Javier Imbroda, host of the generation that is shaping Spanish basketball

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“The day we fear we will achieve nothing”, Javier Imbroda launched 27 years ago before Uniqaza players and the whole of Málaga face the ACB final against the mighty Barca d’Ato, an event with a budget of $350 million. There was an unequal duel. Peseta vs 1,100. It was the 1994–1995 season and only Joventut had the courage to discuss the government of the two. Big of Spanish basketball (which by then had been split into 34 of the 38 leagues played). And, based on courage, without fear, he joins the Imbroda team, Manel Bosch, Alfonso Reyes, Gabby Ruiz, Kuro Evalos, Nacho Rodriguez, Danny Romero and Freddie Navarrete, alongside Americans Kenny Miller and Mike Ainsley and Russian Sergei Babkov. with. A brilliant trio of foreigners, he rose to grab the ball to become champion in the fourth game of the tie for the title. Melilla’s coach, who died this Sunday at the age of 61 after a five-year battle with cancer, didn’t win that game, but he also made history as head of Uniqaza and, later, as coach. In, he was the host. opened the door for Golden JuniorsThe generation that shaped the history of Spanish basketball.

Ainsley’s three-pointer crashed into the rim and Unikaza lost in the fifth and final match, but boiler Del Ciudad Jardin projected his passion throughout Spain. A new audience record was set for a basketball game, with 4.5 million viewers following the full broadcast and 6.5 glued to the TV in the final segment. “The most important thing was to show everyone that a modest team can fight for the league title and win it. You should always have a great team vocation. We have opened the way”, said Imbroda. After that not triple Ansley led the TDK Manresa League, the opening of the Carpea Pavilion in Málaga and the victory of the league of Kora, Cup and Andalusian team.

After a successful decade, Imbroda left the team of his life, Unicaza, in 1998, Maristas de Málaga, which he managed at the age of 23 to manage in Primera B and which he promoted to the ACB in 1988. . A meteoric career that followed Melilla’s coach was on the bench, adding 17 seasons and 605 games to the ACB (he was also league and cup runner-up in 98–99 with Caja San Fernando de Sevilla). Only part of the course reached an international dimension before the Barcelona ’92 games, when the Lithuanian team hired him on the recommendation of Vladas Garastas as assistant coach. Arvydas Sabonis and Valdemaras Homičius, who had already fallen in love with Málaga and the ways of the youth coach. Later, in the year 95 that changed his life, Imbroda joined the Spanish team’s coaching staff as an assistant to Lolo Sáez. A team under construction, which, in 1999, was declared runners-up in Europe against Italy of Gregor Fusca and Carlton Myers. A valuable piece of silver on the border of the historic relay which was due to be at the turn of the century.

The story of the same 1999 golden generation who along with Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Raul López, Felipe Reyes and company won the Junior World Cup against the United States. The generation that shaped Spanish basketball. In its first 65-year history, the men’s basketball team won six medals (4 silver–1935, 1973, 1983 and 1999—and a European bronze–1991; and an Olympic silver–1984), as episodic successes in the middle In a handful of heroic efforts, some great slippages and many disappointments; So far in the 21st century, there are 13 medals in the collection, of which five are gold. Imbroda opened the door to the ultimate for them Golden Juniors Which shook history. Navarro, who played the Sydney Games at the age of just 20, came forward. The rest joined in 2001, already with Imbroda as coach. A small step in time but infinite in encyclopedia. from European bronze after Dirk Nowitzki surrendered to Germany, finishing fifth at the 2002 World Cup in Indianapolis, beating the United States 81–75, which was still the only Spanish victory against a United States team in full official competition. Is.

“I don’t dispute that a controlled game of too much defense, of possession, is not great basketball. But I think running is more fun, give the initiative to the player who feels responsible for his work. I think that’s how the player approaches training with a different flair”, said Imbroda, defining his flashy attacking style with quick changes during his time as coach in Málaga. A script that Florentino Pérez and Jorge Valdano’s Madrid set out to take from Sergio Scariolo in 2002. It was their worst phase, only one season, and the worst ever ranking of whites in the ACB (10th place with 17 wins and 17 losses) ) The big blur in the file on the bench of Imbroda, who won Valladolid and Menorca in 2009. After passing through, the board was hung.

“My wife told me this was the game I needed to win, and I’m on it. And that’s the hope I want to convey to all cancer patients like myself, saying to them: never give up”, he wrote in the letter with which he made public that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the summer of 2016. . The news did not shorten the move into politics for Imbroda, who stood for Andalusian regional elections in 2018 with Ciudadanos following a government agreement between his party and Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla’s PP Education and Sport of the Junta de Andalucía. Ministers were appointed. , In the Granada Cup last February, Imbroda were awarded by the ACB at half-time in the final. That was his last appearance on the parquet.

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