After two years without a professional team, Vasco returns to the national basketball scene in the League of Basketball Development (LDB), the largest grassroots tournament in the modality in Brazil. Vasco/Tijuca, a collaboration between cruzmaltino and Tijuca Tênis Clube, will soon have a classic for this comeback. The debut will take place against Botafogo this Monday at 14:30 at the Arnao Polisportivo in Santa Cruz do Sul (RS).
– Our expectation is to have a good competition. You have to think step by step, setting goals in each of them. We know that it is a very competitive tournament that demands a lot from the players physically and mentally,” Vasco/Tijuca coach Daniel Bello said.
The Vasco/Tijuca team prepares for their debut in the Basketball Development League — Photo by Juliana Baere
– Have a very strong mental strength, be physically well prepared to cope with the workload of the games and try to maintain technical consistency. By combining these three aspects well, a player has everything to perform well in competitions,” added the coach, who has been in Tijuca since 2004 and has experience in all categories of training.
The Basketball Development League is an under-22 tournament for players born after 2000. It is the biggest grassroots tournament in Brazil that even exposes many players not only for national basketball but also for international level. Guy Santos, selected by the Golden State Warriors with the 55th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, competed for Minas Tênis Clube in LDB 2021. Nationally, Lucas Diaz, who was selected MVP of Franca’s unprecedented title final, also showed himself in the competition.
Daniel Bello to lead Vasco/Tijuca after returning to basketball; the coach has been with the club since 2004 — Photo: Juliana Baere
In gathering the cast, Cruzmaltino goes to the competition with 13 athletes, 9 of them are 19 years old, one is 20 and two are 22 years old. And, it is true, the two most experienced ones that attract attention. Mateusinho, who played the last two NBB seasons with Pato Basket, and Daniel Souza, a two-time LDB champion.
– They are the two most experienced players and are already prepared to play for seniors. Their experience will be very important for the youngsters who are making their debut in the competition,” concluded the coach.
Vasco/Tijuca win 71×29 in a friendly against Atitude/Olaria in preparation for the Basketball Development League (LDB) — Photo by Juliana Baere
At 22 years old and 2.11m tall, Daniel Sousa returns to Vasco after becoming a two-time LDB champion with Pineiros. In this retrospect, the axis becomes synonymous with the Basque design experience.
– Defend as a team and support each other in attack, always looking for the best ball. I would say we have a great chance if we play like this
– I was very happy to return, because I will be in my home, where I learned to make my first layup, my first shots. It’s nice to get to a place where I already know everyone. Having as a coach the guy who was my first coach. It is a feeling of happiness, said the young axis, who also added:
– I never had the experience of being one of the oldest members of the team, but it was great, fun. I’m not going to lie, sometimes we come across as “boring”. because with the time we have in basketball we pick up some things that we see as good and we try to apply them to try to make it easier.
A multi-time champion in the late 90s and early 2000s, with nine titles (including two Brazilian, two South American league and two South American club), Vasco was the first Brazilian team to face an NBA team. It was in 1999 when he lost to the San Antonio Spurs, then the American League champions, in the finals of what was then the equivalent of the Club World Cup.
+ See the list of champions of NBB, Brazil Cup and Brazil Basketball Championship
Despite the return to the sport, seeking a place in the Novo-Basket Brasil (NBB), the country’s premier competition, is not in the initial plans of the club, which intends to make this transition planned and gradual. .
– It is important to emphasize that the partnership is punctual and, currently we are together only for LDB 2022 dispute. We leave the door open for expansion, but it is very difficult considering the competition rules and calendar. Playing NBB comes at a high price. Return is an opportunity presented, but in a responsible manner, reorganizing the seasons so that they have their own funds, whether from sponsors, sponsored projects, license sales, merchandise, etc.,” said Carlos Magno, member of Vasco’s Olympic Sports Department.
In the first round, the 23 participating clubs were divided into two groups. The teams face each other in their brackets for one round, and at the end of the heats, the top four in each group qualify for the finals, which will be held at the Pinheiros Gymnasium in São Paulo. The finals will be held from September 6 to October 1.
+ See full LDB 2021 ranking
* Under the supervision of Fabio Gricho