Canarias Basketball Academy’s U16 team qualified for the Insular U16 Finals last week after sweeping C.B. Gran Canaria (2-0): “In the first game it was hard for us to win, because despite the fact we controlled most of the game, they did not tear apart; the second game was much different as from the third quarter we starter to run and develop our game, beating them clearly”, U16 CBA coach Samuel Sosa remembers.

Samuel Sosa

Photo: José Juan Martín Domínguez

This success, “based on work and more work”, supposed as well a straight ticket for the Canarian Championships that are going to be held in Fuerteventura from the 23 to the 26th of April for which Sosa considers that “we have team to qualify for the U16 Spanish Championships, though it is not going to be easy and we will have to play hard and focused”.

Therefore, CBA players will have to face powerful Santi López’s Canterbury in two or three match-ups (on the 7th and the 10th of April at 6 pm  in Lomo Diviso and 8:15 pm at ULPGC Sports Hall, respectively; in addition to Sunday 12th at 12 am at Almatriche, if necessary)  that the Academy’ coach describes as “complicated because they have the advantage of playing on their home ground”.

In that sense, Sosa believes that their rival has “a good team, a great coach and good players that know each other really well as they have played together for 3 or 4 years”, and among them “the pointguard, and the center because he is determinant and we will have a lot of problems defending him”, stand out.

Li Shengzhe

Photo: José Juan Martín Domínguez

In this last case he is calmer now thanks to Chinese Li Shengzhe’s recent signing, as “there is not a single player of his characteristics in this competition and he has been quick to include himself in the team”.  

Diego Willis

Photo: José Juan Martín Domínguez

Moreover, Sosa stresses the two Mexican’s quality. About pointguard Diego Willis, he states that “he came to Gran Canaria as a good player, but here he has developed his shot and direction of the game up to becoming the team manager on the court”, whereas Toño Álvarez “could be described as a fighter that never gives up for a loose ball and that goes really well to the rebound; at CBA he is facing the basket more times because he has improved his shot and he is shaping up a perimeter player. However, in the last game he already showed that he was unstoppable towards the rim”.  

Toño Álvarez

Photo: José Juan Martín Domínguez

About the fourth foreign player, Dutch Bjorn Rosman, Sosa exposes that “after Christmas he has shown his real game as he has changed his mentality a little bit, helping the team close to the rim”.

With regard to the Canarian, CBA coach recognizes that he is “very glad, because little by little they have grown up, causing that every individual improvement has favourably affected to the group”.

Samu Sánchez

Photo: José Juan Martín Domínguez

Consequently, he specifies that José Pérez “has surprised us a lot, getting more mature both physically and mentally and achieving more minutes on the court”, the same as “Samu Sánchez, that has taken advantage in every opportunity he was given, and Sergio Perdomo, whose growth has meant his call to the U16 Canarian team”. 

Azael Trujillo

Photo: José Juan Martín Domínguez

Furthermore, Álvaro García  and Azael Trujillo’s work should be mentioned too, “because they are adding fight and rebounds, respectively”, as well as Eduardo Pascual, Rodolfo Sopo and Andrés Andrade’s participation, “because they help the team with constant work and will of improving”.

Finally, Samuel Sosa expects “to do a great Canarian Championship to get one of the two tickets for the Spanish Championships”.