Unibox | Álvaro Mena, one other nice expertise from Los Guindos

Unibox | Álvaro Mena, one other nice expertise from Los Guindos

Álvaro Mena (proper), along with Djedovic within the duel towards Betis final Sunday. / REAL BETIS BASKET

The purpose guard from Granada for Unicaja junior within the EBA, with 12 factors and excellent actions towards Betis on Sunday with the professionals, reveals nice virtues in full bodily coaching

Pedro Luis Alonso

In a summer time through which Spanish basketball can boast of academy medals – one other factor is what occurs within the final step going through the bounce to professionalism – and through which Unicaja has nurtured lots of these groups with the most effective of Los Guindos, the determine of Álvaro Fernández, higher often known as ‘Álvaro Mena’, a sports activities title with which this base from Granada from March 2005 pays tribute to his father, additionally linked to basketball, had been left within the background.

This summer time, Unicaja has talked concerning the expertise of Mario Saint-Supery, MVP of the U-16 Eurobasket. Additionally that of Álvaro Folgueiras, sub-17 world runner-up and who now emigrates to the DME Academy, in Florida, to proceed his coaching in the USA for a couple of years. And together with him, in that profitable World Cup held in Malaga, there was additionally the Mallorcan ahead Rubén Vicente.

Este, Saint-Supery and Baboucar Badji accompanied Álvaro Mena final weekend in Lisbon to finish the rotation of Unicaja gamers, with solely seven males, and amongst all of them the determine of Mena emerged, who amazed along with his self-confidence in Sunday’s match towards Coosur Betis: 12 factors, 2/2 triples, two assists, two recoveries and three fouls acquired, for a complete of 14 PIR factors in 19:03 minutes on the court docket.

At 16 years outdated, he took benefit of the chance that Ibon Navarro gave him, though he should be the primary to remember that he nonetheless has room to dream of taking the leap, beginning by ending shaping his physique, which continues to be that of a rising teenager. “His physique is getting higher and higher,” clarifies, nevertheless, the one who’s being his coach within the junior group of the EBA League, Antonio Herrera. «Having already robust legs that offers him a defensive depth towards already fashioned gamers. When final yr he went with the ACB group to coach within the home windows (of FIBA) it was harder for him in contacts », he provides. Herrera highlights above all of the “ardour for basketball” of this 1.84 meter ‘playmaker’. “He lives it very intensely. He even research gamers in his place, as a result of he needs to enhance », he reveals.

A dialogue between Mena and Ibon Navarro, from behind. /


For the coach, he’s extra of some extent guard than a capturing guard, not even a ‘combo’ of these which might be so standard as we speak: «He has a pure expertise to see basketball on the court docket, particularly for scoring. As well as, he has good fundamentals, he shoots and passes very nicely, along with having good ball management ». He amply demonstrated it in a superb particular person motion that ended on a layup towards Betis, or in one other penetration after stealing.

Good shot of three

«He’s a scoring level guard, able to doing all the pieces. An open area ‘one’, with a contemporary shot, with a shot of three. He has all the pieces to proceed along with his present projection”, confirms Herrera, who recollects that he was his place to begin guard within the earlier yr within the EBA League, with Unicaja labeled for the sophisticated promotion section to the LEB Plata, an organization that didn’t attain culminate towards rivals with rather more expertise.

“He’s a scoring level guard, within the open area, who stands out for his ardour for basketball,” says his present coach, Antonio Herrera.

Mena averaged 9.9 factors and 1.9 assists per recreation, with a PIR of 5 factors, in simply over 19 minutes on court docket final season within the EBA. He was one of many pillars of a superb batch that’s now going through an abyss within the medium or quick time period: the bounce to senior as knowledgeable, with out intermediate classes of coaching and the temptation of North American universities to soak up that expertise.

In comparison with the ten minutes performed by Saint-Supery or the seven by Vicente on Sunday towards Betis, Álvaro Mena ended up deserving that confidence from Navarro for his success on the court docket and will repeat now within the Costa del Sol Match, with Alberto Díaz nonetheless absent and Kendrick Perry.


Ibon Navarro, ACB, FIBA, LEB, Unicaja, United States, Lisbon, Malaga, Transfers, ACB League, basketball

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