Alejandro Rubiera(Helsingborg BBK) Has Found A New Home In Sweden And Is Excelling

Alejandro Rubiera (190-G-1998, agency: Interperformances) is a 24 year old 190cm guard from Spain playing his third season abroad and first in Sweden with Helsingborg BBK (Sweden-Superettan) averaging 12,9ppg, 3,8rpg, 2,6apg and 1.1spg while shooting 41% from outside. He began the season in Germany with the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Last season he played for Vestri (Iceland-Subway League) averaging 12.5ppg, 3.4rpg, 3.7apg. He played the rest of his career in his home land Spain for teams like Gijon Basket 2015 (EBA), Aquimisa Carbajosa (LEB Silver) and BVM 2012 Mieres (EBA). He spoke to before he signed with the EPG Baskets and after he signed in Sweden.

Thanks Alejandro for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

Good evening Miles, it’s a pleasure for me to do an interview for Eurobasket, one of the best websites for basketball players around the world, a very useful tool to find information about any team in any country. It has helped me a lot during my career. Currently, I’m in Sweden. I’ve been working out this summer, played some FIBA 3×3 tournaments, played the Damex Pro League in Gibraltar

Your playing your first season with Helsingborg BBK (Sweden-Superettan). What kind of an experience has it been balling in Sweden?

It’s been great so far, my teammates are great, the city is great and my coach Xavi is a young Spaniard like me. Everything becomes way easier when you and your coach are on the same path and from the same country. It’s a joy to work with him daily, and I’ve thankful for the opportunity. I needed a situation like this.

The team is winning and your stats are solid. What have you enjoyed most about the experience?

I’m having fun again, gaining my confidence back, and working every day to achieve our goal. Our intentions are clear, we want to win the league. I have signed a 1+1 deal with the club for the upcoming season in case we succeed. The work ethic in the team is tremendous, I’m loving it here.

Your averaging 29 minutes per game averaging 13/3/2/1 stats and shooting 41% from outside. What exactly is your role on the team?

Coach Xavi brings me in with a big role, he wants me to have the ball in my hands, organize the team and be a leader in both ends of the floor. I’m getting more and more comfortable as the weeks go by, and I’m excited for the next months of regular season and the Playoffs. Helsinborg gives me the chance to work on my game every single day, so of course the good results come. Most of the teams at this level or similar don’t have the court availability that they have here, so this make us better players and so, a better a team. We have a plan in place, and we are going to try to execute it. I’m very grateful that coach Xavi and Helsinborg BBK chose me to help this project reach the next level.

You were briefly with the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Spanish players are a rare sight in German basketball. What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball?

Thank you very much. I’m very happy about my signing for EPG Koblenz. It is true that Germany has been a rare sight for most of Spanish players but not for me. I’ve been in talks with German teams for some years now and this is finally the season that I will play there. I know this country pretty well, I’ve been studying the language for some years now. I have done language courses in cities like Munich, Berlin, Freiburg. I really like Germany. About German basketball, I know German players are big and physical, also there is a lot of talent in this country. The sport keeps growing and getting better.

You helped a team in Iceland move up a league. The EPG Baskets want to do the same with the pro A. Do you believe that your competitiveness is something the club has never seen before?

That’s right, I signed in Iceland with the goal of moving up and we achieved the goal. It was a great experience. I’m blessed that I had that opportunity. It was a very similar situation to the one I will have here in Koblenz. A team hungry to move up in leagues. My desire here, is to do what the team needs from me in order to achieve that collective goal.

Pat Elzie and Thomas Klein are very high on your abilities. What do you remember sticking out with your talks with Pat Elzie? What was your first impression of him?

I had great references about coach Pat. The talks I had with him were very good. He is a player’s coach, with a lot of experience. I think I will be comfortable in his style of playing. He told me how he wants to play this year and it sounded very well. I am very looking forward to work with him this season.

What besides the huge ambition of the club helped you chose to play for them in the 2022-2023 season?

I knew Koblenz before they called me. It is a very respected team in the league. I was in advanced talks with other teams but when my agent called me to tell me that Koblenz was interested, everything else was on hold. Besides the huge ambition, I was surprised by the professionalism they showed during the process. The first impression was very good. EPG Baskets has a lot to offer. Koblenz is a great city, the facilities are great, the coaching staff is very good, the people running the team wants to keep growing. I’m very happy and excited for this season.

Let’s talk about your game. Your a 190cm combo guard. If you had to compare your game to an NBA and Spanish player who would best fit the description?

I love to play both positions, and I’ve been working all my career to be able to perform at high level in both of them. I’m ready to play the point, make the right plays, organize the team, apply coaches ideas on the court, but I’m also ready to play the 2 position, I love scoring, attacking, midrange, threes. My favorite player from Spain is Sergio Llull, but I’ve been told my style is similar to J.C Navarro.

You can score the ball, penetrate well and shoot the ball well. What other strengths does your game incorporate?

Well, in my opinion one of my most underrated parts of my game is my defense. I can guard smaller and bigger players than me. I enjoy pressing full court, and making reads ahead of the competition to steal the ball from the offense.

You shot the ball very well in the last two years from outside. What kind of a shooter are you now and what kind of a outside shooter do you want to become?

In the recent years, I understood that if I wanted to be a better player, I needed to be reliable from outside. I made adjustments in my form and after a lot of repetition, I got very good results. Midrange is my favorite shot, but I can shoot after screens, static, long range. My goal is to keep improving in that area and be more consistent.

Thomas Klein loves your mid range game. That was missing from the clubs play last season. How dangerous is this skill in your game?

Midrange is my main weapon in offense, any teammate that I have had would tell you so. My pull up game has always been consistent. I enjoy shooting from the mid area after screen, after spin, step back. I love it and it works.

