• ACB.Abalde chooses Madrid

In August 2016, Joventut was drowned by economic problems and Juan Roig came to the rescue. He reached an agreement to acquire land from La Penya for his company, Mercadona , at the same time that Valencia Basket , which he also owns, was interested in the jewel of the Badalona quarry: Alberto Abalde , a 20-year-old Galician, son of an Obradoiro historian . The projection of the forward no longer went unnoticed and the Taronja club was the fastest.

The agreement for his purchase was closed at 300,000 euros and the player stayed on loan at Joventut the following season. This last decision deprived Abalde of proclaiming himself the ACB champion with Valencia Basket 16/17. Four summers later, it will change airs again. The pearl of Spanish basketball has decided to accept Real Madrid's proposal , which will have to pay its 1.5 million euro clause, as it has one year left on its contract.

The jump will allow him to enroll in a Euroleague project with aspirations to titles, something that Valencia Basket cannot guarantee, whose intention was to make him a benchmark player and equate his salary to that of the best in the squad. But he has not had the opportunity to convince him. Abalde wants bigger challenges.

Junior Euroleague

«You have to live in the moment, day by day and be happy. The rest will come rolled, “he assured during the long confinement in Valencia, away from his family. The suspension of the Women's League also distanced her from her sister Tamara , an international with Spain who until May was part of the Valencia Basket women's squad. The coincidence of the brothers in the city was an oasis, but it is not the first time that Abalde faces solitude.

He left Galicia at age 14 to go to Badalona. His father's advice was decisive and accurate: in 2013 he proclaimed himself the champion of the Junior Euroleague and was chosen MVP of that London final. His name was noted on all the agendas in Europe and underlined when the coach Sergio Scariolo quoted him for training prior to the Eurobasket 2015 and, a year later, included him in the preselection for the Rio Games.

Valencia incorporated him into his first team in June 2017, after having closed a season with Joventut for 31 games, 18 of them in the starting quintet, averaging 10.1 points per game and achieving an average rating of 9.7 . With its 2.02 of height , its versatility and its grinding in the air, it had to drive the Fonteta crazy . For him, the challenge was to play the Euroleague for the first time, where he left behind a winning shot against CSKA.

The injury plagued season that set the taronja and Galician touched up playing base, an experience that has always recognized that enriched him.

Then came some physical problems. In April 2019, the third finger of her right hand was broken and she had to undergo surgery. That made him give up the national team and the China World Cup to focus on Valencia Basket. In the meantime, he worked on his emotional disposition with coach Juan Miguel Bernat to definitively exploit his talent, something that has happened in this strange campaign and, especially, in the final phase.

Despite Valencia's intention to extend his contract, which ends in 2021, Abalde has not waited to avoid being subject to the right of first refusal that the Taronja club would have to rush his contract. He has communicated his intention to leave for Madrid , upon payment of the 1.5 million euro clause that allows him to withdraw right away.

Laso's team intends to reduce that amount by including the center Jordan Mickey in the operation, but his commitment to the Galician to rejuvenate his exterior line is clear. Rudy Fernández is 35 years old and Taylor and, even, Deck could go out, he leaves the way clear to a national forward, a good scorer and versatile. The best possible scenario for Abalde.

Despite everything, Valencia Basket does not throw in the towel. And it is that he already has experience with players who announced their intention to leave, but the payer of the clause does not respond. It happened last season with Guillem Vives. Barça did not pay 300,000 euros for their pass, despite having an agreement with the base, who stayed in Valencia and saw the price of his departure go up to 1.5 million.

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