“We want to keep Nacional in that privileged place”

Continuing with the coaching round prior to the start of the League, we had a few words with Leonardo Zylbersztein. The Nacional coach reviewed what has already been achieved by the bag, where it reached the finals of the last edition and also commented on how it plans to face local and international activity.

How is the team for a new edition of the LUB?

In general, it is fine. Just last week we were able to count on the three foreigners, we also recovered Sacco and Bastón who were torn apart in El Metro, and Mauro Zubiaurre joined the squad. The players are getting ready because they were physically attuned to due to the differences in training. With the time we have left, I think we will arrive fair but well.

Have you been satisfied with the preseason friendlies?

They were all different, because for example it was only in the last one that we were able to have foreigners, unlike in the other matches that we played with youth and those that were not playing El Metro. We hope to have everything soon for the tournament that luckily starts a little later.

How are they going to overcome what was done in the last LUB that they reached the final?

We want to continue to keep Nacional in a privileged place, in which it has sustained itself in recent years. Although the League is only won by one, I believe that being constantly in the fight and being a reference team in the tournament, gives us the energy and is the food that any team needs to stay in these types of situations. Although we all want to go one step further and win the championship, we have that goal of keeping the club where it is and thinking a bit about international competition, which is another of the goals we have to participate.

You are going to face the contest without two great players like Dominique Morrison or Carlos Cabezas, how do you plan to make up for the casualties?

Those situations happen. There are players who are no longer there due to different circumstances and we have the job of finding that player who at the right time gives us the things that Carlos and Dominique gave us. I think in his place we have a player with (Charles) Hinkle, who has a lot of experience here in Uruguay. Also all the work that Manu (Romero) can do both as a base and as an escort. In that sense, we are quite calm and we hope to find the specific role of each player in these friendlies or in the early days.

Quincy Miller is a player who had experience in a great league such as the NBA, how much can he contribute to you?

He is a very interesting player and we are just getting to know him. Like all foreigners, they are lacking a bit of rhythm because they have not played for a long time but athletically they are very well and already in training it is evident that all three have a lot of talent. There are 10 days left for them to learn offensive and defensive concepts to get to know each other more and realize where we can put each player depending on the situation of the game. The three foreigners adapt very well to the idea of ​​the game that we have.

How do you think that nationals like Zubiaurre and Bastón are going to join the team and the younger ones like Pierino Rüsch and Martín Larrea?

With Larrea and with Pierino (Rüsch) I had the advantage of having already worked with them and I think they already understand the role they have in the team. They are players who every year progress and improve their level. With regard to Bastón, he has characteristics very similar to those of Marcel Souberbielle, since he is an open power forward, who has an outside shot and defensively we are going to try to find solutions to control a rival forward / power forward that can cause us problems. With the case of Mauro (Zubiaurre) we will have a replacement player for Manu (Romero) or playing together where we have two more wear players to defend a good player from another team. It seems to me that it is a complement that suits us very well.

After almost two years, the public returns to the courts and can play at home. What do you think about it?

That for the teams that have a call is very important. Although you have to get used to it again, I think we have managed to spread it from the inside out and we have shown it in these last two leagues. Having the chance for people to be with us is important when we are in complex moments to be able to impose pressure on the environment and the situations that sometimes happen in sport, but without a doubt we are very happy with the return of people to the fields and that they can provide that support that is sometimes lacking. We were already used to playing without an audience, now we have to resume that shouting dynamic that sometimes makes it a bit difficult to communicate within the game, but we will get used to it.

It’s your third year at the helm of the club. What are the objectives that you have left to achieve?

The objective is to keep Nacional in that privileged place that it has today. Although we have played a final, we know that there are many teams that have strengthened very well. We must maintain the prominence achieved in recent years and as the tournament passes and we are more comfortable, we will try in the Playoffs to be our best version and one always wants more. This team is still hungry to be in the top positions. The other great objective is the international competition, which is also a reward for what has been achieved in the past season and that for the club is going to be something new to be able to participate in the Basketball Champions League Americas. It is going to be a very competitive year and we have that triple objective: to stay competitive, get to the Playoffs in good shape and do our best at the international level.

How do you think it can face double competition without neglecting the local?

Although the first phase is in December and then there are two more windows in January and February, in case of qualifying it is really very difficult to play against a Brazilian and an Argentine. This will also coincide with the League Playoffs, so we will go window by window looking at the possibility that two teams qualify from three teams, although we know that it is a difficult situation. As the possibility of an Argentine team playing us is latent, those are going to be the ones that were best placed in their leagues last year, which makes it very complicated. Without getting too far ahead, we want to prepare ourselves in the best way and things are going to unleash themselves internationally. What is certain is that it will be a nice experience for the team, which will end up raising the level and will be a good preparation for what awaits us in February. Making a parallel with football, it is the reality that we are living. If the Copa Libertadores is extremely difficult, for basketball it is much more. Likewise, in these tournaments you have to fight and compete, so we are going to leave everything behind.

Besides Nacional, is there a candidate to stay with the LUB?

A priori and looking at the faces of each team, there are 5 or 6 teams that look extremely even and that will depend a lot on the connections between nationals and foreigners. It always happens that as the final instances are reached, the teams improve their teams from the change of foreigners. If you tell me today, Biguá is the last champion, we were the last finalists, I think that Aguada, Defensor or Peñarol are candidates. It is very difficult to leave someone out because I think there are those 5 or 6 teams that are going to compete very hard, but with the change of foreigner some other team may join that fight. There are several institutions that can win the League.

Some words for the fans?

We are defending the club and we are working to get our best version. We want you to come cheer us on and enjoy the team. Today Nacional in basketball is a benchmark team at the national level and we want to see them on the court, which has not been able to go for a long time. This human group is not going to leave anything to chance and is going to fight every game as in the same way everything was left in the finals against Biguá.