the “mistake” there was, the value of the group and the biggest challenge of his career

the “mistake” there was, the value of the group and the biggest challenge of his career
the “mistake” there was, the value of the group and the biggest challenge of his career

Gustavo Peirone has a long journey. He is one of those rowers who, through hard work and perseverance, reached the most important moment in his career as a basketball coach. He is the coach who returned Atenas to the National League. “El Negro” took on such a challenge and hit the right note not only because of how his team played, but above all because of the human group that he built and knew how to lead.

“We had a clear objective from the beginning. But, before that objective, all of us who came here came for a dream which was to put Athens where we all believed it should be. We all prioritize Athens and that is the most important thing. The objective at a professional level serves us all. An achievement like this surely has a lot of impact and can open doors. Putting Atenas where we had the chance to put it is priceless,” said the coach who led the Greek team to the long-awaited title in the Argentine League.

—Perhaps it is one of the most celebrated titles in Athens. And look, he won many…

—We have lived in Athens since it began… We had that challenge and that dream. We are going to demand from the leaders that when we enter the headquarters the photo of this team is posted. This is a very important achievement. It is a second category championship, but at a very difficult time for the institution. It is a moment when it was not known how the institution was going to respond and how the people were going to respond. And we ended up playing in a sports center like in the best times.

—This responsibility had to be assumed. You as a coach, the players, the leaders, each one doing their own thing. And it wasn’t that he played Athens and was promoted.

—That was the big mistake that there was in the leadership and in the people. We didn’t know how people were going to react. It was thought that, because it was Athens in a second category, it was going to show up and win the tournament from start to finish. And it was super proven that it was not. We had to play all the matches of the tournament and even the fifth in the final. That was the biggest problem. Then, as for the challenge, we were clear. Many of us wanted to be in the photo at the headquarters when we entered. Or that my children can see that photo at headquarters.

—It seemed easy because they had a great season and suffered few defeats. But it is a very tough category.

—We already knew in advance that the category would be very tough. We all knew it: the players who came, the coaching staff… The inside knew it. But we always put forward the goal of where we wanted to take Athens. He knew we had good players, but we needed to put together a good group. He cut the squad, but we knew what we had. If we assembled well and were clear about where we were going, we could have the possibility of fighting. We didn’t know if we were going to win with that, but it was the dream we had. And today our dream came true.

—It was key to put together a group, more than a team. And there you had a fundamental role with your coaching staff.

—It seems to me that that is essential. To work and build a team, you need the other person to want to be part of it. And we can’t say absolutely anything about the players because they were always predisposed to this, putting up with us, supporting us, listening to us… And we listening to them. And we were able to achieve a tremendous group.

—What is it like to be champion with Athens?

—Let me think about it for a while. I still don’t fall. This will be enjoyed over time. I was leaving my house and the greengrocer in front shouted at me “we are 2-2 and we have to win”… I imagine a lot of things, but I am very happy for my family, for the players, for the leaders who gave me the opportunity… Today is happiness.

—When you took over, you said it was the most important challenge of your career. And you fulfilled it.

—Without a doubt it was the most important challenge of my career. For many coaches, this challenge was the most important of their careers. You had to hold on at this moment, be there, show your face… And with this I’m not saying that I’m a super hero, but rather that a little unconsciousness said “come on, put it in” and we weren’t wrong.

—A key is that you always maintained restraint, in the important victories and also in the few defeats they suffered.

—We work on that every day. All of us kids knew what the objective was. And we owed nothing to each other and none of us had an extra obligation to the rest. We were going to have bad moments in a quarter, in a game or in a streak. But we had to be in it together and that’s what put us in the final.

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