Masters at mastering crazy situations

Luca banchi is supposed to save what can still be saved at nine-time german basketball champion brose bamberg in this messed-up season – especially in the bundesliga, because in the euroleague the play-off train has long since left without the bambergers. On tuesday evening, the 52-year-old italian, who like his predecessor andrea trinchieri loves to cook pasta, led the first training session at his new club. In mid january, despite finishing 5th in the italian league and reaching the top 16 in the euro cup, he ended his work in turin due to disagreements with management.
At the training center in strullendorf, the father of a family who has been married for 28 years (one daughter and one son) and who is working outside his home country for the first time, introduced himself in an interview and explained his plan calmly and objectively.
How do you see your task, which is anything but easy??
Luca banchi: at the moment it is certainly not, but thanks to the team, the tradition, the mentality and the organization it was easy for me to say yes. I think it’s a very good team that did very well in the euroleague but stumbled a bit in the bundesliga. This is also the first point we need to address. But already in gieben the team showed a solid performance. This was a good start on the way to finish the main round in the best possible way.

What is your first step in getting the team back into a rhythm??
I must deliver. It’s not easy, because i only have a little time. My role is to reassure and give confidence to everyone. I don’t have the opportunity to change much in such a short time. I interviewed some of the players and the coaching staff to get a quick understanding of what’s going on. I will bring my style in training, in the game and in the relationship with each other. Then we’ll quickly see if that’s enough to achieve our goals.
How would you describe your style?
I am not a coach who beats up his players. But i do demand that the team train with a lot of energy. Because the way you train is the way you present yourself in the game. This team has shown that it has the right mentality, but just needs more consistency and confidence. In this respect, I will try everything to help the boys. But only victories can help decisively. We have to be humble and realize that we are working in a program that has had a lot of rough wins. The expectations are huge. That’s why we have to work hard and focus on the right values. We can’t just talk about being tough, we have to show it.

Can you imagine taking the team to the championship again??
It’s not easy to deal with the pressure. Everyone in bamberg deserves to finish this season successfully. Siena won six titles in a row when I was promoted from assistant to head coach. Many people have said that I am crazy to take over this post. But we won the cup and the championship. Then I went to milan, where for 19 years no coach managed to lead the team to the championship. Again, everyone said I was crazy. But we were successful. Maybe I’m a little crazy to have chosen the job here … (laughs).
What is realistic from your point of view?
First of all, prepare the team for the game in piraus. We have to go step by step. Especially in the bundesliga, we still have twelve games in which we want to secure a place among the top eight. Four teams have already secured a play-off ticket, with eight teams fighting for four places behind them. We want to reach the play-offs – and to do that we need to win.

How do you approach the first games?
We have to create a way to make our fans happy – that’s the main goal. The game in ulm is just as important as the game in gieben, because ulm are also a direct competitor in the play-off race. That’s why we have to prepare for this game in the best possible way. My job is to make sure the team is on the field with the right mentality and attitude. And we will start with that in piraus, even though the game in ulm is a very special one for us.

Klaus groh asked the questions.