Basketball In Europe
|Pere Tomas was a leader of the Spanish U20 Bronze Medal winning side in 2009|
Pere Tomas is only 21 years old, but he has a lot of weight on his shoulders.
When asked about the player's potential and the club's patient approach with youngsters, his DKV Joventut Badalona coach Pepu Hernandez says to Basketball World News (BWN): "The big problem with Pere is he's young, but we don't look at him like he's a young player.
"He's been a Joventut player for the past two or three seasons.
"He's a captain of the team at 21."
In other words, Joventut need Tomas to have a big personality on the court now.
They need him to lead the team.
It's something he did on Sunday when Joventut edged Meridiano Alicante, 75-73.
In that game, Tomas had a season-high 25 points, beating his previous best of 21 in a game against Manresa.
Tomas has reached double figures in nine of his last 13 games.
An U20 Star
Tomas is a well known player in Spain.
He competed for the country at the U20 European Championships in 2008 and 2009, averaging 14.9 points and 8.3 rebounds in the latter.
Tomas was a star on the rise then.
Then, fans wondered if he would follow in the footsteps of former Joventut star Ricky Rubio and one day earn a place in the senior national team.
"I don't think about the national team," he said to BWN.
"My aim is to improve each day, help my team to win games.
"If I do that, then I will have opportunities.
"Right now the national team selection is very, very good and it's very difficult to get in."
Joventut have had to overcome injuries to key players but have managed to stay in the reckoning for a spot in the play-offs.
Their victory over Alicante improved Joventut's record to 14-13.
They are in 11th in the standings but have the same mark as ninth-place Gran Canaria and Asefa Estudiantes, who are 10th.
Unicaja Malaga and Fuenlabrada occupy the seventh and eighth positions - the last two spots that qualify teams for the play-offs.
Speaking after Joventut's recent defeat at Valencia, Tomas said: "We (Joventut) have to continue to improve because there are still 10 league games until the end of the season.
"If we win one or two more, we can focus on bigger aims like reaching the play-offs.
"The important thing is to win two more games to assure ourselves safety in the ACB."