Yorman Polas Bartolo is a 36 year old 191cm guard that is playing his 17th season and 10th in Germany and second with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. He began his basketball career in Cuba with : Camaguey. He came to Germany in 2012 and played for organizations Munchen Basket (Regionalliga), Crailsheim, Giessen, Telekom Baskets Bonn and the Fraport Skyliners. He spoke to eurobasket after playing his 185th easyCredit BBL game against the Fraport Skyliners
Congrats on the big 95-67 win over the Fraport Skyliners. You guys punished Frankfurt. How much of a factor was their walking wounded list?
It is a shame that they have injury problems. Of course we noticed that. We had an advantage and on top of that we were in top form tonight.
How annoying is it forcing the Fraport Skyliners to 9 turnovers and still be trailing 14-13 after one quarter? You should have been leading by 10 plus points.
We weren’t patient enough in the first quarter. We did take good shots, but they weren’t falling yet.
How much of a push did the 9-0 run to begin of the second quarter give you? It was like night and day on offense as you led 46-32 at the break
We made more pressure on the guards and it worked well. We worked hard on defense and created steals that led to easy baskets.
The turnover picture was 26-10 after three quarters. You had 16 possessions more. What was the biggest strength on defense on this night?
Our communication was our biggest strength. Then came our pressure. We had to make pressure on their young players. Everything fit very well on defense tonight.
Ludwigsburg began with a 10-2 run and closed out the game consistent winning it 23-10. What was key for being able to be locked in so intensively?
We were focused from the start to defend well and we were locked in. Our bench also came in and kept the pressure on. We had that defense first mentality and then the rest will come.
John Patrick already had played all 12 players in the first quarter. How vital is it in general having every player having the trust from the coach?
Coach had 12 players that he can always rely on. All 12 guys exactly know what they have to do on the court. If someone doesn’t do their job then the next guy comes from the bench to help keep our rhythm going.
How much of a joy and battle has it been suiting up against Fraport Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson. How have you observed his career over the years?
I have a lot of respect for Tez. He is a great defender, hard worker and fighter. He is always pushing the team and bringing energy. Playing that short time with Tez In Frankfurt was a big highlight in my career.
Would it be a compliment if your game, energy and passion for the game would be compared to a Quantez Robertson?
Yes of course that would be a very good compliment. Everybody knows how good he is as. He has earned so much respect and he has been longer in the league than me.
Is there a game or one on one battle on the court that has stuck in your head over the years?
I think the first time that I played against him when I was with Giessen. I knew that he would be very tough to play. He motivated me a lot. I wanted to take a lot of responsibility in that game when I faced him. That first time was special.
Who will retire first you or Quantez Robertson?
I don’t know. I will play as long as I can. I think that he thinks the same. He is still so strong mentally and physically on the court.
This season the club is still trying to find it’s self in the easyCredit BBL and is up and down? Do you feel like the new players are having more difficulty to come to terms with John Patrick than last season’s team?
Last season was very special. We found our rhythm and chemistry right from the start. This season we had guys come and go and finding ourselves has taken longer. We are playing well now. We are on a good way.
The team is a lot better in the Basketball Champions League competition and putting up 86 points per game. What do you believe has been the secret to the better play here?
We are bringing the same energy as in the BBL. Maybe teams don’t know or scout us as well as BBL teams.
What has it been like playing with 40 year old veteran Tremmel Darden. Your only 4 years younger than him. Does his presence motivate you to try to play possibly even longer than what you might expect?
Yes of course his presence motivates me. He is in top form. He is a role model and can still do so many things well on the court for his age. I would like to follow him and play as long as him or longer.
What kind of experience has it been sharing the court with ex NBA player Rawle Alkins. He has shown his potential in the BBL, but not yet in the BCL? Is this guy on the verge of exploding in the BCL?
He has a lot of potential. He has played at a high level in both leagues. But some days just don’t work well. That is a part of basketball. But I’m confident that he will show what he can do in the BCL.
You have seen the development of the Patrick brothers. How much of an influence has your defensive game been on them?
Both have a lot of potential. When you play for John Patrick, you have to have same quality as the rest. I have a lot of respect for them as they are taking a good development. I try to help them by showing my energy and fighting skills on the defensive end.
Jonah Radebaugh has made tremendous steps since day 1 in Ludwigsburg scoring 25 points. What part of his game do you feel has grown most?
I knew at the start that he had a lot of potential. He just didn’t have his chance yet last season. This season he is a key player and has really exploded.
You are in your 7th BBL season. You have started slow and are still searching for your three pointer in the BBL. How frustrating has your slow start been? Is age starting to creep up with you?
Roles changed this season and we are still trying to find our chemistry and me my game.
On what does a 36 year old work on most at that age? Is just getting rest and limiting the grind the most essential thing to do or is there a particular area of your game that your working on?
You can never stop getting better. I’m constantly working to get better. I’m working most on my three pointer and one on one play.
What can a guy of your experience still learn from a coach like John Patrick? What kind of an influence has he had on you since you arrived?
I have learned a lot from him. In the past I was known to be a good one on one defender and now I have learned how to defend with that team mentality
What is your fondest on court memory with Rickey Paulding who is hanging it up after this season?
When I played against him in the allstar game. But we didn’t play hard like in the BBL. It was too relaxed. Rickey is a legend. He has been a role model for so many in Germany.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming to America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
No I didn’t. It is best to keep classic movies untouched.
Thanks Yorman for the chat.