Cuspinera: "When I left, I had the feeling that I would return"

The new Movistar Estudiantes coach has analyzed in front of the media what he expects from the team for it to continue in the Endesa League.


"It is a pleasure to be here and I face the challenge with enthusiasm, wanting to reverse the situation." José Ramón Cuspinera (Getxo, Vizcaya, 1970) was introduced this Wednesday through a virtual press conference as the new coach of Movistar Estudiantes, a club where he began his career in basketball more than 30 years ago.

Jota is a man from the club. From 1990 with the Premini until 2009 as Luis Casimiro's assistant (also together with Pepu Hernández both in the Estu and in the National Team) he grew and developed at the Ramiro. And now, twelve years later, it has returned. "The student culture is not lost: suck basketball since childhood with the ACB as the spearhead of everything behind it," says Cuspinera, whose departure from the club was abrupt, with words crossed with a member of the board of directors, according to the latter, not knowing how to work as a team, as the Basque coach confessed in a report to Movistar + when he directed Casademont Zaragoza, his second team as first coach after Urbas Fuenlabrada (where he was in two different stages). He landed on the southern Madrid team after forging himself as an assistant at Real Madrid (Ettore Messina, Emanuele Molin and Pablo Laso) from 2009 to 2015.

“I was not expecting the call, not even this time. When I left, I had the feeling that I was going to return, but I didn't know when, ”says the Basque. “I was calm at home and Íñigo de la Villa (sports director) called me… he caught me by surprise. But it is an enormous satisfaction, an ancient wish: I wanted to return to this house one day. I have developed here, it was my first contact with the elite ”. “A club project that I liked was proposed to me and we reached an agreement. It was all very fluid. I liked the way things were put to me: with very clear club ideas ”, he explains about how he agreed to his fourth round at Movistar.

Situation of Movistar Estudiantes

Cuspinera will have to face a complicated situation, not unknown within Estudiantes in recent years, although it has been aggravated since 2018 when Salva Maldonado left the bench. Since that summer, three different coaches have passed (Berrocal, Dzikic and Zamora). Jota is the fourth in just three years and with my duties as his predecessors: saving the students from descending to LEB Oro.

The schoolboys have linked 10 losses in the last five games. Figures that place the Ramireños with only 5 victories, the same as Coosur Betis and Acunsa GBC, third to last and second to last classified in the Endesa League, respectively, although with two fewer games to be played because of the coronavirus outbreak that hit the college staff in mid-January. And that they took Zamo and the illusion of the signing of JJ Barea as a total revulsive to the ills of the whole.

“I have the illusion that we are higher. Circumstances come as they come. The dynamic we have comes against us, but if we win two games in a row, I'm sure the team will go up. But you have to win them ”, he points out about the qualifying situation. “When the group stabilizes emotionally… I don't see a team in critical condition, I look forward to reversing the situation. Mentally, defeats are heavy: we have to take off that backpack and we have to win for that. ”

Cuspinera will have the entire technical staff of Zamora as well as the entire squad, including Edwin Jackson, who already trains with the rest of his teammates. In principle, and while waiting to get to know their new players more thoroughly, there will be no casualties or reinforcements for a group with many strengths in the outside game. “The problem is that the results have been lacking on many occasions, such as against Acunsa GBC, where the victory escaped in the last second. We have a lot of points on the perimeter with EuroLeague level players like Edwin Jackson and Alessandro Gentile. The irregularity in defense (it is the main weakness): we must be capable of a more continuous line there ”.

“I like to play in the open field, fast transitions ... Open spaces. There will be things that touch, others that will stay. It is not a closed style: I adapt to the players I have, I try to adjust the style to their virtues ", he continued.

One of the fruits that Zamo left before his departure was the union of the group. The players were with the coach, creating a very strong nucleus that has not had luck with the league results. That's where Cuspinera introduces himself: “I will naturally get into that great job that Javi did. The important thing is that they keep that pineapple and I join to help. ”

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