Your also a very aggressive defender. What kind of steps do you want to make this season in a system where passion on defense is Koblenz’s bread and butter?

Like I mentioned early, I love good defense, and I love to be part of an aggressive defense. I have been playing FIBA 3×3 tournaments for some years now, and that style of game encourages physical defense, a lot of contact. With the talented roster that we have, it will allow us to rotate and go all out in the minutes that we will be on the court.

On what area’s of your game are you still working on so you can continue to improve your game?

I’m very focused on my shot, I want to improve my shot after certain situations, also, I’ve been working on how to be a better point guard, lead the team, make good reads and the right plays at the right time, when to attack, when to look for defense’s weaknesses. It’s a process, my desire is to keep studying the game, keep learning and keep improving in every area of the game.

Last season you played with Vestri (Iceland-Subway League) averaging 12.5ppg, 3.4rpg, 3.7apg, FGP: 44.3%, 3PT: 30.0%, FT: 56.1%. What was it like being teammates with the Hallgrimson twins? What did you appreciate most about these guys?

Last season was definitely a different one for me. First time in the top division of Iceland. The Hallgrimson twins were our main Icelandic players that we had. They were a very important piece in our roster. Young players with an amazing working ethic, always working hard to improve. They both got scholarships to play in the USA next season. I’m very happy for them.

You helped Breidablik Kopavogur (Iceland-D1) move up a league averaging 14.0ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.0apg, FGP: 57.5%, 3PT: 47.6%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being in Iceland where you knew that you were very far away from home?

My experience in Breidablik was amazing. I have very good memories. I was coming off a tough season for me in LEB Silver League in Spain and I needed to have an important role again. Breidablik was the ideal place for that. They signed me to secure the first place so we could promote straight, avoiding the Playoffs. We won every game since I arrived. It was beautiful to be a part of that team, which was already great before I came. The environment was great and it translated to the court. So much fun. I felt in love with the country and its basketball.

You began your career in your home land Spain. Spain has always been a good example of good youth work. How did you experience moving up the youth ranks. Is it tough with all the Spanish talents?

I love my country and Spanish basketball very much. The way we play the game here, the talent we have all around the country is incredible. But, there are many issues the average professional Spanish player has to go through. Issues that I was willing to go through when I was 18,19,20. As you become older, you give more value to different things, and I can get those things in other countries like Iceland or Germany at the moment. It’s about finding the balance between a good role, good conditions, a good level league and sometimes it’s very hard to do so in Spain.

You got a lot of experience playing in the Spanish EBA and for Gijon. How do you feel did your game grow in those years and how vital was it for your development?

The years I played in my hometown were very important for my career and have made me the player I am today. My first year in GijonBasket in EBA, I was 19 years old, I was the hometown kid and the club and the coaching staff bet on me. The American players we signed that year, Kenny Hatch, Malik Wineglass, James Pegues, Israel Hakim were very high level players and they all tested me every day in practice. Also, we had Diego Sanchez, Gijon greatest player of all time, a true veteran that I’ve learnt a lot from. It was the perfect situation for me and it was my first big year that allowed me to sign a new contract in the league above with Circulo Gijon, the other team in my city. We didn’t have very good results that year but truly a learning experience as well, with top level players like Saul Blanco, Shane Osayande. They all taught me how to be a professional, lessons that have helped me very much throughout my career.

What was the nicest moment that you had in Spain on a basketball court?

I have had great moments playing Spain, especially in my youth years where I accomplished dreams like playing for the Spain National Team, winning championships… During my career one of the nicest moments I have ever experienced, was when I was playing for my hometown team GijonBasket and we qualified to play the Final Four in Gijon to promote to LEB Silver. We ended up second in the regular season that year and it was the best result of a Gijon team in an official competition in 10 years. I had to give out 17 tickets for my family and friends that night. The whole gym was packed. Prior to that, the last time I saw the gym like that, was when I was 9 years old and I was in the stands with my dad watching Farho Gijon Baloncesto. Being able to represent the city I grew up in, at that level was an unforgettable feeling. I was blessed.

Who was the toughest player that you ever faced in your life that reached the NBA or Euroleague?

In the Spain Youth National Championships that I played, usually Luka Doncic was competing in them too. I played against a lot of high level players that reached ACB, Euroleague and NBA. I wouldn’t be able to pick who is the toughest. I have also shared team with former NBA player Robert Swift, or former Euroleague player Saul Blanco… Always great to play against top level experienced players and even better to play alongside them.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

This is a very difficult question but my top 5 teammates of all time would be the following: – Kenny Hatch – Bobby Harris – Diego Sanchez – Shane Osayande – Malik Wineglass

Please name your 5 most important Spanish players that influenced you in basketball growing up until now?

These are the players that have influenced my game a lot, also players that I learnt a lot from and that I enjoyed playing the most with. But there are a lot of honorable mentions like James Pegues, Lucas Hausman, Saul Blanco, KJ Bosley, Julio Claver. They all are great players and great friends that I appreciate very much.

Which Spanish player is the greatest off all-time for you? I would pick between a Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro.

My favorite Spanish players that I grew up watching and they influenced me the most they would be: Sergio Llull, JC Navarro, Sergio Rodriguez, Pau Gasol, Rudy Fernandez. I love watching them play, pure talent, IQ and passionate players. In my opinion, the greatest basketball player of all time is Pau Gasol. A true legend, one of the best European players of all time. 2 rings in the NBA with Kobe, and an amazing NBA career, and what he has done with the Spain National Team is unreal. A true role model on and off the court. The greatest Spanish basketball player of all time

What is your favorite movie of all-time?

My favorite movie is Unbroken. A movie based on true events. It motivates me a lot every time I watch it.

Thanks Alejandro for the chat.


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