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Jasen Salutes De Pablos For Lighting Spark Under Estu

27 March 2007

Estudiantes captain Hernan Jasen has hailed new coach Mariano de Pablos for helping to restore the team's confidence and self-belief.

Estu had lost 10 of 11 league matches when De Pablos took over from Pedro Martinez at the start of last month, a run of results which had seen the club slump into the bottom four of the ACB standings.

Mariano De Pablos (Estudiantes)
Mariano De Pablos
But since then Estu have turned things around and last weekend's 85-83 victory at Polaris World CB Murcia was the club's sixth success league win since De Pablos took the reins.

"(De Pablos has brought) a little calm and confidence to us," said Jasen.

"He believes we are a good team, although we did not feel it when he arrived.

"His confidence has been transmitted to all the players and especially to those who did not have much.

"It is the accumulation of circumstances and situations that has caused the moral of the team to rise.

"Now we are all feeling good and like a team - the best example of this was last Sunday's game."

Jasen had been a fitness question mark heading into the Polaris match, but he produced a memorable performance to help Estu pick up the victory.

The Argentinian contributed 25 points and seven rebounds as the visitors fought back from a 48-39 deficit at half-time to claim the spoils following a 25-17 run in the final quarter.

Javier Mendiburu added 11 points for Estu, who will also compete in the Final Four of the EuroCup against Spanish rivals Akasvayu Girona next month.

"I am very happy, because before the game I had doubts about my physical state," Jasen said.

"I have had problems in the right leg and I didn't know how it would respond in the game. But when you enter the court, you forgot everything."

Of the match itself, Jasen said: "It was not difficult, it was extremely difficult. They (Polaris) are usually very strong at home and in the first half we have not competed.

"Nevertheless, we have been fortunate because we reached half-time only nine points adrift - not much difference compared to what happened on the court.

"In the second half we have played much better."

That victory lifted Estu up to ninth place with a 13-13 record, the same as Pamesa Valencia who occupy the eighth and final play-off place.

The play-offs are now very much within Estu's grasp, but Jasen is refusing to get carried away.

"When we were 7-13, we only thought about getting out of that bad situation.

But now we are in sight of the play-offs and we do not want to fall off this track," he said on his club's website.

"We need to take things slowly. We have been improving bit by bit. The first thing we are aiming for is the play-offs and to continue improving.

"If we finish in the top eight teams, then we can think about new objectives."

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