"La Nevera had basketball from 08:00 to 23:00"

The first house owned by Movistar Estudiantes suffered this Sunday the collapse of its roof. The damage to the historic pavilion is very serious.


Pure history of Spanish basketball for many. The first and true home for all Movistar Estudiantes fans. That was (is) the Refrigerator. A magical pavilion with more than 60 years of history, which has hosted endless hours of boats, laughter, screams, happiness and that this Sunday suffered a horrible misfortune: the fall of its roof due to the snow accumulated by the storm Filomena, which it has struck Madrid with special virulence in recent days. The old structure suffered considerable damage beyond its roof.

“It is a catastrophic day for the Students. In the Fridge we started. It is a small, historical pavilion, through which great players and coaches have passed ”, assures Fernando Galindo, president of the collegiate team, to AS. “It is a pavilion that was used from 08:00 in the morning until 23:00. There the students of the Ramiro institute used to do gymnastics, our quarry passed through there ... It is a misfortune, without human consequences, which is the most important thing ”.

"It is a horrible day, both sentimentally and practically," continued Miguel Ángel Bufalá, president of the Sports Club and honorary president of the Foundation. “I have seen him build uncovered, make the roof ... all the stages since he was at the Ramiro when he was 4 years old. And now that we were giving it a touch of modernity with the floor ... ”

La Nevera was officially inaugurated in 1957, almost ten years after the Estu was founded, under the name Campo Nuevo. Time left that name in oblivion, although the reason for his new baptism is not known for sure. It could be the image of Barcelona player Thomas with gloves to play (1966-67). It is not known. What is clear is that it came to the hair, if we pay attention to the words of the legendary Díaz-Miguel, collected on the school club's website: “The air from the Sierra hits the venue directly so it never needed air conditioning; even the gossip assures that technicians from the Instituto del Frío university came to the Fridge to study its structure and learn how to freeze without using electrical energy ".The basket of Emilio Segura

It was the first field of the club. Built without a roof, in 1966 it had to be endowed with one for the obligations of the championship, which allowed the last game of the season to be televised live, that Estudiantes-Real Madrid with Emilio Seguro as the legendary hero: a basket of his gave the victory to the schoolboys (77-75) and gave the League to Joventut to the detriment of the eternal rival. "That basket is one of my best memories in La Nevera," recalls Bufalá. "Also the day I started with the second team at the age of 11, the times we have beaten Madrid ... They are indelible feelings" .

The field, within the bowels of the Ramiro de Maeztu, the school on which the Estudiantes arose in 1948, has undergone multiple renovations during its life. The dirt field that surrounded the stands began to have a concrete surface, then the roof, the walls, the parquet ... even painted chess boards in the stands.

“Diaz-Miguel, Pepu, the Kings have passed through this field… It is the history of Estudiantes. Everything goes through the Refrigerator. She was often better known than Magariños himself. It is the first installation of the club. Any fan knows her because also with that charismatic name… She has a recognition of being key in the training of players ”, continues Galindo.

After the collapse, it's time to get down to work. The Students have the use and enjoyment of the facility, but the Madrid authorities are in charge of it. “We are worried and busy. We have already held meetings with the City Council and the Community because we have two problems: one how to repair it and two where we place the boys and girls. Let's hope it happens and we have an essential facility for us ”, says the president, who has under his wings the largest quarry in Europe with about 2,500 girls and boys in addition to inclusion basketball. “I am convinced that (the institutions) are going to be sensitive to our demand. It is one of the most recognized facilities in the world of basketball and our claim will have an echo. It is no longer worth a simple repair, but must be in depth and modernization. The problem has been serious. ”

Reborn from the ashes

It is not the first time that the Estudiantes has encountered the 'disappearance' of one of its pavilions. Remember the fire in the Palacio de Deportes that horrible summer almost 20 years ago. At that time, the institutions of the capital were mobilized. A new pavilion was built on the same esplanade as the Plaza de Felipe II, the current WiZink Center, and the team moved during its reconstruction to Vistalegre first and to the Telefónica Madrid Arena later. “It is the second set that we face and (the administration) is going to work the same. We have to take advantage of it by being reborn from our ashes. We are ready to work hard to save this game, ”Bufalá emphasizes.

“We are working to get out of whatever adversity we encounter. We were born there and we want to be there indefinitely, ”says Galindo about a field that gave its name to one of Txus Vidorreta's plays during his time at Estudiantes, it housed large 3x3 de la Demencia and whose collapse has brought massive signs of support: from the Players Association to the ACB through different teams of the Endesa League and individuals. “If you haven't played at La Nevera, you haven't played basketball. A tremendous shame but hopefully it can be used to build a modern pavilion, according to what a club like Estudiantes deserves so that its quarry is (even more) inexhaustible, ”wrote Juan Ignacio (@juanignaciogc) on Twitter. "A huge piece of the history of Estudiantes, Ramiro de Maeztu, Madrid basketball ... how many of us have had great moments on that floor," Miguel del Pozo (@ ricohill8) pointed out through the social network. Tears for the Fallen Colossus.

Photos from as.com
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