The Spanish-Congolese Toronto Raptors center, Serge Ibaka, made clear on Wednesday his good attunement to the Spanish Marc Gasol, with whom he is “happy” playing and with whom he complements “well” for his somewhat similar characteristics when they coincide in court.
“Being with Marc always makes me happy, especially since he is part of the team. Seeing him play, the way he understands the game, his IQ, his ability to pass and how he motivates me to also improve in that regard is very positive, “Ibaka told the media in statements collected by the NBA website.
The former Real Madrid and Manresa remarked that both have spent “a lot of time on the court because it is good for both of them to share minutes together” and that when this happens “it depends a lot on who” the rival has on the track.
“I think Marc and I worked so well because we can both play outside and inside. We can both continue, we can shoot … It depends a lot on who is defending me or him and from there we start playing,” added the center.
On the other hand, with the friendlies already starting to take place ahead of the season restart next week, Ibaka warned that as they play they will “improve”. “Being a preseason game we have to try everything, it is the only time when we can know what is going well and what is not. I am sure that Nick (Nurse, coach) will try to adjust the team for the benefit of the rest” , He aimed for his first friendly this Friday against Houston Rockets.
“We need everyone, especially at this point in the season. The rest of the team has to give everything in practice, and he has understood how this works and knows that it will not be easy to have an opportunity, but they have to sacrifice themselves to be prepared, “he stressed about those who have fewer minutes in the current champions.
The Hispano-Congolese was happy with the return of the matches because “playing five against five is not the same as working on your own” and celebrated this return. “I think it is a nice thing to know that you fight for something bigger than basketball,” he confessed. “Every time I jump onto the field it is to compete. That is one of the reasons why I work hard every day and have trained so much during the quarantine, working as hard as possible to get in the best shape,” he stressed.
“The first two days here in Orlando I was very frustrated because I like to arrive early, work on my own, take care of my body … Now we cannot have that. I am trying to adapt in the best possible way to these situations”, sentenced on the rules imposed in the “bubble” created by the NBA to prevent infections.