While Argentina is proud of the campaign of the World Cup basketball team runner-up, La Liga (main national competition) lives with the increase in the number of players migrated to Brazilian clubs.
Ten athletes who were in Argentine teams until last season, born in their own country or of other nationalities, have already been confirmed as reinforcements of teams of NBB (New Basketball Brazil) for the 2019/20 edition. An increase over previous editions. There were 2 in 2017 and 5 last year that left the Argentine league to play in Brazil.
Among the factors that explain the growth of this flow is the severe economic crisis that the nation is going through. chaired by Mauricio Macri. In late August, the government decided to declare moratorium (defer payment term) of part of your short-term debt.
Currently, $ 1 equals 57 Argentine pesos, a scenario that makes it difficult to close foreign currency contracts with outsiders and brings financial uncertainty to many athletes.
Lucas Faggiano, 30, was one who left a La Liga team to play for Bauru in the upcoming NBB season, which starts on October 12th.
“The clubs in Argentina reflect what the country is currently experiencing. So, in times of economic hardship, they are also directly and indirectly affected by tickets, sponsors and casting, ”says the owner.
Enrique Agosti, head of Estudiantes de Concordia, a city of about 200,000 inhabitants located in the province of Entre Ríos (about 430 km from Buenos Aires), agrees with the athlete.
“The truth is that it is very difficult to do professional basketball in Argentina, especially in a neighborhood club (smaller teams)”
Historically, there was not a very big difference in the average salaries paid in the first division championships of Brazil and Argentina. Currently, however, the exchange rate makes the comparison with South American rivals favorable to Brazilians, although NBB teams also suffer from economic fluctuations and dollar-denominated contracts.
“Unfortunately, our economy still does not allow us to expand and improve the quality of our hiring as it is done today, for example in Spain. But in a way we have managed to keep a considerable number of good foreign players around here, ”says Sérgio Domenici, CEO of the National Basketball League (LNB), which organizes the NBB.
There are other reasons besides the economic situation that help explain the rise in Argentine exodus. In general, the Brazilian basketball elite has an advantage over the neighbors in the physical structure of gyms and especially in the logistics.
In Argentina, teams play more often during the season and often face hundreds of miles of road to enter the court. According to Agosti, in the case of Estudiantes only distances over 600 km are traveled by plane. For shorter stretches, the club uses a motorhome.
Also contributing to this growth was the increase in the limit for four foreign players per team in the NBB (from three until last season) and the possibility of success evidenced by some of the Argentines who have arrived in Brazil in recent years.
Flamengo point guard Franco Balbi, 30, is a good example. In addition to winning the Brazilian title with the red-black team in June, he was voted the best player of his position and the best foreign athlete of the tournament in his first year in the country.
Nicolás Laprovíttola, 29, also won a spotlight at Flamengo, who defended from 2013 to 2015, before heading to Europe. Elected the best player in the last Spanish league, the point guard was in the squad of Argentina in the last World Cup. The runner-up was coached by Sergio Hernández, who led Brasilia in 2013/14.
Although at the moment Brazilian basketball is in the position of importer in its relationship with Argentines – there are few players out there – La Liga (created in 1984) was and still is used as an example for the development of LNB. (born 2008).
“We always visit them to seek knowledge, after all they have accumulated a lot of experience and success. In all these years, we have always been very well received, and to this day we maintain a strong friendship and partnership, ”says Domenici.
Last weekend, Bauru became champion of the Interligas preseason tournament, played between teams from both countries.
Struggling to maintain its best athletes, La Liga is proud to have revealed the athletes responsible for most successful generations of Argentine basketball, Which accumulates two World Vice-clubs and one gold medal at the Olympics in the century. Of the 12 members of the team that has just been runner-up, 3 still work in teams in the country.
“The league has allowed players to develop who can later grow in other parts of the world, and this has led to a leap in quality when it comes to Argentina,” says Faggiano.
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