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Timeout with Coach Gombwer Paul, AKA Mario Puzo
Paul Gombwer (Head Coah, Defenders Basketball team)

Timeout with Coach Gombwer Paul, AKA Mario Puzo

Timeout with Coach Gombwer Paul, AKA Mario Puzo (Head Coach, Defenders Basketball)

Q.:
Briefly tell us how your coaching philosophy has influenced your team’s performance in the newly launched and on-going African Basketball League.

Coach Mario:
Every team I have been opportune to coach, I try my best to create a friendly atmosphere, which enables my players to relate freely and respectively with me. Over the years this approach has helped to create trust between me and my players. The defenders basketball players are no exception, the bond between us has really aided our outstanding performances in the ABL. Before each game, we often have a collective agreement based on this expression “no matter what we encounter we must be determined to win”. That is our team culture, every single person on board runs with that mentality.

Q.:
Are you getting the needed support from the management of your team?

Coach Mario:
Yes we are. I want to use this opportunity to thank our Commandant General of the Corps for all the support he has given us so far.

Q:
How did you motivate your team before Saturday’s game?

Coach Mario:
To be honest with you, we were ready to play and win, after been fired with positive words during training and while in camp, we took some time to evaluate the Moroccan team and planned how we can play and be successful. Though some people were saying “we will be beaten with nothing less than 30 points”, but we said “we will make them eat their words”, which we did.

Q:
Based on AS DE Sale style of play and how they performed on Saturday do you think your team can defeat them on their home court?

Coach Mario:
They are beatable, we just need to ensure we do our homework properly before linking up with Morocco for that crucial match. They are a good side no doubt couple with the massive home support they will be getting, but we are determined to pick a win from the planned encounter.

Q:
Is your team under any pressure to win game 2?

Coach Mario:
We are not under any external pressure to win our next match, for us the only pressure is a positive inner driver to go there and do our best. As the coach, if I notice any unnecessary pressure from the players it my job to ensure such pressure is taken away from them.

Q:
So what type of preparations are you looking at between now and the next game?

Coach Mario:
For us we are hitting the ground running, we will take some time to carry out an after action assessment to enable us ascertain all the areas we didn’t do well then collectively strategize on how to approach the next game.

Q:
How significant is the entire Africa basketball league to you?

Coach Mario:
I am happy to be part of the new continental game format, it means a lot to my coaching career. It is also very significant for my young players, because they are getting exposed through the league. I consider them lucky, because during my playing days, I was not opportune to play organized continental championship games.

Thanks a lot for your time Coach, we wish you and your team a wonderful outing in Morocco next weekend.

Coach Mario:
Thank you for having me.

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