FIBA silent after Covid tests and anti-bombing sirens

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Tuesday, January 4, 2022. The Lointek Gernika must face CBK Mersin in the round of 16 of the Eurocup Women. In the first leg, the Spanish team had given the surprise with a result of 83-59 despite the difference in budgets. The return therefore seemed very well prepared. However, the players in the Basque dressing room suffered a series of constant obstacles in the face of which FIBA, which organizes the competition, remained silent. from tests PCR very suspicious to let an ‘out’ player pressure to distract the protagonists during the match. In the end, they were eliminated by a clean 69-40 and said goodbye to the continental tournament with scenes from the past.

The problems started much earlier. The duel, originally, should have been played the last week of December. However, in the middle of the month, several positive points were detected in the Basque team which ended up becoming an epidemic of Covid-19. The two clubs, with the participation of FIBA, have decided to postpone the match to January 4. Gernika would have time to recover and CBK Mersin would have no risk of contagion.

The Gernika players only started training when they all tested negative for antigens. Security, according to protocol, was assured. However, from the Turkish entity they have not seen it enough. As explained after the controversy generated, in the CBK Mersin Health prevails and they did not want to risk it due to the risk of contagion to their subsequent rivals. For this reason, they transferred to FIBA ​​the request that the Spaniards present a PCR test. They have accepted, but are doing well in Bilbao or when they arrive in Istanbul. CBK Mersin rejected it and imposed that these tests be carried out only and exclusively in their city. FIBA accepted.

Gernika’s team arrived the day before. Kevin Huber, physical trainer, relates it as “a tease” that goes beyond what the cameras have captured. And it is that the whole team underwent a PCR in Istanbul to have this medical support, being aware of the complications that the rivals were causing. It was not enough despite all the negatives. Arriving in Adana, as Huber recounts, “a van with two rival club managers“Accompanied by a person who acted as a nurse, he received them with the intention of doing a PCR on them in the street. They finally managed to do it in a closed room before getting on the bus.

The situation was “surreal”, but the worst was yet to come. The nurse in question, said the physical trainer, took out tubes with the names of each player already assigned to perform the PCR. All this under the eyes of rival managers and without a safety mask. One hour after landing, the PCR tests are complete. They arrive almost at 2 am at the hotel. And the next day it was reported that Belén Arrojo had tested positive and could not play. The Basque club decided to take her to the hospital to ask for another PCR and for her to come to the game. The result fell at 10:00 p.m., when the duel had already started and Arrojo was not among those available. Moreover, the latter PCR confirmed to be negative.

Gernika had already run out of hours of rest and preparation and without one of his players. CBK Mersin says Gernika’s complaints are bad loser gestures and that Belén Arrojo wasn’t a good enough player to manipulate the PCR results and leave her out. This all stems from a statement away from the composure a club should carry. The problems, however, continued.

CBK Mersin showed their superiority from the start. The 23-6 run said it all. However, it was not for less in view of what was happening on the track. The refereeing trio upsets the players of Gernika. And the Turkish fans painted the parquet from hell. CBK Mersin, oddly enough, changed for this pavilion match: it went from one of 7,000 to one of just over 2,000 spectators, with the stands low and a short distance from the track. A boiler that only added pressure.

Shouting from the stands, controversial refereeing decisions and, to top it off, the use of sound systems to distract the players. The leaders of the Turkish club put on music and bomb threat sirens during the meeting. The panorama was bleak for a Gernika who had never experienced such a situation and who recalled times past when certain countries had referee advantages. The duel ended and Gernika headed to Spain. Or, at least, that’s what they thought.

Turkish authorities they did not allow the spanish team to leave. As reported AND B, claimed two negatives from Belén Arrojo to confirm that she was not positive and that the rest of the team were not close contact. Gernika had to spend the night in Turkey not knowing what their future would be. The goal became to leave at dawn on the first flight they had. Belén Arrojo remained on the ground and coach Mario López accompanied her at all times. Hours later, Arrojo tested negative and the two headed for Spain.

FIBA silence and mockery in Turkey

In the face of all this, FIBA ​​remains silent. Players, on the other hand, appreciated the support of Jorge Garbajosa as President of the Spanish Basketball Federation and Elisabeth Aguilar, also a former player and now responsible for FEB competitions. CBK Mersin, for his part, released a statement criticizing Gernika for taking ‘classification for granted’. “Our advice is that they learn to wait for the marker of the second game to fully understand the balance of the series”, they defended themselves, also acknowledging that FIBA ​​​​supported each of their sanitary measures demanded of Gernika.

“We leave all racial slurs and comments posted by rival fans under our social media content, which does not contain any slurs, to the discretion of basketball fans,” they concluded at the Turkish club. Belén Arrojo, for her part, is already at home assimilating all that she has been through. “It was very unpleasant”, but at least his complaint was not ostracized.

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