"A chance for... basketball brainstorming"


After the end of Day 2 of the International Clinic "Salonica 2009" the President of the GBCA, Panagiotis Giannakis, the Vice President Thodoros Rodopoulos and the four lecturers (Lawrence Frank, Mateo Boniciolli, Xavi Pascual and Soulis Markopoulos) talked in a Press Conference about the Clinic and many more things.

The President of the Greek Basketball Coaches Association was the first to speak in order to salute the audience. "Our effort to give to our member even more ideas and knowledge started with the Local Clinic, was carried on with the International Clinic for Young Ages in Athens and made its pick with this Clinic in Salonica. I think that the fellow coaches gave their best with their lecturers and helped us think about basketball in an even better way.

 We want to thank them, because they honor us with their participation. The attendance was great in this year's clinic and that is a very pleasant thing. The Greek Coaches are eager to interchange ideas and they are seeking ways to give more. We will carry on this way. Basketball is a sport that fits the Greek people and we want to push even more towards the basketball court. We have to help the children showcase their talent".

After that the Vice President of the GBCA, Thodoros Rodopoulos, added that "it is a very successful clinic, which follows the local clinic and the one for Young Ages. The effort of the Association has been great, because we think that the educational is the premier task of the GBCA".

After coach Rodopoulos the lecturers took the stand. "It is a great honor and privilege to be invited in the Clinic. It was a very good experience for me, because I had the chance to meet great people. The only thing I regret is that I made such a short trip. I wish I could stay more" said Lawrence Frank.

And Xavi Pascual continued by noting that "I thank you for the invitation. I want to thank coach Giannakis who honored me. It was a great honor to cometo Salonica, because in this Clinic you meet coaches and you interchange ideas, which can help you in the difficult path of basketball. I want also to thank all the coaches that attended the Clinic and the other lecturers".

After that Mateo Boniccioli said that "I thank you very much for the invitation. I want to say that I was a young coach when Panagiotis Giannakis was playing. He was an idol for me as a player and after that as a coach. In this clinic I saw different ideas and approaches. It was a good chance to visit Salonica for the first time".

At last Soulis Markopoulos underlined: "I want to thank the Association for the invitation to lecture in this Clinic, in which great coaches from significant basketball-oriented countries also lectured. We interchanged ideas that can help in the improvement of basketball, as every country can offer something different".




Next the lecturers answered questions to the members of the Press. The first one was about the new rules and whether they had a proposal to make in order to help the improvement of basketball.

"This is also a matter in the NBA. We want to make basketball a world-wide game. Some changes have been made by FIBA, while in the States we always talk about new rules that we have to make. Basketball has to become more consistent. Here you do different staff, but we can say that the great teams in Europe and the great teams in the NBA follow the same principles".

Xavi Pascual carried on "I am the romantic type of coach! I love basketball as it is and I don't want any changes. Those that have to be made, should come in a slow pace in order to be understood by the fans.  If the three point line goes to 7.25, definitely many changes will be made, as the spacing between the players".

Basketball is a game very advanced for its age, in relation with other sports. The changes that should be made, have to be delayed. The coaches are often the victims, because we are been accused for many things in a short period of time. Especially during the game a coach doesn't have much time to correct things. We are accused, but don't have the power to do many things".

Referring to the rules Mateo Boniciolli analyzed that "the players become bigger, stronger and faster, while the conditions become tougher every year. I believe that the referee have to take clear orders, so that they are not allowed to interpret the regulation at their own. The best referee is the one that lets the players play. The problems start when the referees think that they are more important than the game itself".

Soulis Markopoulos replied: "Parts that have to do with the referees have to become clearer, in order to avoid the doubts and the conflicts. The referees must keep the same philosophy. There are regulations that need change, but that is something that has to be dealt in depth. Before any decision the "plus" and the "minus" have to be considered".

Panagiotis Giannakis said that "We have to promote basketball to even more people. I think that basketball in Europe is very advanced technically and physically. We have to communicate more with the fans. The regulations must advance, but only if the crowd understands them. Basketball is a clever and impressive sport. The situation that we are dealing tells us that we have to give to the people to understand the sport better. Firstly I believe that the fans have to understand deeply the present regulations, before we go on in any new ones".

Another question was about the coaches' role and whether they have to give their opinion to the Euroleague committee about issues referred to the competition.

"The first think you learn about basketball is cooperation. If the cooperation is good, then the solutions are better. The ULEB has the first word, because its member are trying the whole year to come up with solutions in order to make basketball even more competitive and exciting" was the answer of Panagiotis Giannakis.

"We want to make basketball a fair, clean and good sport. Some times the coaches of the Euroleague have meetings with the referees, but those are the ones that take the decisions. The same goes with the presidents and the owners who decide. We came and say our opinion, but our work has more to do with the game" added Xavi Pascual.

"Cooperation is the best thing. The presidents and the managers are spending money and the coaches are thinking about the game. The players and the referees must say their opinion too. All of us have the same goal, to make basketball us popular as we possible can. If we have more fans, we all become richer, not only financially speaking, but also in terms of popularity and social status" was the opinion of Mateo Boniciolli.

 "Personally I believe that the criteria have to exist. But every team has the right to take the ticket with its own efforts. The teams shouldn't be pointed out, in order to make basketball more competitive. Euroleague is trying its best and their administration is taking the decisions. Our role can only be consolatory" concluded coach Markopoulos

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