Marc Ribas (sa Pobla, 1998) returned this Sunday to Sweden. At Christmas she came home to see her family, although has taken advantage of his stay in Mallorca to participate in a campus in Porreres. “I do what I like,” she says. “I want this to be my profession,” says the coach at Wetterbygden Basketball.
What does a pobler do training in the Swedish women’s senior category?
Earn a living. I am there exercising my profession. A lot of people think that being a coach is strange considering it as a hobby, and more especially in my case, since I have a degree in advertising and public relations. After spending two years in the Endesa Women’s League, the opportunity to train in Sweden arose. I believed that it was the moment, that I was ready and eager, and that it would help me in my career.
What notable differences have you found between Spanish and Swedish basketball?
In Spain we have more capacity to identify, understand and interpret game situations. And, although we are not aware, we are privileged to be from the best countries in the world in training. The level of Spanish technicians is very high. We train players from a very young age, and then it shows. In addition, the mentality in Spain is decisive.
“I don’t know if the elite Mallorcan clubs think of me, but I was glad that someone called me this year”
How was your experience with Zamora in the Women’s League?
On a personal level it was very positive, although on a collective level it was not as good as we expected. I am very grateful to Ángel Fernández for giving me the opportunity to join an Endesa Women’s League technical staff, but above all to Fran García for everything I learned when I was with her. I think that year I grew as a coach, and I owe that to him. At a sporting level, we could not achieve permanence and we descended. Something else different was my stay at the CD Promise. There we started the season very well, we managed to beat teams like Uni Girona and we were one victory away from getting into the Copa de la Reina when the objective was permanence.
Do you miss Majorca?
I’m fine for now. I have had an offer to return, but I like to see how Balearic basketball grows from a distance. I return in the summer and I am lucky to be at and coordinate a campus with great training players, work individually with different players and be in contact with basketball from my land.
«Attracting players like Alba Torrens, Nogaye Lo or Gaby Ocete requires high purchasing power, and being able to afford it is not an easy task»
Are you passionate about women’s basketball, why?
It was more of a coincidence than anything else. When I was studying in Bilbao, the one who was my coach asked me to be his assistant in a female cadet team. Since that season, I began to be interested in women’s basketball, trying to learn a little more about the operation of the elite, and trying to help the women’s section of the club in which I was in Bilbao, Leioa SBT. The following season, 19-20, I trained the women’s cadet, but I also trained some junior players and did scouting for the first team. I thought it was a good opportunity to help the club grow, but also a good opportunity for myself.
Masculine and feminine, are they at the same level or are they two different concepts?
For me they are two different sports. If we refer to purely basketball aspects there is a very big difference, mainly physical. But that’s not all. The characters are different, the ways of treating men or women have nothing to do with it, and there is nothing better or worse. In addition, women’s basketball has much less social and media impact, which translates into less economic income and less purchasing power of the teams. The gap is large, and we must work to try to reduce it. It’s a complex issue, but I think it’s everyone’s business.
From a distance, how do you see Majorcan basketball?
He has the great handicap of the senior stage. I think that in training categories you have to be proud of what you achieve, especially with great player projects. More and more Mallorcan players are in the spotlight as great prospects, and more and more Endesa League academies and high-performance centers are paying attention to Mallorcan players. Carlos Villalón, Marina Colom, Miquel Llompart are some of the latter. These are just a few examples of players who do not exceed 18 years of age and have a promising future. I think we have to keep working on it, but in the end the secret to having top elite teams is to get a quality sponsor. Now Azul Marino is investing in the Sant Josep Obrer clubbut in the end attract players like Alba Torrens, Nogaye Lo either Gaby Ocete requires a high purchasing power, and being able to afford it is not an easy task.
Can you see yourself coaching the Balearic Islands’ first women’s team?
Yes. Not wanting to be arrogant, but I think I’m ready. My last two years in the Endesa Women’s League have helped me learn a lot and being able to be with coaches like Fran García, César Aneas or Ángel Fernández has shaped me more than any course. I don’t know if the elite Mallorcan clubs think of me, but I was glad that this year someone called me to join their discipline. For now, I’m fine away from home. I add experiences.
Did you expect gold from Spain in the Eurobasket?
No, but I wasn’t overly surprised either. I think the national team has three main secrets: their own identity, that they are a highly recognizable team; distribution of roles, from Rudy Fernández leading by example; and Sergio Scariolo, who had solutions for all scenarios.
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Marc Ribas: “The opportunity to train in Sweden arose and I thought it was time”