, Obi Emegano… We are going to see if our budget adapts to their economic requests, “says the leader.
To those players who have revalued add the good year of the quarry, with the promotion to LEB Plata achieved by the subsidiary and the youth players who have debuted, such as Juanjo Santana placeholder image, Latvian Rodijs Macoha or the Malian Bassala Bagayoko, protagonist for beating the precocity record of the ACB with 14 years, 7 months and 15 days.
A milestone that has not gone unnoticed by other clubs. “On two occasions they have wanted to take him away and not in good manners,” he says. Quintana, which ensures that a Euroleague club and a Eurocup club have tempted the very young African player.
“At 14, he has a good head and knows that spending a couple of years or three in Fuenlabrada would be fundamental for him, because he will have minutes,” says the president of a Urbas Fuenlabrada that he wants to continue developing this young talent between the subsidiary and the Endesa League, where he will continue for another year next season, his twenty-fourth in the highest category of Spanish basketball.