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Magnano clarifies disciplined approach

Ruben Magnano is tough, with rules like any other basketball coach.

But the Argentinian doesn’t want anyone to think that he’s just a disciplinarian who’s getting ready to crack the whip now that he’s been put in charge of Brazil’s national team.

“If being disciplined means to start training at 7am and not at 7:10, then I’m very disciplined,” he said.

“But that’s no big deal. There was a misunderstanding earlier. I will not forbid the players to speak with the family (during the FIBA World Championship). That’s not the case. They are not to use cell phones during training or during (team) meals.”

Magnano, who guided Argentina to the title game of the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis and to a gold medal two years later at the Olympics in Athens, is already hard at work with the Brazilians.

He will lead them against the United States, Iran, Tunisia, Croatia and Slovenia in the Preliminary Round at the FIBA World Championship later this year in Istanbul.

Far from creating a rift with his countrymen by accepting an offer to coach Argentina’s biggest South American rivals, Magnano says he has the blessing of people back home.

“Everyone in Argentina wished me luck,” he said.

“I was very happy to know that I have the support of my countrymen on my new journey. It’s great to also be able to count on the support of all the Brazilian people.

“I want to return all the affection with titles and medals for basketball. I am here to help.”

Magnano is preparing to travel to the United States to meet Brazil’s NBA players, Nene (Denver), Anderson Varejao (Cleveland) and Leandro Barbosa (Phoenix).

While they are all celebrities and gaining a lot of attention for the sport in Brazil because of their exploits in the world’s elite league, Magnano wants to make it clear that anyone who plays for the country must do so with the idea that he is dedicated.

“The name of the national team has to be above anyone´s name,” Magnano said.

“I hope to find a yes on my trip to the United States. I want to talk to the players and see their hope of representing the national team.”

Magnano is going to be a very busy man in the build-up to Turkey.

“Our calendar for this season is already in place,” he said.

“As we will have two teams, one for the South American tournament (Championship) and the other one for the World Championship in Turkey, we will call at least 30 players.”

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