a low first round

Casademont began the course with doubts, with its disfigured silhouette, and starred in the worst start in its history in the ACB League: dThe only wins in their first eight games, which led to the dismissal of his coach, Diego Ocampo, on November 10. Sergio Hernández, world runner-up with the Argentina team, was then hired, but the Zaragoza team had a hard time reacting. Victim of its defensive indolence – it scores 89.5 points per game – Casademont has performed below expectations generated in the domestic tournament, where it is still marked by the rigors of the classification: it is currently ranked in the fifteenth position of the table, having reached the halfway point of the season with only five wins to his credit. Poor first lap, low lows, for a squad that retains up to 10 players from the previous successful season, and that has important arguments in all positions of the court.

At least, the team has increased its benefits in its most recent commitments, in the Endesa League and in the Champions League, and already exhibits a version more in line with its true potential. In the national championship, his notable improvement was translated into the triumphs against Bilbao Basket (105-76) and Real Betis (96-95), two direct rivals in the fight for permanence, apart from offering a tenacious resistance against Baskonia (89-92) –the current champion– and surprising Andorra (83-98) at home; and in the European competition, the recent victory in Russia against Nizhny Novgorod (92-98), highly commendable, brought him a considerable reward: his access to the next round of the tournament, and also as first classified.

In this sense, the Casademont seems to have reunited, finally, after a discouraging start to the season. In the first section of the course, the Aragonese team showed obvious signs of weakness, especially in the defensive facet, which inevitably condemned him to defeat in six of his first eight games: he lost at home to San Pablo Burgos (86-100) and Unicaja de Málaga (63-92), and did the same on his trips to Tenerife ( 91-86), Madrid (102-83), Valencia (93-84) and San Sebastián (70-67). Especially pernicious was the stumble against the Basque team, last classified, where the offensive contribution of Zaragoza was reduced to 67 points scored. In these first eight days, with Ocampo on the bench, the only two wins in the Endesa League came against Herbalife Gran Canaria (88-71) and UCAM Murcia (98-86), both in the Príncipe Felipe pavilion.

A demanding calendar, loaded with matches and against important opponents, contributed to the bad start of the league. Since the course began in Tenerife on September 21, the Zaragoza team added ten official matches in just four weeks, having embedded in the first days of October the Final to Eight of the 2019-20 Champions League.

The lesions

The Zaragoza team had no truce, also punished by the misfortune of the injuries: he started the season without center Javier Justiz, his main reference in the inside game, who has just recovered from the arthroscopy he underwent in February to resolve the torn meniscus in his left leg. The Cuban, now with muscular problems, has participated in only one official match this season. In addition, point guard Vit Krejci was injured on September 25, on the second day of the Endesa League, and will miss the entire season due to the rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee; Sulaimon remained eight weeks off the slopes due to an adductor injury that occurred against AEK Athens, in the final phase of the Champions League, on October 2; While San Miguel, operated in December on the ligament of the left hand, will not compete again at least until March. Setbacks that reduced already excessively short rotations due to the low incidence of Jaime Fernández and Sagaba Konate – already outside the Aragonese squad -.

After a low first lap, the Casademont has shown a notable improvement in recent days. Although at times he still shows a certain anarchy in his game, it is already a more solid block, more balanced, more intense, more set and sure of his strength. At least it is already capable of competing.

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