By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
Players and coaches from the national teams that participated in November’s EuroBasket Qualifiers spoke in favor of the “bubble” format that FIBA implemented in order to hold the games under the safest possible circumstances.
“The situation with COVID-19 is not easy but we’re lucky that we can still play basketball with all these difficulties. I’m glad for us and happy that FIBA found this format,” Israel coach Oded Kattash said. His national team participated in Madrid’s bubble and qualified to the EuroBasket. “The bubble is great, the conditions were excellent. I’m not sure that all the bubbles around the world are like this.”
Spain hosted the tournament and advanced to the EuroBasket as well. Xavi Rabaseda said that it was an ideal solution for the players.
“I think it was a really wise decision to organize this bubble for the national team games in the window for the good of basketball and for the safety and health of the players,” Rabaseda said. “It’s true that we can complain because we have to stay in the hotel and you cant go out except for practice or games, but we understand this is done for our own benefit and it was the best for us and so the games could be played with out problems.”
Polish national team’s Michal Sokolowski and Karol Gruszecki believe the format is the optimal choice for games and tournaments in general. “Right now, if you want to play, you have to play in this format,” Sokolowski said.
“You don’t have any other chance to do it,” added Gruzceski. “It was the best decision.” In the meantime, Poland coach Mike Taylor described the Window as “great” and being “fun.”
Romania’s naturalized veteran guard Giordan Watson said that the bubble’s safety protocols helped him focus on basketball. “I didn’t feel risk at all. We’re in the hotel, at the arena, eating our food and once we come back we hang out here in hotel.”
Watson’s coach Tudor Costescu is grateful that the “bubble” gave him and the Romania players the opportunity to compete. “This was the best solution and this kind of effort, this kind of organization gives us the joy and possibility to play. Looking around the world with so many problems, for us it’s a privilege to be able to play.”