The UCAM coach wants to recover the best version of his team in the race to reach a ‘playoff’ whose entry is no longer in his hands
There are five days left for the end of the regular season in the Endesa League and UCAM is at the gates of the great objective set for this summer: entering the ‘playoff’. For now, there it is, on the welcome mat, but without going inside. He left this exclusive club of eight members last Sunday, when the defeat in Manresa, together with the victory of Gran Canaria hours before, pushed him to ninth place, one victory away from the Canarian team, with whom he has the ‘basketball- average’ won, but which must be overcome in number of wins in the remaining five games.
Bilbao, Obradoiro, Joventut, Real Madrid and Zaragoza, the roadmap. Bilbaínos and Madrilenians, at home. The rest, with the Palace as a witness and on the first three Sundays of May. Winning three, UCAM would equal its historical record of wins, and with four it would surpass it, forcing Gran Canaria to the plenary session. With two solos, neither anniversaries nor bagpipes –nor a playoff, come on, except for the Canarian debacle–.
victory more than Gran Canaria needs UCAM in the remaining five days. Obradoiro, Breogán, Valencia, Betis and Real Madrid are the rivals of the Canarians. Those of Sito are measured against Bilbao, Obradoiro, Joventut, Real Madrid and Zaragoza. The two teams play three games at home.
Starting from a position in which the UCAM needs the stumble of third parties, the margin of error has vanished. And, unlike other times, the time for tests in the rotation and to give confidence to one or the other does not exist. Sito needs to risk it with his trusted men and there are those who will not be able to continue waiting. Either they respond now, or you won’t be able to count on them.
“We have to take a step forward”, says Sito before tomorrow’s game in Bilbao, the third in a row as a visitor
Taylor and Bellas
Since the Cup, UCAM has gone through problems to be the same as before. Difficulty in focusing matches in which there were no pending accounts and the rival was not a major entity, defensive irregularity and rotation tests. Sito has a series of untouchables who, due to their talent or tables, have earned it by hand. Surely the rotation of the point guard is the best defined, with Taylor as the clear starter and with the green light to look for points from him, and Bellas as a replacement of guarantees when it is necessary to involve others and draw on experience.
But, from the escort, things change. Davis has been the one who has held the starting number ‘2’ the most times, but Sito rarely passes him by. In the bad start against Betis, not only was Lima punished, but also he. He is the most important to give a plus of energy to the team and UCAM cannot allow that the one in charge of always defending the best rival outside does not start at 100%. But there are times when he exceeds his passion and it takes its toll, like against Baskonia. In Manresa he played the first three minutes and Sito did not return him to the court until the 26th, without counting on an excellent McFadden. The American shooter, decisive in some victories with his scoring explosions, is also one of those who go through more fateful days.
Like Davis and McFadden, Rojas and Czerapowicz complement the ‘3’. With totally different profiles, the Swedish forward played only seven minutes in Manresa, in which he did not score and Valtonen took two rebounds from him in attack for not closing, one of the mistakes that most bothers a coach, especially when the rival has a excellent level of success. Neat and technically remarkable, he is the best competition for Rojas in recent years, but Sito cannot wait any longer.
Cate, the great signal
Inside, the roles could not be clearer. Webb III is the starting ‘4’ and Radovic his substitute, and the same with Lima and Cate in the ‘5’. And the Romanian is the one who is losing the most weight in this second round. There have been numerous messages from Sito to his 25-year-old center in the form of entire second halves without leaving and even the coach’s preference for Malmanis to replace the more mature Lima – the Latvian is not a ‘5’ and is the last player in the rotation–, or Radovic at specific moments. The Montenegrin, also with serious problems of confidence and regularity. Squeezing Lima is a risk that Sito cannot be forced to take when the competition is tighter.
#Sito #trusted #men
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