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Saturday, September 24, 2022

EuroBasket: Willie Hernangmez: “We weren’t even the strongest in the World Cup”

Pelicans pvot assumes responsibility to lead this renewed team at EuroBasket starting this Thursday. “Pau is the only one, Mark is the only one and Willie is the only one”, he clarifies about the comparison.

Willy Hernangmez during training in Tbilisi.Alberto Snowy / February
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In this new Spain, Willie Hernangmez (Madrid, 1994) By force, one has climbed several steps at once. in performance (top scorer during setup), in gallon (second only to captain) Rudy Fernandez) and, above all, in responsibility. PVT faces off their sixth tournament with the national team and their speech—we want a medal—breaks the mold of the general message, though even sergio scariolo He has to be publicly corrected.

Do you still see Spain among the favorites to sleep in?
I think Sergio misunderstood me. I said I don’t look at other teams, I look at my team and I worry about how we are doing. I want Spain to win and I don’t care about the rest. It will be a fun European, very competitive, with a high level. But so was the World Cup. And we already have experience that we may not be the brightest, strongest, but we have the best group and the ones who are going to compete the most. You can beat anyone in the game.
In an already so unpredictable summer full of change, so much hurt, does it affect the group?
The group remains upbeat, united, very strong, above all excited and eager to compete. In the end, they are occupational hazards. We started with concentration 22 because we knew anything could happen. loss is as important as Sergio (lull)Even if we don’t like it, it motivates us even more.
Do you feel like the leader of the team for the first time in your career?
All the work I am doing belongs to these moments of responsibility and importance. I want to prove it, help my team to get a medal. I am happy to feel more responsible and see how the new generation is coming. They see I’ve been there for eight years, Rudy 20… the illusion is still there and it can’t be lost.
Has Scariolo told you to go a step further this summer?
Scariolo is an incredible coach who demands a lot from me, who wants my best. And even if he asks me for one thing and I do it well, I know that he will keep asking for better from me. For that I am grateful. We have been together for seven years, he knows me better than any other coach. He wants my best, he knows I have an important role in the team and he wants me to take it for granted, to be prepared.

Now the stars are in other teams, what can surprise Spain?
The key is consistency, the way we pay attention to every detail of the game plans that Sergio prepares, how we execute it on the court. Every little detail is going to be very important. Example is the World Cup, we did that perfectly. Everyone knew their role, accepted their role, everyone was involved and we went in that direction. This is what brings success.
Will his role be like that of Marc Gasol in the World Cup?
For me, both Mark and Pau have been role models since childhood. I have always tried to learn from them, imitate them and above all, be a sponge by their side. And he has devoted a lot of his time to mentoring me, to teaching me. always be grateful. But Mark is the same, Pau is the same and Willie is also the same.
What was your reaction when you learned that Lorenzo Brown was going to be nationalised?
I was not surprised that nationalization had taken place. we already had Mirotic, we already had it with Serge (Ibaka), Ultimately, we look for the best option to compete and above all, so that the group has a level playing field. Lorenzo is one of the best players in Europe, he has shown in recent years. This will help us a lot.
How is your customization?
He is 10 years old. He is a friend, a colleague, a family member who was integrated with his approach and way of training from day one. I don’t know, in fact it works. He has shown his enthusiasm in the selection. You can completely relax with your family. And he wants to be with us. That means thank you.
Spain has always had a hesitant start, but this time it is important to get past the round of 16 for the first time.
I try to tell my teammates that we are focused on group matches, that we don’t rest. Maybe in other years we started out weak and then we had to toughen up or go up. Now we have to be 100 percent from the beginning, not see who we play against. Then we’ll look at the round of 16. If the objective is to win the European Championship, it doesn’t matter who you face.

How do you deal with criticism of your lack of prominence in the NBA?
I am fulfilling my dream in the best league in the world. I am going to play my seventh year and some players might say, some Spaniards. I am still as excited as the first day. Playing against the best pivots in the world makes him better. And when I play for the national team here in Europe, you see I can dominate. I respect opinions, advice, but I don’t worry about criticism, I focus on the comments of my people.
How do you manage to be so effective in the few minutes you play?
It is because of the confusion and desire, of training and playing, to love this sport so much. It motivates you to take advantage of the opportunity. And, above all, it is for that work which does not show dedication day and night. It’s true that it’s hard, tough, but I’m used to it. Now there are times like the national team where my role is more important and I can be groomed. It’s true that I want to play a bigger role in my team, the Pelicans. But hey, it’s a team sport. It’s time to play my part, I accept it. And when the coach calls my name, I give my 100 percent.

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Reference from www.elmundo.es

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